Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Daniel Bryan joins the Wyatt Family

Aside from Brock Lesnar returning and annihilating "The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry the big moment from Monday's RAW was Daniel Bryan joining up with the Wyatt Family.  As you can imagine this development has been met with a ton of controversy within the IWC.  Honestly, I can see both sides of it, but I think it is important to kind of unpack Daniel Bryan's recent history to put it in perspective correctly.

One aspect that I see a lot of discussion about goes back to WWE's refusal to give Bryan a title run when the WWE Universe clearly wanted to see that.  I think that is a completely legitimate point.  At one point I thought WWE's plan was to give Bryan his redemptive moment down the road.  Clearly, I was mistaken on that point.  That being said I think it is wrong to judge the developments on RAW through the lens of, "They're pushing him down the card!"  To me, Bryan's motivation makes perfect sense.

The thing is that WWE's refusal to give Bryan the title makes his joining the Wyatt Family completely reasonable.  Bray Wyatt has been banging on this point for weeks now even after they supposedly had given up on "turning" Bryan.  He is offering Bryan an opportunity to tear down the machine.  The machine, that in this case, wouldn't allow Bryan to shine and have the WWE Title.  Some bristle at the idea that Bryan would continue to fight The Authority tooth and nail only to give in to the Wyatts.  Again, that makes sense to me.  The Authority only made a passing effort at getting Bryan to conform and join them.  Bray's sole purpose has been to get Bryan into the fold.  Not only that he's playing on the idea that Bryan can be himself and together they can destroy The Authority.  When Bryan joined Wyatt said, "This changes everything."  Due to Bryan's weariness after the long hard fight against The Authority and the Wyatt Family it is completely reasonable that he'd be ready to accept a deal with Bray.  Some have referred to this as a turn by Daniel Bryan.  It is, but it isn't really.  The fans are still going to support Bryan throughout this part of the story I believe.  When and if he leaves the Family the pop will be huge and Daniel may be even bigger than he is now.  Like I said, it's solid storytelling. 

Beyond that though I've heard a lot of snarking about how they are ruining their hottest act to get a "midcarder" over.  This is absolutely an example of wrestling fans talking out of both sides of their mouth.  If you want the status quo to change and get away from the Cena/Orton show you have to be willing to take risks and begin to elevate promising talent like Bray Wyatt, Big E Langston and Roman Reigns.  To refer to Bray Wyatt as a "midcarder" is disingenuous in the first place because he is obviously a guy that WWE has put a lot of faith in and with those others I have named are in the fast lane to the top.

Ultimately, I think there are a ton of things that you can kill WWE Creative for, but this angle with Bryan and the Wyatts deserves praise not scorn.  Even if you didn't like what you saw on Monday I'd ask that you give it an opportunity to play out before passing judgment on it.  Has that burned us in the past?  Yeah, as recently as Daniel Bryan vs The Authority.  That being said, if you're not going to give anything a chance then I'm not sure why you should bother watching.  Another thing to keep in mind is that we are in January now and firmly on the Road to WrestleMania.  Typically things get much more interesting around this time of year.  If there is ever a time to give WWE an opportunity to redeem themselves now is that time.