Reconciling The Screwjob, Alex Riley’s Transition, Unmasking Kane, Daniel Bryan’s Exaggerated Demise

As we approach Survivor Series I’m sure I’m not the only one recalling the Montreal Screwjob at the show in 1997. How legitimate was the reunion in 2010, was that really the first time they’ve been face-to-face since?

The reunion between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels on Monday Night Raw on January 4, 2010 was by all accounts a genuine reconciliation between the two and not part of a WWE storyline. Ironically enough, at the same time Hart and Michaels were in a WWE ring together for the first time in 12 years, Hulk Hogan was making his debut in TNA Wrestling. I was extremely happy for both Bret and Shawn as they were able to put Montreal behind them and create a truly historic moment on Raw. I will criticize WWE’s use of Hart thereafter as I feel they overexposed him, which is something they have a bad habit of doing with talent that is unable to wrestle.

Why is Alex Riley commentating and not wrestling? What happened?

WWE officials were really high up on Alex Riley’s look, personality and ability to get over but the knock on him was his in-ring work left a lot of be desired. I was surprised at how much the fans got behind him in storylines but let’s be honest, he was very sloppy in the ring. WWE made the decision to transition him to announce. I don’t know the exact reason why, however, I’m not opposed to the move. A lot of people that work commentary are wrestlers doing commentary. Jerry Lawler still maintains he’s a wrestler that does commentary, not a commentator that occasionally wrestles. Matt Striker was a guy that made the transition. Byron Saxton is a guy in developmental that’s made the transition. This is something that happens and it’s a desirable position.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the direction that they’ve gone with the Kane character, as it truly took me by surprise. Looking at the big picture, I think that they have bypassed obvious logical storytelling and jumped straight to surprising logical storytelling recently. I wonder, though, if the new character was requested by Kane so he wouldn’t be dressed as a monster when he finally runs for office as a Libertarian candidate. Your thoughts?

The decision to take the mask off Kane had to do with the upcoming sequel to “See No Evil,” where Kane reprises the role of Jacob Goodnight, a character that does not wear a mask. I’m not aware of the move having anything to do with Kane’s political aspirations and feel “the monster still lurks within.” Kane’s new character puts him right in the middle of WWE’s top storyline so it’s a good thing for his position in the company.

I don’t get WWE’s logic. They have the best wrestler in the world in Daniel Bryan, yet they think it was his fault that the PPV buy rates were down. How about not having Bryan-Orton several times in a row on PPV’s. That is the real problem. To me Randy can’t carry the WWE. There is no personality in him. I rather watch wet paint dry then watch an Orton match. Yet with Byran he has shown improvement with his mic work and his wrestling work in the ring elevates his opponents to make them look great.

It’s funny that question three puts WWE over for their logic and question four blasts them for the lack of it. It’s fair to say that both sides are getting represented in Ask WNW. Reports of Daniel Bryan’s demise are greatly exaggerated. I don’t know who writes this stuff or why they write this stuff but Daniel Bryan isn’t being blamed for the SummerSlam debacle. Vince McMahon never mentioned Bryan in talking about the pay-per-view underperforming and instead blamed the fact fans didn’t buy the attraction, which is a true statement (and one I heard directly from Vince’s mouth). Sometimes people want to create a controversy that just isn’t there. Bryan is as over as any babyface in WWE and is in a main event program with CM Punk to oppose The Wyatt Family. As long as Bryan is working in main event level programs, there’s no reason to assume anything else. Everything I’ve heard about Vince’s opinion of Bryan is he realizes he was wrong and is high up on him. I do not share your sentiment on Randy Orton as I feel he’s a top guy and I’m glad to see him regain the trust of top management. It was time for Bryan to move on from the WWE title because it was creative that booked the program horribly as it never looked like Bryan had a legitimate chance to walk away champion. Let’s hope the program with Big Show is different.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2011: Is CM Punk the biggest star in WWE besides The Rock? - CM Punk is finally established as a main event name but he’s still viewed behind John Cena and Randy Orton. I realize a lot of people are sick and tired of the Cena character but that’s still the way it is. The Rock is more popular than he’s ever been; the problem is he’s not back full-time.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, November 18, 2013. Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

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  • K1NG

    Hard to buy a story line that between 2 guys who just feuded through out the summer. If WWE would have held bryan out of the wwe title picture for a few more months after summerslam his feud with randy orton would have felt fresh.

  • Chris

    Another question on the Kane deal, how likely is it that he’s positioned himself on the inside to ultimately help Bryan?

    • JR Texx

      I don’t think the WWE thinks that far ahead. But I will be honest, I’ve thought about this too.

  • David Jr.

    I’m not saying the guy who ask the question I’m talking about the sites who report it. They report Daniel Bryan is at fault for the poor buyrates. Why because he’s not in the WWE Title picture anymore? You can’t have every Main Eventer going after the WWE Title. Is it because he’s now feuding with the Wyatt Family? Maybe its to see how the Wyatt Famly does against top guys, Bryan and Punk.

  • Joel Manjarrez

    My opinion as a fan, the story line ran a little too long with the same match and results. Bryan kept getting screwed over by either loosing or having the title stripped. They should have kept the title on him after NOC.

  • Charlie

    I gotta stop reading bleacher report

  • Tim

    So robots can be a top superstars hmm wonder why wwe is mediocre in the ratings

  • Venom

    i do think that the wording from Vince’s mouth is what lead people to speculate about Daniel Bryan. “Fans didn’t buy the attraction.” Well what was the attraction? It was Daniel Bryan vs Cena with Triple H as the guest referee. Not saying i think Bryan isnt over. I’m a huge Bryan fan. I still stand by the statement that wrestling PPVs are a group environment that 5-10 wrestling fans get together and order the show to save money.

    I 100% agree about Alex Riley being a sloppy worker. Anyone remember when the 2nd season finale of NXT when they all turned heel and beat Loki? Riley accidentally attacks his own alliance Percy Watson and even body slams him. Then 2 seconds later they continue there attack on Loki. They of course punished him by pairing him with The Miz when he was WWE champion even in the main event for wrestlemania.

    Some wrestlers can just get over by having a good look and cool theme music especially when he beats a heel that nobody could stand (Miz).

    • TheBigKing1

      Pairing him with Miz was the greatest thing to happen to his career. What are you talking about bro? He was in main event storylines by being with the Miz and while he was WWE Champion. Come on bro.

      • Venom

        Some people really don’t get sarcasm eh…?

        Obviously it was great for him to be paired with Miz but he was sloppy in the ring hence my NXT reference.

  • Jay El Bee

    I wouldn’t say the reports of Bryan’s demise are exaggerated, he went from being in a main event feud to feuding with a midcarders lackeys in the past month.

  • TheBigKing1

    I agree with you Richard on Bryan and Orton. It seems like it’s a lot of Orton haters coming out of no where now. I like him since he first debut, and I still like Orton. I always have.

    But as far as your view on Riley, you was always critical on his in ring ability for a long time now…even when I thought he improved a little, imo. But like you said, he definitely has a great personality and can get over, so hopefully he’s not stuck at the commentary booth for the rest of his WWE career.

  • Kid

    WWE officials high up on look, personality and ability to get over but transitioned him to announce because of his in ring skills? Wow!!! That’s the first time I’ve heard of wwe doing such a thing. I was under the impression the last thing they worried about in pushing a guy was his in ring skills.

  • Jbreed

    With the way Daniel Bryan was over with the fans, he should have taken over as the new face of the company. They’ve been looking to create a new face for years now and they had their chance with Bryan and blew they it. So i guess we’re gonna have to be stuck with John Cena for who knows how much longer.