Monday, September 2, 2013

Why I Can't Care About the Bryan-Orton Feud

Yes! Yes! Yes!
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents

@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

With John Cena on the sidelines for the next four-six months, the most popular Superstar on the WWE roster is undoubtedly Daniel Bryan.  Bryan defeated John Cena for the WWE title at SummerSlam. Before all the celebration confetti had fallen from the ceiling, Bryan was attacked by guest referee Triple H and then lost the WWE Title when Randy Orton cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase.

On the surface this new feud between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton would appear to be the catalyst in making Daniel Bryan the face of a new era in WWE history. Unfortunately for this fan, there are two aspects that keep me from getting too emotionally involved.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E Langston
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents
The first red flag I have can be summed up in five words: Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler. Both wrestlers, through hard work and personal determination, got themselves over with fans. Zack was barely being used on TV when fans started chanting for him over more established top names. Dolph, had fans eager for his MITB cash in and when he won the World title the night after Wrestlemania 29, the reaction was louder than any reaction at Wrestlemania. How did WWE follow up on the fans desire to see these two new stars? Zack got a short run with the United States title and is back to being seen in the background of a backstage segment than seen in the ring. Dolph lost the World title after a two-month reign (one month of which he was out of action with a concussion) and has fallen down to the mid-card feuding with his former ally Big E. Langston. 

As a fan, why should I believe Daniel Bryan would regain the WWE title to avenge his loss at SummerSlam? Especially when week after week Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H keep talking about how they don’t want Bryan to be the champion and he doesn’t have embody the look they want for the person who is the face of WWE.  The argument can be made saying these constant put downs are only helping to make Bryan’s eventual title win more satisfying. I hope that is the case but the track record isn’t there to support that theory.

No! No! No!
Photo by WWE
The second reason I have for not buying into the feud is the way the story is being told.  Basically, the Daniel Bryan character is being portrayed as the new “Stonecold” Steve Austin as the non-corporate persona battling evil management. I have no problem with this story being recycled. After all, it’s been 16 years since the Austin 3:16 era began. Most of the WWE’s target audience wasn’t born then so this is all new to them. The problem I have is Austin was portrayed as a hell raising; trust no one, anti-hero who wouldn’t back down Vince McMahon.  In the two weeks since SummerSlam, Daniel Bryan has looked like a whiny fool. 

Sure he stepped up to Stephanie McMahon and told her he didn’t care if he was fired. Then when she told him to get out of the ring, instead of being defiant, Bryan walked away. Later in the show Bryan returned, took a beating from the Shield and was left lying in the ring after an RKO from Randy Orton.  Again, I’ll concede this could all be done to put a twist on the Austin-McMahon storyline and to make Bryan’s win more meaningful. If that’s the case, I’ll give WWE credit. Until then, I have this empty feeling Bryan will continue to get beat down until John Cena returns to dethrone Orton and take back his spot as the face of WWE.

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