At WrestleMania XXX, Daniel Bryan finally beat the odds to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Coming off this huge win, Bryan went through an unimaginable roller coaster of emotions outside of wrestling, which included the death of his father, his marriage to Brie Bella, and the death of Connor Michalek, one of his Make-A-Wish fans. When he returned to wrestling, the WWE awarded him an angle with his former tag team partner Kane.
Kane is a good soldier and he has helped the WWE in a number of roles over three decades. One of the few holdovers from the Attitude Era, Kane is a recognizable character and most wrestling fans would agree he’s better as a monster fighting babyfaces than he is wearing a suit and serving as an errand boy for The Authority. However, I can’t see a feud between Daniel Bryan and the 47-year-old Kane drawing money for the WWE.
But what choice does the WWE have? Clearly, Daniel Bryan can’t keep wrestling Triple H and Randy Orton. The WWE has beaten that storyline to death. Also, a long term feud with Batista isn’t possible because he will be leaving the WWE to promote a movie throughout the summer. And Brock Lesnar’s WWE appearances are too sporadic for either a meaningful storyline or a lengthy WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign.
However, don’t expect me to shed any tears for the WWE’s current problem. Vince McMahon should look in the mirror if he wants to know why the WWE hasn’t developed any credible heel wrestlers recently. McMahon’s obsession with making the product kid-friendly is responsible for the company’s lack of hated heels. Sanitized promos, no blading, and lack of character development have led to the WWE’s shortage of real heels.
The one wrestler who could add life to Daniel Bryan’s WWE title reign is currently enjoying the NHL Playoffs in Chicago. I know many wrestling fans are suffering from CM Punk fatigue on the Internet, but he is an incredible heel who would be a natural foil for Daniel Bryan. I’m not completely blaming the WWE for CM Punk’s departure. But no one can deny that a feud between Daniel Bryan and CM Punk would increase WWE Network subscriptions.
The only other wrestler who could be a credible rival for Daniel Bryan is Bray Wyatt. However, the WWE botched the last storyline between Bryan and Wyatt, so I’m sure the creative team is gun shy about going back there. Besides, in the WWE’s eyes, a storyline with John Cena is more important than the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Although he’s a great wrestler, I don’t think Cesaro is ready for a WWE title run. Also, his heel character as a Paul Heyman guy is very confusing and needs clarity before getting a major push. I can’t see their relationship lasting long. At some point, Cesaro has to drop Heyman and return to being a babyface.
The WWE’s need to draw kids to its product has helped it become the number one pro wrestling company in the world. However, it has hurt the product in that old-school heels have difficulty developing. In any form of entertainment, heroes need villains to make the drama work. Unfortunately, Lex Luthor and General Zod don’t work for the WWE.
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