Before I explain the title of this peice, I want to clarify something that a few readers of my last editorial (Young Stars Have Arrived…) had popped on to the forums to challenge me on. My spelling of Seamus. A few people accused me of spelling it wrong. Others simply asked me the reason, since there is a pattern. Well, folks, the fact is that the actual celtic spelling of the name is Seamus. Though "Sheamus" may be acceptable, I prefer to go the classic route. My ancestors weren’t sitting around pounding Guinness and building the Emerald Isle with a bunch of h’s in their names. Besides – Seamus took 3 H’s out of the WWE picture (Triple H), so we can afford to lose one more.
Nomenclature soapbox aside, is anyone else completely riveted by the Daniel Bryan angles on Raw lately? And even one step further than that, how his presence has helped boost both The Miz and Michael Cole? The smark in me looks at this as a well-booked angle to advance the business. The wrestling fan in me (who still is able to suspend disbelief and pretend that wrestling is real a few nights each week) is really annoyed by Michael Cole and cannot wait for this battle to leave the arena of backhanded comments and enter a deeper realm.
Michael Cole calls Daniel Bryan a kid who kicked around the indy circut for 10 years. He speaks about "the indy’s" like it’s some sort of a disease. Funny enough, to me, this is a direct parallel to the praise that one Chris Jericho gets for being "the last great wrestler to go through the territory system." Jericho started his career as an 18-year old kid in some of the remaining Canadian wrestling territories just before the entire territory system was swallowed up by Michael Cole’s boss – Vince McMahon. Wrestlers and fans LOVE the fact that Jericho worked his way up to the WWE the old-fashioned way; territory to territory, territory to ECW, ECW to WCW, and finally to the ‘big leagues’ of the WWE. It’s a far cry from the movie stars with muscles and realtiy-show champions who earn big money contracts these days. The Miz didn’t have to live out of an old car for months on end the way Mick Foley did. Wade Barrett didn’t go through multiple bankrupcies the way the great JJ Dillon has. Jericho is the last of the "hard knocks" guys, and he is respected and praised for it.
What’s a kid like Bryan to do in the post-apocalyptic professional wrestling world? Gone are the territories like Mid-South Wrestling or Smokey Mountain. There are tiny promotions operating out of police athletic league buildings and VFW’s, and then there are solid indy promotions like ROH. Truth is, Ring of Honor was Daniel Bryan’s territory system, and to lambaste him while praising Jericho for essentially the same thing is hypocrisy.
Now clearly, this accusation of hypocrisy exists only in the kayfabe world. WWE must be really high on Daniel Bryan for them to give him the "fired / big return" treatment, the to place him in a major weekly program on Raw and even put the US Title on him. But as I slip past the blurred line between "smark" and "fan," I find myself furious at Michael Cole for being such a hypocrite towards Daniel Bryan. That’s part of what is so great about this entire angle and where it may be going.
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Chris Fitzpatrick – "IrishCanadian25"