No Chance – Daniel Bryan and the YES! Chant
by Joel Leonard on April 18, 2012

I want to take a moment now and discuss the differences between a face turn and a heel turn. At first glace the idea behind both of them may be more or less the same. Change a guy’s personality from likeably and honorable to mean and underhanded or vice versa, and that’s all there is too it. But the differences are there. For one thing it can be incredibly easy to turn someone heel. Just put them in a tag match with a beloved face character and throw in a betrayal. A promo then next week about being justified in said betrayal and how you will never liked the fans in the first place and you’ve got all the boos you could ever want.

The same cannot necessarily be said for a face turn. Sure it’s possible to do the same thing, have a falling out between two heels where one of them will turn face but in this situation results may vary. You could have a guy like Alex Riley who got great reactions for two weeks after turning on the Miz, but less than a year later is one of the most forgettable superstars on the roster. The same thing can be said for Mason Ryan who has had no positive outcome of turning face.  Other recent face turns that haven’t worked out so well include R-Truth, who crazy character, even though he is still getting screen time, will never work as well as a face as he did as a heel, and Kane who at one point was one of the most dominating characters in the WWE as a heel, was sentenced to playing air trombone with Santino during his run as a face.

Face turns work better when they happen naturally, with fan support. Randy Orton may be the best example in recent years as he gradually built up a fan base to the point that even though he still had heelish tendencies, he was getting more cheers than boos whenever he walked out to the ring. I’m not saying that a successful face turn can’t happen quickly. Take a look at CM Punk’s turn last year. Whether you consider the official moment of the face turn to be, the promo, MiTB, or his eventual return, the fact remains that it happened in a short matter of weeks. But even though it happened quickly, what’s important was that he crowd supported the turn. I’m not sure I’ve heard a pop as big as his MiTB one since Mick Foley’s first title win back in the day. (Is that old enough to be considered “The Day?”)

The point is that while a heel turn can be an easy thing to execute and is more or less up to the prerogative of those backstage, A face turn without fan support will never work. I’m sure that creative would kill to be able to guarantee undying, almost universal fan support for a wrestler they consider a face. So why, when Daniel Bryan has gotten the WWE Universe to deliver that kind of reaction every night, are they trying to squash it?

I don’t want to dreg back up hurt feelings about Bryan at WrestleMania, because I know how we all feel about that already, but if one good thing can be said about it, it’s the fact that undeservedly losing a match in 18 seconds, may have made Bryan the most over wrestler in the company. Ever time he comes out, a stadium full of “Yes” chants. If he’s on the screen? “Yes” chants. Different Wrestler comes out? Let’s do a couple of “Yes” chants anyway. Del Rio comes out? Change “Yes” to “Si” and keep right on chanting. Not even at a WWE event but rather at a baseball game instead? Try a couple of “Yes” chants. Couldn’t hurt.

Is it too optimistic to see “Yes, Yes, Yes” eventually sit along the sides of “Woooo,” “Oh Yeah,” and “Smell what the Rock is cooking?” To think it could be the next “What?” where crowds will chant it years after the Wrestler who originated the catchphrase has retired. Maybe so. After all, this level of Bryan support is only a few weeks old. We could quite possibly, have forgotten all about this come SummerSlam, and Bryan could have faded back to the mid-card level. But right now, that’s not the case. Right now, Bryan is kind of a big deal.

So what’s the deal WWE? Why are you so against this? To be clear, I’m not asking for Bryan to become a face overnight. I don’t think Bryan should be back to fighting heels yet, nor should he drop his current “I’m the best” character for the more passive “Aw Shucks” character he was back when he was a face. I’ve already said that a slow turn is good for a face and I stand by that. But it seems that WWE is intent on squashing any support for the guy. Through promos, they are trying to spin the “Yes” chants as mocking instead of supportive. There have also been reports that on the shows that don’t air live (read: Smackdown) audience “Yes” chants have been muted unless Bryan in currently in the ring, and even then are being dulled down. So what’s up with that?

My only possible guess is that creative feels grumpy that this Heel persona they worked so hard to give Bryan has backfired, and they are desperate trying to rein in this out of control reaction so that they can tell the exact story that they want to tell. On principle I support that idea. I’m a fan of extended storylines and the idea that creative has planned several months in advance. Plus, there are countless examples of a potential filled storyline taking a swerve into something terrible when unexpected things arose. (“Who sent the text?” springs to mind) But in this case it might be best to let it go. To ignore the fact that Bryan is currently one of your most popular wrestlers, hurt’s the guy’s momentum and hurts the quality of the product as a whole. And if that doesn’t convince you, you’d probably sell a whole lot more T-Shirts, if you let us all chant “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

 




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Joel Leonard

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  • Blair A. Douglas

    I personally think it’s because they still want Shaemus to be the big deal that Bryan has become, especially after all they invested into him with no returm, but from what I’ve read, they split Bryan with AJ, so he’s not verbally abusing her anymore. Maybe that’s the first step in a slow turn?

    And again I point out… “YES” signs and chants were present WELL before WrestleMania. WrestleMania just kicked it into a higher gear.

  • Luca Liberal

    I agree. Plus I can not stand Sheamus as a face, his promo’s have nothing behind them, (Irish Story, I hate bullys, bad mocking (JO-MO face style mocking) and how he gets angry)

  • FDSwayze

    “it’s the fact that undeservedly losing a match in 18 seconds, may have made Bryan the most over wrestler in the company.”

    Yeah that makes sense. Not that fact the guy worked for ten years on his career making himself known as ‘The Greatest Wrestler Who We Experts Say Will Never Be In WWE Because He’s Not A Character’. Not the fact that people have been cheering him since he appeared on NXT and beat up Michael Cole. Not the fact people were solidly behind him when he won his World Title with every site like this posting spoiler pictures of him holding his title because they were so behind him, something you don’t see for ANYONE else.

    No…it’s an 18 second match? Fucking morons.

  • Chris Kandrat

    The fued between Shaemus and Daniel is going to be pretty interesting. Though they never should of turned Daniel heel, I will never understand why. Push them both, but work on Shamus’s character a little more.

  • Nassar

    I’d appreciate it if they just let him, Brock and Punk be badasses that aren’t heel or face, just guys that want to wrestle and will take on anyone. This was why SCSA was so damn popular as a wrestler since he wasn’t hamstrung into only facing a heel/face like we get over and over again with a Cena or Jericho. I know SCSA had Vince, but he fought everyone, and we need more of that.

  • Cynical Bastard

    For once, I actually agree with everything you said. However, they’re still trying to force Bryan as a heel, since he’s still verbally abusing AJ even though he dumped her. I wish they’d just let it go, because obviously the crowd doesn’t care about AJ.

  • http://twitter.com/Kanta_Mizuno Ryan Alarie

    At first they seemed to be deer in the headlights, but they at least seem to now aknowledge the chants and are trying to spin them. Renaming his finisher the “Yes Lock”, and having him scream Yes repeatedly in a promo (instead of just on the way to the ring), do go a ways towards them.

    Rock, for example, was a guy that was so over as a heel he went face, but they turned him (back) heel hard by putting him over Foley at Survivor Series. Eventually, he was made a face again, but by then, it was even bigger than originally.

    So delaying the face turn can make it more exciting/awesome when it does happen. Muting it out when it’s not a segment relevant to Bryan is probably a good thing. As over as he is, it shouldn’t be at the cost of burying the rest of the roster. So, making it look like that isn’t the case may convince enough people that the chants either solidify as a Bryan thing instead of an “all the time” thing, OR at least convince people that aren’t attending live events to take people in other segments seriously.

    However during his own segments, they should leave it be. If they are ok with Cena being the face half the audience hates, they should be ok with having a heel half the roster loves. Before Punk or Orton turned, they spent a long time as the ‘cool’ heel on the roster. Jericho still gets cheers despite his own super-dastardly acts of late (and you can’t blame it on Punk in the same way some may blame the Bryan support on Sheamus’ failure).

  • http://twitter.com/Kanta_Mizuno Ryan Alarie

    It made sense. Having him compete with Henry and Show as a straight laced face, people probably wouldn’t have bought him as having any sort of chance. By having him go heel, it meant people could at least see how he can possibly beat those big guys.

    Also, whether or not it was a good idea, Bryan’s work as a heel has been super stellar, and proved that he is just as amazing doing backstage stuff or promo work as he is in the ring. As a face, he wasn’t given too many opportunities to prove that he could be interesting outside the ring.

  • http://twitter.com/Kanta_Mizuno Ryan Alarie

    Yes, because if that match did NOT go for 18 seconds, I’m sure the reactions would have been just as huge.

    He had his fans, and they loved him. No matter what they did, those fans would still love him. However, pissing off all his fans (at least all his fans in that stadium) made even the ones that only like him a bit, into HARDCORE supporters.

    The 18 second match is the straw that broke the camels back. It’s the spark that set off the fire. If not for that match, he’d still be a niche wrestler slowly getting more people realizing how awesome he is, and digging his heel work, etc. However, the match caused fans to step up, and not just be quietly happy to see a bit of Bryan each week, and instead loudly demand more Bryan.

    No is ACTUALLY saying that the 18 second match single handedly turned a bunch of people who didn’t give a shit about Bryan into fans. However, we went from being a dark horse favorite in an ensemble cast, to a potential star, as a result of the backlash from that match. Just like someone’s death can make them a martyr or a bigger star than they were when they were alive, burrying Bryan at Wrestlemania has made a lot of people a LOT more vocal about their support of Bryan. And if “overness” is determined by crowd reaction (which Blair uses to determine whether or not Sheamus or Henry is over) than it cannot be argued that Bryan didn’t get BIGGER reactions after the PPV than he did before. Based on Raw, he got the biggest reactions, which would make him the “most over wrestler in the company”. Before Wrestlemania, that would still be Cena or Rock (depending on if you count the anti-Cena stuff towards his ‘reaction/overness’).

    So yes, people must be fucking morons to think that the one thing that immediately proceeded a huge increase in Bryan’s crowd reactions is the reason for the increase in crowd reactions

  • http://twitter.com/Kanta_Mizuno Ryan Alarie

    They did split Bryan and AJ, but they have continued to be together basically. They were both there for the segment with Piper. Bryan put a stop to Kofi “hitting on” AJ. Smackdown they have another meeting. So, despite splitting them up, they aren’t treating it like Cena and Eve. They have promos and backstage segments just as often (if not more so) than they did before.

  • FDSwayze

    “Yes, because if that match did NOT go for 18 seconds, I’m sure the reactions would have been just as huge.”

    Exactly. The guy is really good. Fans know that. Fans were already behind him. That’s why everyone was upset when his match was only 18 seconds. They wanted to see more of him. They wanted him to show off why he was so good.

    The match didn’t make anyone more of a fan or anything. The match was stupid. The WWE kept it short because they knew the crowd would be behind Bryan and it was Shaemus’s moment to win the belt.

    I get that you were trying for sarcasm, but your statement was actually correct. I guess a broken clock IS right twice a day.

    “He had his fans, and they loved him. No matter what they did, those fans would still love him. However, pissing off all his fans (at least all his fans in that stadium) made even the ones that only like him a bit, into HARDCORE supporters.”

    No, he made his HARDCORE supporters over the many years morons like you said he would never make it in the WWE.

    “The 18 second match is the straw that broke the camels back. It’s the spark that set off the fire. If not for that match, he’d still be a niche wrestler slowly getting more people realizing how awesome he is, and digging his heel work, etc. However, the match caused fans to step up, and not just be quietly happy to see a bit of Bryan each week, and instead loudly demand more Bryan.”

    No the 18 second match wasn’t the straw that broke anything. WWE has already been using Daniel Bryan. You act like he has been on Superstars each week prior to that match.

    “Blah Blah Blah A Bunch Of Stuff That Doesnt Make Sense And A Chance To Namedrop Blair Even Though When He’s Right About Shit I’ll Just Argue With Him Anyway Because I Like To Pretend I Know What Im Talking About Face Heel Overness BLAH BLAH BLAH.”

    Yeah…good luck with all of that.

    “So yes, people must be fucking morons to think that the one thing that immediately proceeded a huge increase in Bryan’s crowd reactions is the reason for the increase in crowd reactions”

    See? Right twice a day. Now go carry my bags.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    See, this is exactly what I’m talking about. No offense Ryan, but to further Swayze’s point, remember when Bryan came with Nexus, who had massive heat, to take out Cena and Punk and destroy the entire RAW set because… they hated office chairs… or something? Whatever it was, Nexus was hated. They fired Bryan the second week. And he was a heel at the time. Then the next week, fans chant for Bryan. Who wasn’t with the company anymore. And the week after that. And the week after that. So much so, that WWE eventually and smartly brought him back. Then they shoved him into the undercard and to the brink of obscurity, and STILL fans supported him. Punk even TEASED that he was going to be gone last year, and look what happened there.

    THAT’S what makes guys like Punk and Bryan different than these scrubs like Shameus, Barrett, and Miz. If those 3 guys all got dumped tomorrow, there would be NO public outcry for their return, because guys like them aren’t anything different or imperssive – they’re a dime a dozen. Bring them in, lose them to Cena, lose them to Orton, lose them to Batista if he were still there – that’s all they’re good for. So they’re like Vladimir Kozlov, basically.

    Guys like Punk and Bryan, people support them even when they’re not on the show, and when they’re on the show, people get behind what they’re doing, no matter what it is. Not because they’re indy darlings or vanilla midgets or whatever out-dated term people used to describe them BEFORE they made it to the WWE, and even when they were in WWE but being under-utilized. And since someone’s probably going to say it, the fact that they come from the indy’s has NOTHING to do with why I think they’re better than the rest of the roster.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    And again… did you just think that all those people made those “YES!” signs in the Miami crowd immediately after Bryan lost? Or do you think that maybe they brought them ahead of time? The crowd was already behind Bryan. The only thing I don’t agree with from Swayze’s comment is that Miami didn’t kick things into a bit of a higher gear – it did. But it would have happened anyway. Miami just made all this go faster.

  • Sideshowbob

    funny I thought the wrestlemania match was just a catalyst for speeding up his crowd support. He had support. This just made people more vocal about it, to voice either support or disapproval of treatment. Either way it took a vocal minority of supporters and let the non-vocal supporters have a reason to become more vocal and involved. I don’t for a minute think this is what they intended. But it is very much in line with when Jericho came along and they misstepped with him way back when. But this time, the entire crowd has grown to appreciate his ability. That’s my thought on it, and I kind of read some of these and try to figure out: what exactly are you guys disagreeing on? Nobody is saying the WM match was a good move or on purpose.. So is the back n forth on whether the match caused support and or what kind of support? Or are people trying to say he was a big star before wrestlemania? My head hurts. I guess im amazed that Daniel Bryan has this much crowd support and it seems like everyone is arguing over semantics… But I guess everones hostile rhetoric towards each other is more important than being proud that the guy IS being acknowledged and has tv time with full crowd support. Be glad he hasn’t been saddled with a cowboy gimmick or the next Gen gobbledygooker since that’s where he was most likely to have wound up given the wwe brass

  • James Alsop

    “THAT’S what makes guys like Punk and Bryan different than these scrubs like Shameus, Barrett, and Miz. If those 3 guys all got dumped tomorrow, there would be NO public outcry for their return”

    Come on… That’s completely unfounded. You simply can’t back that statement up. I disagree in any case. I believe that the reason Bryan got such strong crowd support after he was fired wasn’t because it was Bryan per se, but because of the circumstances of his firing. He got sacked for doing an awesome job as a heel in one awesome segment. And then the storyline reason given, that he “showed regret”, made him an overnight babyface. The crowd caught onto the injustice of his departure, and let WWE know about it.

    Who’s to say that Wade Barrett wouldn’t have received a similar reaction if he had been the one to choke out the timekeeper, kick Cena in the head, and get fired for doing his job?

    As for Punk, again, what you’re saying isn’t quite fair on guys who were legitimately fired. Punk teasing a departure and garnering huge crowd support wasn’t something which happened spontaneously, like you imply. It was part of a storyline from beginning to end. I seem to remember that you yourself shot down comments last year which implied that what Punk said was unplanned. Rightly so – of course it was a work. WWE wanted to create a huge buzz and try something they had never tried before. They gave CM Punk a chance to be the next tippy-top guy, gave him an excellent storyline and a win over John Cena, and the angle kicked off with the most talked-about promo in recent memory. The rest is history.

    At around the same time, Vladmir Kozlov and Chris Masters were legitimately released overnight with no fanfare. Of course the crowd didn’t kick up a fuss (although there were “Masters” chants the following Raw, if I remember rightly). You’re correct to suggest that Kozlov wasn’t as talented as Punk, but you can’t compare his genuine sacking with Punk’s fictitious one.

  • flamingwombat

    Seems obvious to me that Bryan was getting over even before Wrestlemania (although you wouldn’t say he was one of the top 5 most over in the company then. He had LOTS of dead matches during his US Title run), but it also seems ludicrous to not see that the WM match was the catalyst for this eruption of main event level heat. It’s great for Bryan, as he deserves it as much as anyone on the roster. That being said, no matter how much you love Bryan, doesn’t one have to admit that the “YES” chants are over even more than he, the wrestler, is?

  • James Alsop

    “No, he made his HARDCORE supporters over the many years morons like you said he would never make it in the WWE.”

    Not quite fair, Swayze. Loads of people didn’t think Bryan would make it in the WWE, and yes, those people were wrong, but that doesn’t make them morons. In the years prior to NXT (and even during NXT!) there was every reason to believe that Bryan wouldn’t stand a chance in WWE – not because he wasn’t good enough, but because WWE wouldn’t use him to his strengths. The fact remains that Bryan is a smaller guy than WWE traditionally go for (he remains the shortest World Champ since Rey Mysterio, and has less muscle mass than Benoit or Guerrero did). People also doubted that his technical skills would translate well into the soap-opera style of WWE. The people who thought that weren’t morons, they were going by the evidence of their own eyes. WWE has wasted far too many small, technically sound guys in the past – too many to give fans a reason to believe Bryan would be any different.

  • http://twitter.com/Kanta_Mizuno Ryan Alarie

    “No, he made his HARDCORE supporters over the many years morons like you said he would never make it in the WWE.”

    You certainly got me there. If there is one thing I’m known for is constantly telling people how Bryan will never make it in the WWE.

    “No the 18 second match wasn’t the straw that broke anything. WWE has already been using Daniel Bryan. You act like he has been on Superstars each week prior to that match.”

    No, that was while he was the Money in the Bank holder that said he was going to cash in at Wrestlemania and then disappeared for months. Or before he won the briefcase when he was the third/fouth wheel in fueds involving the Sin Cara’s and Del Rio, etc.

    Oh, and OBVIOUSLY, the ‘E had big plans for him after Wrestlemania, before the overwhelming support was shown. That must have been why they spent over a week of TV time trying to build to a Del Rio/Sheamus title match and they mostly left Bryan off TV (admitedly, mostly to try and avoid his reaction ruining Sheamus’). It took them a couple weeks to announce that Del Rio vs. Sheamus wasn’t happening, but instead they would put the Bryan/Sheamus match on the PPV. That SCREAMS that they changed their mind.

    On the subject of Yes signs:

    Since this doesn’t seem to be getting through …

    I NEVER SAID, AND NO ONE EVER SAID, THAT NO ONE LIKED BRYAN BEFORE THE MATCH. Everyone gets signs, especially someone as over as Bryan was. He was over, heel or not, people liked him. But it’s only when the WWE goes out of their way to fuck Bryan over that people because SO vocal about their support for him that it bleeds into other people’s matches.

    Similarly, it was only when they booked a US Title match with SOMEONE ELSE CHALLENGING ZIGGLER that they shit all over the match and chanted for Ryder.

    No matter HOW you look at it, the audience gets much more vocal about it’s support when the E goes out of their way to NOT give them what they want. And, maybe, JUST MAYBE, some people don’t realize what they got ’til it’s gone, to borrow a cliche. They are content by having a certain ammount of Ryder, or Bryan, or Punk, etc on their show. But when the ‘E takes even that little bit away, they get pissed, and they demand more. Not just the pittance they had been getting before, they demand MORE. They demand that we actually get some merchandise for Bryan, apart from his “Everybody Taps” shirt which doesn’t really fit his gimmick since the only people he’s made tap in the past 6 months are Santino and Kofi this week.

    Again, NO ONE SAID BRYAN WASN’T OVER GOING INTO WRESTLEMANIA.

    But, you need to be deaf, blind AND dumb to not realize that the audience has been MORE VOCAL about their support for Bryan since then.

    But hey, feel free to just assign opinions too me, the guy that has NEVER stopped talking about how Bryan would never make in the ‘E.

  • James A

    My response. Because you did ACTUALLY ask for it over Facebook. God bless you, Blair:

    “THAT’S what makes guys like Punk and Bryan different than these scrubs like Shameus, Barrett, and Miz. If those 3 guys all got dumped tomorrow, there would be NO public outcry for their return”

    Come on… That’s completely unfounded. You simply can’t back that statement up. I disagree in any case. I believe that the reason Bryan got such strong crowd support after he was fired wasn’t because it was Bryan per se, but because of the circumstances of his firing. He got sacked for doing an awesome job as a heel in one awesome segment. And then the storyline reason given, that he “showed regret”, made him an overnight babyface. The crowd caught onto the injustice of his departure, and let WWE know about it.

    Who’s to say that Wade Barrett wouldn’t have received a similar reaction if he had been the one to choke out the timekeeper, kick Cena in the head, and get fired for doing his job?

    As for Punk, again, what you’re saying isn’t quite fair on guys who were legitimately fired. Punk teasing a departure and garnering huge crowd support wasn’t something which happened spontaneously, like you imply. It was part of a storyline from beginning to end. I seem to remember that you yourself shot down comments last year which implied that what Punk said was unplanned. Rightly so – of course it was a work. WWE wanted to create a huge buzz and try something they had never tried before. They gave CM Punk a chance to be the next tippy-top guy, gave him an excellent storyline and a win over John Cena, and the angle kicked off with the most talked-about promo in recent memory. The rest is history.

    At around the same time, Vladmir Kozlov and Chris Masters were legitimately released overnight with no fanfare. Of course the crowd didn’t kick up a fuss (although there were “Masters” chants the following Raw, if I remember rightly). You’re correct to suggest that Kozlov wasn’t as talented as Punk, but you can’t compare his genuine sacking with Punk’s fictitious one.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    YOU said: “The 18 second match is the straw that broke the camels back. It’s the spark that set off the fire. If not for that match, he’d still be a niche wrestler slowly getting more people realizing how awesome he is, and digging his heel work, etc. However, the match caused fans to step up, and not just be quietly happy to see a bit of Bryan each week, and instead loudly demand more Bryan.”

    NOW you’re saying: “Everyone gets signs, especially someone as over as Bryan was. He was over, heel or not, people liked him. But it’s only when the WWE goes out of their way to fuck Bryan over that people because SO vocal about their support for him that it bleeds into other people’s matches.”

    So, which is it then? He was a “niche wrestler, SLOWLY getting people to realize how awesome he is?” from your first comment, or “He was over, heel or not, people liked him” from your last comment?

    The only differnce I can make out between our opinions is whether or not Bryan gets this reaction with or without this 18 second match. I say he would have – he definietely would have – win or lose – because that was already happening. I don’t see the 18-second match as some giant catalyst. It surely didn’t HURT the fact that Bryan already had stupid amounts of support for a heel who abuses his girlfriend, but yeah.

  • James A

    “No, he made his HARDCORE supporters over the many years morons like you said he would never make it in the WWE.”

    Not quite fair, Swayze. Loads of people didn’t think Bryan would make it in the WWE, and yes, those people were wrong, but that doesn’t make them morons. In the years prior to NXT (and even during NXT!) there was every reason to believe that Bryan wouldn’t stand a chance in WWE – not because he wasn’t good enough, but because WWE wouldn’t use him to his strengths. The fact remains that Bryan is a smaller guy than WWE traditionally go for (he remains the shortest World Champ since Rey Mysterio, and has less muscle mass than Benoit or Guerrero did). People also doubted that his technical skills would translate well into the soap-opera style of WWE. The people who thought that weren’t morons, they were going by the evidence of their own eyes. WWE has wasted far too many small, technically sound guys in the past – too many to give fans a reason to believe Bryan would be any different.

    I myself doubted that WWE would let Bryan do what he does best. I couldn’t be happier that I was wrong!

  • CB40

    Or a Zack Ryder-like demotion.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    Of course I can’t back it up, because it hasn’t happened. That’s my opinion. I’m the one saying that Wade wouldn’t receive a similar reaction.

    Do you REALLY think that if they fired him or Shaemus, there would be Shaemus or Barrett chants? Even if the circumstances were the same? Ken Anderson got fired under precarious circumnstances that annoyed people – yet I didn’t hear any Anderson chants. You think that the idea that Bryan SHOWED REGRET over the Nexus assault was what got people behind him?!?! You REALLY think that’s what did it???

    I’m not trying to be hard on guys who were legitimately fired, and of course I’m not trying to compare fake firings with real ones. The point is that people cared even though probably most of them KNEW he wasn’t leaving. Whether he ACTUALLY did or not isn’t the point. Imagine if he HAD actually left. Think what the crowd reaction would be. Now imagine Shaemus left. And imagine what the crowd reaction would be. Hasn’t Drew McIntyre been doing an “almost fired” thing forever. Haven’t seen a lot of support for him.

  • James A

    Imagine if Punk had left? I don’t understand what point you’re trying to make. Imagine if Sheamus got released? Imagine what the crowd would be? You can’t back your argument up by asking me to imagine that you’re right!

    You remember how, when we had the discussions about Mark Henry, I argued that Henry was great at playing the “unstoppable monster” character, and you argued that I was complimenting Henry for the way that he was being BOOKED rather than any actual talent on his part?

    That’s exactly what you’re doing now. You’re praising Punk for the way he was booked, no more, no less. It wasn’t just about some intangible connection with the fans (although that certainly helped, don’t get me wrong) – but the crowd reactions in that context were entirely due to the story surrounding Punk. Punk ran with the ball, but only because WWE told him to, and made him look fantastic.

    You can’t compare that with Drew’s storyline. It’s completely different! The McIntyre thing was a laughable undercard storyline which was palpably false. Drew kept appearing on television despite getting “fired” every week. There was no way anyone was taking that seriously. Drew wasn’t a main-eventer threatening to leave and take the WWE Championship with him – he was a Superstars regular getting picked on by Teddy Long for being a consistent loser. That’s why no one cared.

    But for argument’s sake, I’ll do as you say and “imagine” what would have happened if Punk had actually left last Summer: If Punk actually HAD left he wouldn’t have defeated Cena at Money In The Bank and he certainly wouldn’t have left with the WWE Championship. He might have still gone out with that big storyline, but he would have lost and fans would have moved on, just like they did when Jericho left (both times). Like Jericho, Punk would have had an enormous fanbase ready and waiting for his return, but they wouldn’t have held WWE to ransom for it or anything. So what’s your point?

    And regarding Bryan, I didn’t mean to imply that the “regret” thing made fans love him…! No, all the regret thing did was garner him additional sympathy and keep his name alive on television for an extra week. What I meant to say was: the reason fans “in the know” went crazy for Bryan when he was fired was because he got fired FOR DOING HIS JOB TOO WELL. He got sacked for being TOO GOOD OF A HEEL. It was a blatant injustice. And if circumstances had been different and it had been Wade Barrett or Sheamus getting sacked for pretending to choke out a timekeeper, then yes, I do think that crowds would have reacted in a similar way.

    Also: KEN ANDERSON? Are you kidding me???You can’t compare Bryan to Ken Anderson, of all the wrestlers! Anderson didn’t get released for putting on a convincing angle – he got released for being a liability in the ring! He had one match back after three months on the shelf, and then got sacked straight afterwards for being useless – of course fans weren’t going to respond to him like they did Bryan!

  • Blair A. Douglas

    No. No. No. No. No. You’re missing the point entirely. Drew McIntyre isn’t Bryan. Drew McIntyre is Shaemus. I’m not asking you to imagine I’m right.

    I’m saying, imagine that Shaemus got released tomorrow. You don’t want to compare it to what you think would have happened if Punk had left, then fine, I get that. Compare it to what happened when Bryan left. Say it happened under the exact same circumstances. Now tell me what you think the audience reaction would be if that happened to Shaemus, compared to their reaction was with happened to Bryan. If you think the reaction would have been just as strong, then fine. But I just don’t see that as anywhere near realistic.

    Or, do it differently if you like. Imagine WWE fired CM Punk back in 2010 for something he said while he was being snarky on commentary. I’m using an example from 2010 as that was before Punk REALLY hit it big. Now compare that to if Shaemus got fired for the same thing today.

    I’m just asking what you think it would be, because I’m curious. Not claiming that I know for a fact what would happen, because that hasn’t happened, so that’s not possible. What I’m trying to illustrate is the difference between guys like Shaemus and Miz and guys like Punk and Bryan. Punk and Bryan get released – no, of course the company doesn’t shut down. But people get PISSED. Shaemus or Miz get released… no one really cares. Again, my opinion.

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