Column: Goatface Mutilator:The Real Outlook for Daniel Bryan


I would like to preface this article by saying I am a huge fan of Daniel Bryan. Before his WWE run, I was watching him in ROH on top of several other wrestling organizations. I always felt he was amazing in the ring, and he had a lot of good potential.

My biggest worry with him was his mic work. While he could be funny with his sense of humor, and he didn’t have a horrible voice, he wasn’t the best mic worker on the Indy scene. In fact, the day he got hired, it was also reported that Nigel McGuiness was hired too.

Hilariously, people were happier for McGuiness coming in than Bryan. Go ahead, go back and check the forums and mills. You’d be surprised now. I of course wanted to see both people, like everyone. But I too was really excited to see Nigel and Bryan didn’t seem like the number one guy to keep an eye on.

His size was something many worried over. Mainly because Vinny Mac doesn’t push the small guy much. The land of giants was quickly downsizing…literally. As a result of this, Bryan coming in was a good shot in the arm. It was going to bring great matches and terrific possibilities were on the horizon. He went to FCW to train up. He then went to NXT within just a number of months after that.

People thought he was going to be used quite a lot and used well. His first match was against Chris Jericho and there were several great spots in the match. It was good and many were in favor of seeing more Bryan on TV. Then the bottom fell.

WWE made The Miz Daniel’s NXT mentor, and the running joke backstage was that Miz should be mentored by Bryan. However incredibly Miz looked great on NXT and came off as a star. His work with Bryan helped to elevate not only him, but Bryan. It made NXT must see.

The problem was that we didn’t see the Bryan we all loved. Finally however, the competition ended. Barrett won the whole thing but then decided to start a revolution with rogue rookies. They called themselves

The Nexus. It was a great group made up of all NXT rookies. Bryan was one of them.

This once again hurt Bryan. Despite how great he looked, he choked Justin Roberts by his tie. This led to Bryan being fired by WWE. This was all during the Linda McMahon campaign move…the first one. Bryan went to the Indys for a while. He did this for a few months. WWE always kept in contact with Bryan and he knew he would be rehired by the company as he only did what he was told. Maybe not to every extent, but it was surely better than what they had for him if what he did was not it.

Hilariously, that is what is most remembered from the first Nexus attack. And Bryan was only in Nexus for one night.

The issue was that WWE didn’t like how it came off and let Bryan go while the issue cooled down. He was rehired and helped Team WWE against Nexus at Summerslam of the same year. He had an incredible showing. This began the rise of Daniel Bryan.

After Summerslam, Miz was being pushed a lot. He had to drop the US Title and cash in his MITB case. Both of which he had to do soon. He dropped the US Title to Bryan in a great rivalry, then cashed in his briefcase a little while later to win his first and only WWE Championship.

Miz would hold the title until Extreme Rules.

Bryan however had ups and downs after this. He was having good matches, but story wise, he was going nowhere.

In 2011 the world was shocked to see what went down. 2010 was not the best of years for Daniel Bryan, but far better than what he expected it would be in 2009 I assume.

WWE was having a lot of success with Money in the Bank. The cash ins were huge and stars were being made each time. All dating back to the first MITB winner, Edge. WWE had to do one last MITB Ladder match at Wrestlemania. So they did, having Jack Swagger win it and cash it in within the same week.

The Money in the Bank PPV came about and the wrestling world could only talk about one person, CM Punk. This was the period when he did his infamous pipebomb promo.

He was going to leave WWE and everyone wanted to know if he’d win or lose in his hometown of Chicago. However despite this big time WWE Title match, two Money in the Bank matches were set to take place. One briefcase would be for a WWE Title opportunity and the other for the World Heavyweight Title.

Bryan was in the WHC MITB match. The favorite going in by odds makers was Cody Rhodes actually.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride however.

Bryan won to most of our shock and later cashed it in at the TLC PPV after claiming he would do so at Wrestlemania. This made Bryan a World

Champion and it was a day many of us never thought would come. But where would it go?

Bryan lost the World Heavyweight Title in 18 seconds to Sheamus at Wrestlemania. Sheamus would go on to hold the title for quite a number of months. The two did however, have a great match at Extreme Rules. The same night Brock Lesnar versus John Cena took place.

AJ Lee became a major star out of the whole Bryan ordeal, but Bryan was seeing a great push too. CM Punk had been WWE Champion a while and there was a thought of having him drop the title to Bryan in one of the few matches the two had. They were wrestling classics to say the least.

None resulted in a title win for Bryan however, despite how great the matches were and how great Bryan looked in each of them.

Bryan eventually went on to team with Kane. The two had a lot of comedic skits and the duo even won the Tag Team Titles. They would go on to hold them nearly a year before they split earlier this year. Bryan is now on a quest to prove he is not a weak link. He wants to show people how amazing he is at what he does.

He wants to be THE MAN. However, he has to beat John Cena for that to happen. Thus resulting in the two going at it at Summerslam next month. Rumored possibilities have Bryan going over on Cena. This would make Bryan’s weak link concept null and void and Bryan would then become “the man” in WWE.

The issue with this is that there is talk of Randy Orton cashing in.

Despite the ups Bryan seems to have, it’s the downs that hurt him. He comes back stronger and stronger to his credit. The issue is that Bryan may never remain a top star if he is not used properly. Right now, I feel he is being used incredibly.

However, will this Bryan be here in January of 2014? I’m not sure to be honest.

From the get-go, no one expected much out of Bryan. While several were fans of him, no one expected WWE to push him to the moon. Despite enormous potential and endless wrestling ability, it was never in the cards initially to fans for WWE to give him title after title.

Even during his impressive run with Kane, WWE had him grow out a very tacky beard and the eventual goatface references came about. Despite all of these push downs, it seemed that fans did not care and cheered him anyway. Arguably, he’s the most over person in WWE.

However, being over does not always mean you will be in the main event scene often. Jeff Hardy as well as his brother Matt are good examples of this. Both were incredibly over in their time. However, Jeff had drug issues in his past. He even continued to have some off and on. WWE wanted to push him, but couldn’t.

Eventually his popularity got out of control and they threw him a bone, allowing him to win a World Title. Matt had no drug issues and even had great rivalries in the tag and singles scene. Yet he was only given an ECW Title run at his highest level. RVD basically worked his whole career being over and won the WWE Title quite late in it.

So while being over is a good thing, WWE doesn’t always care how over you are. So Bryan may be riding it high where he is now, don’t expect that to transition to numerous title runs the likes of which Ric Flair and John Cena would gawk at.

To me, despite how over he is and how great he may be, Bryan is not the ideal top guy WWE loves to promote. So his future won’t be paved with Wrestlemania main events and year-long title reigns. He won’t even hold a World Title for half a year if WWE continues to use him as they have proven to do so.

It seems Vince McMahon has done what he could to make us forget about Bryan by having him do some crazy things. What’s funny is that made many of us want to see him more. The IWC cannot sing his praises enough.

But at any moment, WWE could push him back down the ladder despite our voices going hoarse while yelling YES! or NO!

My opinion, his future outlook is 50/50. He deserves great treatment. But his track record is not making believe WWE is fully behind him. And we never know if an injury can happen. He is too good to release of course, so don’t expect this. But do expect him to be used in several areas where they need a terrific wrestling talent. Because he can work with anyone, that makes him a valuable person to have on the roster.

The issue is that he does not have what WWE looks for as far as their “look” goes. And it’s a shame to say it comes down to look with WWE.

But funny enough, it does. If Bryan was this good while being 6’4 250lbs, we’re talking about the next top guy and already 5 World Titles would be on him by this time.

However, that is not the case. This is why we’re seeing what we’re seeing. It’s really the case of look versus talent. WWE pushes the look first. If the look also has talent to use, then they are used frequently.

Those with great wrestling talent 6’0 and under always have a job. But their role is that of the sixth man, not always the starter role. They get opportunities, but there is always a look for someone better despite having a great guy already.

But what do you think? Am I wrong about Bryan’s future? Let me know your thoughts below in the comment section.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoeBurgett_WE

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