Now that we know the outcome of Daniel Bryan and WWE’s concussion drama, more details are coming out concerning the lengths Bryan was willing to go to to keep wrestling, as well as the what Vince McMahon planned to keep him from doing so – at least for any company he didn’t run
Nope. Vince and co. planned to keep Daniel Bryan from wrestling completely, whether he ran those companies or not. And in so doing, probably saved Bryan’s life.
Whatever your thoughts on Vince McMahon, no one can argue that “Vince is evil” is a more important narrative than “Daniel Bryan has retired because his health and happiness are important”. Shame on all the wrestling pundits and jolly internet folks who insist on doing so.
From the moment Vince McMahon stacked the deck against Roman, it was clear that the theme of the match was “One (Roman) vs. All”. That wasn’t the case because the only ones who really ganged up on Roman were the League of Nations and Triple H. In fact, as a result of the League of Nations (sans King Barrett) beating Roman to a pulp at ringside, the Big Dog had to spend most of the Rumble being tended to by medical. He only resurfaced in the match when there were only a handful of competitors left.
Good Lord, WWE. That was the absolute worst way to write Roman’s Rumble arc!
I hate to be so smarky about this, but the sad truth is that WWE only has itself to blame for the consistent botching of such a surefire, can’t-miss, little-or-no-downside Superstar like Roman Reigns.
Even those of us who want to root for him are quickly running out of reasons to.
When the experience kicks in, it’s like a video game augmenting real life. A path lights up on the ground to show you where to go. On each wall, 4K footage of a real crowd cheers or boos depending on whether you deliver. In the Utah scenario, the “home crowd” cheers when you miss—a nice touch.
A real play-by-play announcer calls out your every move, and real players on the court deliver that key assist, play defense and act as stand-ins for Byron Russell, playing along when you push off.
Your move, Axxess.
Imagine a WrestleMania III simulator where you can slam an actor playing as Andre. Or a WrestleMania XII simulator where you kick a Bret Hart actor in the face to achieve your boyhood dream. Or a WrestleMania XX simulator where you become a non-existent wrestler who makes Triple H tap out.
Acts like Bo Dallas and Adam Rose, which played so well at Full Sail in Orlando, have struggled in front of larger crowds on the road. That said, Dallas and Rose are not Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, who had a match that looked a lot like Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena from the SummerSlam main event last year. Even if some of the charm is lost, these fellas deserve a bigger stage.
No, they don’t. In theatre, the best performances come through in smaller acting spaces in ways that they simply could not in large venues. It’s not just “charm” that is lost, but nuance, comfort, and truthfulness.
As fans of wrestling as a performance art, we ought to know better than to directly correlate stage size with success. These guys deserve promotion, and adulation, and a whole lot of money—not a bigger stage.