While hindsight is 20/20, given Daniel Bryan’s injury concerns popping up again, is WWE justified in booking him in the mid-card and not a top star they can rely on?
I do not completely buy that WWE has booked Daniel Bryan as a mid-carder due to concerns about his health and rather that’s just where they see him. You know, a good B+ player. I’m being 100 percent serious. I almost feel like it’s giving WWE too much credit to assume they were just slowly bringing Bryan along just in case he wasn’t ready.
Remember, they announced him as a Royal Rumble participant before he was even medically cleared to compete. How much caution were they exercising then?
Obviously with Bryan now “out indefinitely,” people are going to say WWE was justified in not putting him over at Royal Rumble 2015 and having him work a midcard match at Wrestlemania 31, I’m just not one of those people. I believe a superstar’s booking should hinge more on the moment, rather than what could happen. Many people forget that Steve Austin had a severe neck injury almost the entire time he was WWE’s must-see attraction. His wrestling was limited but he had such a heavy TV presence that it didn’t matter.
Let us also keep in mind we don’t know for sure what’s wrong with Daniel Bryan. Has he lost the strength in his right arm again? Is it a neck issue? Is it a concussion?
I heard from a source connected with his reservation on the way back to the United States after leaving Europe that it was described as a head injury. If that’s the case, it’s completely unrelated to the nerve issue/problems with his neck. WWE isn’t commenting, other than saying he was removed from the European tour as a precautionary measure and that he’s not medically cleared to compete after undergoing diagnostic testing.
In addition to missing Extreme Rules and this week’s TV, Bryan is also off this weekend’s live event loop.
Without knowing for sure what the injury is, it’s impossible for me to comment. I think I speak for everyone in saying the most important thing is that Bryan gets healthy and he shouldn’t come back until he is healthy. However, once healthy, as long as he’s cleared, I believe he should continue to be booked in to the top of the card.
Did WWE sabotage Roman Reigns and his development by not giving him his payoff at Wrestlemania 31 and cooling him off in a program at Extreme Rules against The Big Show?
There are two sides to this story and rather than pick a side, I’ll explain them both and you can decide.
One side believes WWE had been building Roman Reigns for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship win at Wrestlemania 31 for over a year. He had been handpicked and the course was clear for him to pin Brock Lesnar and have the torch passed to him. While he may have failed as the Royal Rumble winner (because of its booking), he was reset at WWE Fastlane and WWE panicked by not putting him over on the grand stage
The other side believes Seth Rollins had surpassed Roman’s development and WWE was right in delaying his “cash in” attempt until Wrestlemania. The thinking here is WWE left their options open and it created an unpredictable moment that didn’t damage Reigns and only increased the stock of Seth Rollins. All while keeping Brock Lesnar a must-see attraction.
Onto Extreme Rules, WWE wanted to followup on a program that’s been on the books since last year in Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton and after Raw, it’s clear they want to settle Orton/Reigns as well, while also reinserting Reigns into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture. There had actually been talk of programming Reigns with Kane after The Big Show, which is one program I’m glad didn’t happen.
Some may see Reigns’ booking as indecisive, while others will say the cooling off against Big Show was just what he needed and will point to him winning the “smarky” Chicago crowd over on Sunday.
Do I believe WWE sabotaged Roman Reigns? That’s a difficult question. I believe he was mishandled the moment he went down with the incarcerated hernia last fall and WWE had to go into “damage control mode” more than once because of it. I hate to be the guy that “told you so,” but I told you so.
Roman Reigns is a main event performer, so is Seth Rollins. So is Dean Ambrose and Ambrose’s booking has been worse than the other two combined. WWE gets into trouble because they don’t have a plan in place when pushing guys. They do and then they don’t. They knew where they wanted Reigns to go but they didn’t help him get there (remember the nursery rhyme promos?).
Ambrose is a similar situation. He came back red hot last summer and won his first pay-per-view singles match since 2013 this past Sunday. They do and then they don’t.
What are your thoughts on TNA hiring Billy Corgan as senior producer of creative and talent development?
Full discloser, I’m a huge Billy Corgan fan because I love The Smashing Pumpkins. But I believe Corgan has a great mind for the wrestling business and brings an impressive creative edge that could be successful. Remember, Corgan had a successful independent promotion in Resistance Pro that actually got a reality TV deal on AMC. Obviously Corgan’s name helped but he still succeeded more than most.
I have to believe Corgan isn’t doing this for the money but rather because he loves the pro wrestling business. My biggest question is how hands on will he be? Is this just Dixie Carter’s attempt to restore any type of relevance to a promotion that’s lost half its viewing audience or is it an honest attempt to better the company?
Time will tell but on the surface, I like it.