So finally after suffering lots of beatdowns on numerous Monday night Raws, screwy PPV finishes and false dawns, Daniel Bryan and his ‘Yes Movement’ have finally got some forward momentum. Thanks to their ‘Occupy Raw’ operation, Bryan was able to get one over the authority and get Triple H to agree to face him at WrestleMania. However having now seized the upper hand, Bryan wasn’t satisfied and demanded that if he is victorious he gets placed in the Randy Orton v Batista title match on the same show. Incensed by Daniel Bryan taking over ‘his ring’ with 50 or so of the yes movement members bedecked in Daniel Bryan shirts, and convinced that he would ultimately prevail, Triple H agreed to the demands and we now have the prospect of Bryan wrestling twice on the biggest show of the year, and potentially ending the show as champion.
The WWE’s handling of the Daniel Bryan situation has been interesting. He has been on the verge of what seemed a big push for a while, but it’s never quite materialised. Some might think WWE have been playing the long game and that the booking geniuses have timed the push to perfection. However I believe they were willing to let the Daniel Bryan phenomenon fade out, until a couple of months ago when the ‘Yes chants’ started at American basketball games, which then got national news coverage, and we know how Vince loves national exposure! Of course Bryan has also benefitted greatly from CM Punks abrupt departure. It was Punk who was scheduled to face Triple H at Mania, with Bryan scheduled for a mid-card match against Sheamus – (proof positive they were not behind the guy 100%). Bryan has not only stepped into Punks shoes for the match, he is (potentially) doing what Punk has always dreamed of, and that’s to be in the Main Event at Mania, (not a co-main, but the last match that closes the show).
Another factor in Bryan getting added to the main event, has been the lack of interest in the Randy Orton and Batista match. Randy Orton as heel versus Batista as face was already not going to work, as the fans have been cold on Orton for a while, and Batista has been roundly booed (aside from his first night back) since his return. Having then had to turn Batista heel so he could take the boos, they have ended up with two heels in the title match, and that was asking for trouble in front of the hardcore rabble of fans that will be at WrestleMania, so plans had to change and suddenly all the problems could be fixed by adding Bryan to the mix.
All these contributing factors have helped Bryan’s push to gather steam once again. If he beats Triple H and wrestles for the title, he will be in esteemed company as only the second person to be pre-booked to appear twice on a WrestleMania, following Brett Hart at WM10 (not counting the tournament for the title at WM4 or Yokozuna’s impromptu match against Hogan at WM9). We then have the very real prospect of the biggest show of the year and one of the biggest WresleManias of all time, ending with Daniel Bryan winning the title, and the camera panning out to show 70,000 fans doing the yes chant in unison. What a visual that will be and another iconic Mania moment to look back on.
Hopefully the old adage of ‘be careful what you wish for’ doesn’t come into play. If Bryan is crowned champ, then where do we go? He’s got to the top, he’s beaten the odds and we’ve been satisfied, now what? Hopefully there is a plan in place to keep him fresh and the #YesMovement can continue to move forward, and that it’s not another flash in the pan. Recent promos with Dave Batista have been encouraging for a future singles programme. Batista does suit the heel character better, and he and Bryan have had some good verbal chemistry, which bodes well for the future post Mania. And if CM Punk were to return, a heel Punk against Daniel Bryan feud would certainly draw money.
Here’s hoping that Bryan gets the rewards his talents deserve.
But who can trust WWE on whether they will pull the trigger? They have two opportunities to pull the rug from under our feet. Could they end a PPV with Bryan failing to get the victory we expect, and Batista standing tall with the belt as an onslaught of rubbish hits the ring? It would certainly be a curve ball, and as we all know nothing is ever 100% certain in professional wrestling.