by Nicholas Halavanja - April 27, 2014
I’m just as happy as the next guy with Bryan finally winning the big one at WrestleMania XXX, but the thing is, I’m wondering if his reign is going to be punked. If you confused, let me explain. Will Bryan’s reign take a back seat to other storylines and feuds, similar to how CM Punk did during some of his title runs?
When CM Punk first won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2008 by cashing in Money in the Bank, his reign wasn’t nearly as memorable as the moment. He wasn’t booked strongly and his feuds were barely promoted. What makes it even more insulting to Punk, he was never beaten for the title. He was attacked backstage by Randy Orton and couldn’t compete in his match later that night, effectively forfeiting the title. At the time, it was decided that the Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho program was more important and it needed to have the title involved.
It didn’t get much better for him a few years later, even though he had the longest WWE Championship reign in 25 years. During the first half of his run, Punk was treated as an afterthought. He main evented only one Pay-Per-View from November 2011 to August 2012. That’s insulting to Punk and all the hard work he put in night in and night out. Now, I could understand a couple obvious exceptions, such as The Rock vs. John Cena headlining WrestleMania 28 after a year-long build, or even the return of Brock Lesnar against John Cena at Extreme Rules in 2012, but for matches like John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis to headline a PPV over Punk vs. Bryan, is inexcusable. The champion is supposed to be the main focus of the shows, especially pay-per-views, not some afterthought thrown into the middle of the card for little or not decent build-up to his match.
With Bryan being a fan-made instead of company made star, similar to Punk, I fear that the same thing may happen to his reign. Extreme Rules is coming up in a week and will be the first big event of Bryan’s title run. He has a match against Kane that was thrown together with little build. I don’t see it headlining, that spot seems to be locked up for The Shield vs. Evolution. I have also heard speculation that The Shield vs. Evolution will be the main feud on television for the next several months, leading up to Roman Reigns vs. Triple H at SummerSlam. If true, that would leave champion Bryan as an afterthought. That’s no way to treat a man who’s worked all his life to finally get to the top of the mountain. Your champion needs to be the focus. The Yes Movement is sweeping the nation, meaning fans want to see Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan is the biggest thing in the WWE in years, so make him that.
Until next time, focus on your champion, because that’s what he deserves,
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