On Friday, wwe.com announced that Bryan Danielson/ Daniel Bryan had been released from the WWE. Since then, the internet wrestling community has exploded with various different theories of why this has happened and cries of outrage from pissed off fans.
Is This Man Too Violent For WWE?
The news item came at a very convenient time, as the last Monday night Raw ended with easily the best 15 minutes of WWE TV for a very long time that made all the crew here at The Boston Crab feel like they where 13 again and watching the Attitude Era that we all loved, which featured Danielson is a prime role. Bryan and the other NXT Season 1 rookies, lead by Wade Barrett, took to the arena and destroyed not only CM Punk, not only WWE “Golden Boy” John Cena, but the entire set and ringside crew. It was exciting, different and extremely entertaining.
This segment is what led to the alleged firing of Danielson. During the ambush, Bryan attacked ring announcer Justin Roberts and began to choke him with Roberts’ tie, all of which got captured perfectly by the cameraman at ringside.
Footage of “The Choke Heard Around The World”
This action allegedly angered someone with a lot of power, and complaints were made to Vince McMahon. The complainer, who some sources have stated as being toy giant Mattel, felt that the actions of Danielson were too violent for a PG rated show and they did not wish to be associated with a company that promotes this kind violence. Vince then fired Danielson but was not happy about the decision, and word on the streets is that he intends on hiring Bryan again once all this has died down.
This, however, is only one side of the story, as many fans out there believe that Bryan has not received a pink slip at all and Vince is trying to work the internet once again. Let it be said that, at the time of writing, no 100% official reason has been given for the firing, and it has not been posted on WWE’s corporate website, unlike every other firing that cam before this one. This has caused many eyebrows to become raised and, as we stated at the start of this piece, the firing has come at a convenient time. A rookie comes in and assaults a member of staff? Fire his ass! It’s a perfect continuation of the story-line that only leads to more questions, most of which will hopefully be answered tonight on Raw.
Whether the firing is real or not, the internet has been buzzing non-stop. Our email with fans promoting petition after petition to get Bryan his job back. This kind of buzz is one that WWE needs in order to keep fans interested and, more importantly, keep them guessing. Today, fans are able to know everything about wrestling at a click of a button. Surprises are far and few as secrets often get leaked online hours before they hit TV. By the time an episode of Raw rolls around, many fans already know who and what to expect, often to the annoyance of the power that be in the WWE. Remember when Chris Jericho was going to make his return and all the cryptic messages began to appear on Raw, only for fans to figure out who it was at the same time? Vince was so angry that he delayed the return, feeling the dirt-sheets had ruined the surprise. And we here at The Boston Crab cannot blame him. It’s so hard to surprise the audience any more that it takes some of the fun and mystic behind professional wrestling away from it. Imagine if we knew years ago that Vince would be head of The Ministry of Darkness, or that Hulk Hogan was the third member of the NWO. Those moments would not have been half as shocking, nor brilliant, had we read about it online before the shows aired. We need moments like that, and this is something that Vince himself knows. The last great surprise we got is one that still sticks in a lot of peoples heads, and that was John Cena turning up as a surprise entrant to the Royal Rumble in 2008. The moment was so great that even the notoriously smarky crowd in New York forgot that is was “cool” to boo John Cena and cheered him on like the young kids they often criticise.
The ending to last week’s Raw was the latest moment, and if the firing of Bryan Danielson is indeed a work, then Vince might have finally unlocked the key to working the internet fans and keep all his surprises just what they are intended to be; surprises. By playing to the idea that what outside the ring can influence what happens within the WWE, the lines will become blurred and the shows become almost essential viewing. When Chris Jericho punched a fan in a parking lot, the WWE spun it brilliantly and allowed Jericho to play it up with his in-ring character, bringing excellent and refreshing results.
If, however, the firing is legit and Vince intends on bringing Bryan back once this has all died down, then hopefully creative will allow Danielson to use the firing as part of his anti-establishment character, which would be a win-win situation for Bryan, the WWE and, most importantly, the WWE fans, both casual and smarks.