Daniel Bryan didn’t win the WWE title.
Technically, he had it for a couple seconds. But he wasn’t the champion. Not really.
If I thought for one second that everything that happened this past Sunday and Monday led to the ultimate triumph of the ultimate underdog, the 5-foot-5 little engine that could, that would be good booking. The fans get a real payoff.
But that isn’t what we’re going to witness.
What we’re going to witness is the continued humiliation of the indie guy.
No matter how organic and rapturous the fans’ response to Bryan may be, that’s what Bryan is to Vince McMahon, Paul Levesque and WWE: The indie guy. The ROH guy. The wanna-be. The headliner at a high-school gym. The pretend fake wrestler.
That guy can’t win. Just can’t. Being over doesn’t matter. Vince owns fake wrestling and can use his power to prove a point. A guy who looks like Bryan can’t beat a guy who looks like Triple H, or like Randy Orton. Body uber alles.
Vince already made one exception when C.M. Punk became a top guy. And Punk didn’t beat Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, did he?
Everything Triple H says about Bryan is a shoot. EVERYTHING. Triple H believes it; Vince believes it. To say it out loud must feel so good. The customer is always right, except when there’s a monopoly. Then the customer eats whatever’s served up, including this steaming pile of bullying. But, hey…BE A STAR!
Bryan isn’t actually being bullied. He’s getting a good payday. You or I would do the same. Bryan knows how good he is. That counts for something.
I’m curious to see how the marks react when the scenarios of Sunday and Monday play out again and again. Will Triple H and Vince get a heel reaction, or an “F you” reaction? Will this heighten interest, or lose interest? I really don’t know.
Here’s a subtle, subliminal message that got sent out Monday:
Bryan got pounded by The Shield. Bryan got RKO’d by Randy Orton , who will use this opportunity to be no more over than he’s ever been. Orton is flatlining. Bryan got disdained and disrespected by Triple H, Vince and Chyna Jr.
No babyface intervened. Nobody helped Bryan.
Yeah, Triple H said that anyone who got involved would be in trouble. But BABYFACES DO THE RIGHT THING. What about John Cena coming out, then getting beaten down? He’s going to be out 4-6 months anyway.
Nobody helped because it shows that Triple H, the McMahons and WWE are right about Bryan. Nice little career. Good hand. But he’s NOT A TOP GUY, and certainly not anyone worth saving. Take your medicine, Frankie Williams.
If there was legit competition, another fake wrestling company, a credible one, and preferably going head-to-head on Monday night,WWE would have to ride Bryan to the very top. If they didn’t, the channel gets changed. But WWE doesn’t see “Under the Dome” as competition – they should; that’s what I watched – so they blithely ignore the organic in favor of the formulaic.
The sad part: It won’t hurt them one iota.
WWE's best period creatively came during the 4-5 years they were locked in a ratings battle with WCW. Agendas couldn't be served. The cream had to rise. Talent got rewarded.
Don’t weep for Daniel Bryan. He’s on TV, he’s making a good living, he’s banging a Bella, and people know how good he really is.
But to Vince McMahon and Paul Levesque – more of a son to Vince than Shane O’Mac could ever be – Bryan can’t ever be good enough.
I sincerely hope I’m wrong about where this is headed. But I’m not.
Follow Mark Madden on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX