No Chance – For the Love of Daniel Bryan

This week I got a chance to go and see Raw in a public place. A local cafe had Raw on the screen which lead to a different experience than the usual “in the living room” one that I have every week. However, the one thing that I want to hone in on was one particular guy at the café on Monday. It’s no surprise that there would be people in the café that had no idea Raw would be playing that night and just came in for a snack or to hang out, and this guy fell clearly in that category. He sat near me and made comments to his friends, about what was happening on the screen. I’m sure that you can quite easily guess what types of comments the guy was making and how funny he thought they were compared to how funny they actually were. It was mildly annoying but not unbearable, and for the most part it was easily ignorable.  But I’m not going to spend this whole time complaining about him. The reason that I bring this guy up, was that at one point I noticed that the guy hadn’t said anything in quite a while. And just as I noticed that I heard a gasp come from him. Not a mocking gasp, but one that was a genuine reaction to what was happening on the screen. As I turned to glace back at the guy, I saw that he was actually watching the show, and I could see in his eyes that he hated himself a tiny bit because of how much he was enjoying it.

Famed comic book writer Stan Lee says that it’s important when writing comics to be aware that every book you right is probably somebody’s first comic, and while that shouldn’t rule your writing style, it should affect it at least a little bit. In much the same way, every episode of Raw is somebody’s first episode. Now, I don’t think I was witnessing a convert this week. I highly doubt that this guy will start watching Raw, paying for PPVs, seeking out and ranting on message boards all because of this one episode. But there was something about one specific episode that caused this guy to pause in his knee jerk reaction of hatred for the product. And that something was Daniel Bryan.

After over an hour of mocking from this guy, the thing that caused him to take pause was the match between Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins. And while Rollins should be praised for what he contributed to that match, today’s focus is on Mr. Bryan. Because right now, Daniel Bryan may very well be the best thing in the WWE. I know that’s not exactly the most radical thing to say on the internet, but with each passing week, it becomes more and more apparent. Since his debut (and re-debut after getting fired) Bryan has struggled to get a place in the WWE. In every version of the story, Bryan is the underdog that the WWE is trying to keep down. Earn the world heavyweight championship? Lose it in eighteen seconds to someone that the WWE is trying so much harder to force down our throats. Get completely over with the crowd using the “YES” chant? Have it ignored and removed in some cases, because Bryan is supposed to be a heel that there can be no cheers for. Get a title shot for the WWE Championship? Have that match go on before John Cena vs. Johnny Ace. Continue to have an amazing feud with CM Punk? Get forced into a storyline with Kane. Somehow create one of the greatest, most entertaining tag teams in recent memory with Kane? Call that team Hell No instead of Team Friendship (ok that may just be something I’m personally bitter about.)

The point is that in the past few weeks it is starting to seem possible that Daniel Bryan is finally starting to get to the point where against all odds, it can no longer be denied that he is one of, or perhaps the very best worker in the company. From his ring work, to his ability to get over with the fans, to his character development to his ability to work in the ring, which frankly needed to be mentioned twice. Right now, Daniel Bryan might be the best thing that could happen to this company. And it’s not just me saying that. Ask a random guy who hates the very idea of professional wrestling what the best part about Raw is, and I know that Daniel Bryan will be the answer. (Ok, the actual answer will probably be “that

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