Daniel Bryan may no longer be Daniel Bryan, reports have been running wild all over the internet that the former WWE Champion is officially gone from the WWE. Bryan was signed to WWE in 2009 from Ring of Honor and was one of the first big signings for WWE from the Indies. Bryan made his debut as a member of the first season of NXT when it was a talent show. From the start Bryan was treated as an indy darling due to the fan support he had from the start based on his past.
I never thought that Daniel Bryan would walk away from WWE and look to move to another promotion. At this point, even though, it seems like some websites are reporting that Bryan has signed with All Elite Wrestling. I don't doubt the reports or the idea that Bryan has been signed to a contract, but I do doubt that this wouldn't be held under the lock and key due to the magnitude of the signing.
Imagine! Imagine, the building when Bryan Danielson walks out on TNT after spending 10 years within the ranks of WWE and as one of the top stars in the company. I don't doubt that Bryan wants to have some creative freedom or return to Japan. I again do doubt that this news would leak out like it apparently has with a number of sites reporting the story. The solid part of the story is that as of today, the former Daniel Bryan has been removed from WWE 2k22, another step toward WWE cutting ties with All Elite. I don't believe that Daniel Bryan has signed with All Elite Wrestling, because we wouldn't know about the news unless that's point, and now we have to sit on our hands and wait.
Presentation and perception are two of the most important aspects in booking wrestling and reality is that if you want a wrestler to stick out you need to allow fans to perceive the star differently. Since his arrival in All Elite Wrestling the former Andrade has been presented as a star and someone who should be looked at differently. Allowing Vickie Guerrero to introduce as opposed to bring him like they have brought in other talent helped his debut be more memorable, which helps especially considering the recent arrivals of Christian Cage and Mark Henry.
The slow vignette did its job to push the perception that Andrade El Idolo is special, and his sit down interview with Jim Ross the following week continued to push that perception. His confidence and AEW allowing him to speak allows the fans to set expectations, but seeing Andrade and how he carried himself in the interview proves that he is to be thought of as a star from the beginning. In recent weeks, they have attempted to change the perception of Jungle Boy, who is about to receive a shot against current World Champion Kenny Omega. It takes time to reshape someone's perception, but they're definitely heading in the right direction.
Andrade belongs in the main event and I believe AEW will allow him to elevate himself to the status where he should've ended up within WWE. The main question now is who has Vickie and Andrade brought in to join El Idolo in AEW. During the sit down interview this past week, Andrade mentioned that he and Vickie have a surprise for the fans. It is possible that the surprise could be his former manager Zelina Vega, but there is no guarantee. The only guarantee is that El Idolo es Una Estrellla or The Idolo is a star!
Earlier this year, I put together a series showing how I would move Andrade up the card in WWE and make him into a star. It got to the point where it was clear Andrade would be better off moving on from WWE and finding a new place to start. His arrival in AEW was expected, but was still a surprise when it came. Leaning on Vickie Guerrero to make the introduction was the perfect use of someone who still gets the reaction of a top heel even after all these years. Seeing the vignette from Dynamite it makes Andrade look like a star.
A vignette is supposed to make the wrestler seem like a star from the start and in the shortest way possible. Exposition is most important in wrestling, because it gives the fans a reason to be invested, and a vignette is supposed to set up expectations for how fans view a wrestler when they arrive. Next week Jim Ross will sit down with Andrade which will keep him separate from the pack and make him look differently than other talent on the roster. The toughest job for any company is making talent stick out and look different from other wrestlers. Basically giving fans a reason to care about one wrestler more than others. Andrade needs to stick out from the pack, and they need to take it slow, building a new image for one of the top signings in recent memory.
Untapped potential is a term that isn't used nearly enough by wrestling fans or critics like it should be. Andrade is the embodiment of a wrestler with untapped potential, and hopefully this second chance will prove worthwhile for someone who can be a top draw anywhere in the world. The vignette set the ball in motion and now next week's sit down interview will take another step toward separating Andrade from the pack.
Jack Perry has been one of the shining stars of All Elite Wrestling since the company was founded, and everyone has questioned when they will start investing in the youngster. With his victory in the casino battle royal at Double or Nothing, it is clear that AEW is finally ready to start giving him his shot. Last year, MJF jumped forward after his classic PPV contest with Jack Perry, and apparently he was supposed to get his push, but it was put on the back burner due to the global pandemic. Christian seems to be a springboard to try and help Perry reach another level which is a perfect job for the veteran to do. It was unclear from the start what Christian's role would be joining AEW, but if he can put in the position to help elevate new stars that is the perfect role for him.
In my opinion, Jack is ready to move forward to another level, but still has a lot of growing to do before he becomes a star and fills his potential. It takes a special talent to be able to tear the house down on PPV at his age, and he showed with MJF the type of potential he has. Jack showed against Jericho his potential, but again he still has growing up to do. When the time comes for him to get in the ring with Kenny Omega for the World Title, it will be just a taste of what the future holds for this youngster. The only question is how does this World Title match end?
Back in the old days of wrestling allowing a "bad guy" to mount as much hatred as possible to make for a more satisfying end when that does come. All Elite Wrestling is not perfect in the slightest, but thus far the strong booking behind The Elite's revival. Since December when Kenny Omega won the World Title from Jon Moxley it was clear there was a bigger picture coming together. Once Anderson and Gallows made their debuts as a member of the working agreement with Impact Wrestling. Adding Nick and Matt Jackson back into the story and going for the slow build story instead of rushing into the story. Choosing to let us think that the Bucks were against Kenny's actions instead of just siding with him was the right decision.
Since they turned on Moxley a few weeks ago they've shown a new side from who they were when AEW first started. In my opinion, the Young Bucks we see now are more extensions of the stars they always wanted to be. Right now the Bucks are among the top heels in wrestling with heat on a level we haven't seen in a long time. All the members of the Elite generate reactions from the fans and people wait on the edge of their seats hoping for the night when the Elite will be hit with a loss.
Keeping them strong and making them unbeatable will make the first crack in the foundation all the sweeter. The main thing will be is if AEW knows the right time to make the loss happen instead of waiting too long to show they are human. The one mistake WCW made with the New World Order was never allowing for a real clean loss, and it ended up killing all the momentum, I would hope that AEW doesn't make the same mistake. In my opinion, 2021 will be an Elite year and AEW should've a long term plan for each member including who beats Kenny for the World Title and who will beat The Bucks for the tag titles.
I've kept my eyes on the continued development of the current reigning TNT Champion Darby Allin. At this point, it has to be a coincidence that I make the point that Darby should defend the title more often, and it happened. Next I mentioned that Darby's matches needed to simplify and allow the fans to focus on the goings-on in the ring and not what is going on outside the ring. This week the focus was kept on the ring action to allow for the continued development of Sky & Page vs Allin & Sting. It seems that a loss to Allin sent Sky over the edge and now by whatever means necessary.
The attack on Sting this week prompts the question of if this means that Sting will disappear for a couple of weeks and if this might bring about a more focused Darby Allin. Also, one has to question to continued involvement of Lance Archer and now Preston Vance possibly being included in the feud now the odds are now uneven. Archer does have unfinished business with Sky and Page from a few weeks ago when they escaped a beating from the "Murderhawk Monster."
Praiseworthy! It is the one word that I can use to describe AEW's recent booking of the TNT title picture as various people are now included in the picture with all having a reason to be included. In my opinion, Sting should disappear for a few weeks to allow the focus to be shifted to the champion, Archer, Vance, Sky, and Page instead of rushing into a match including Sting. The long term goal should be the eventual tag team match between Page & Sky vs Allin & Sting rather than rushing into the match before they need to. The first stop in this feud should either be a four way #1 one contender match or a five way TNT Championship Match for the next PPV.
In recent weeks, it seems as though every match including Darby Allin falls into chaos. His match with Matt Hardy and now his match with Jungle Boy had funny business at ringside. At this point it seems that Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page are looking for their opportunity to fight for the TNT Championship. Lance Archer seems to have a hard time staying away from Allin and Sting lending a helping hand to the champion this week buying time for Sting to reappear. The one problem is the distractions at ringside take our eyes away from the action in the ring. This happening from time to time is fine, but weekly or even bi-weekly starts watering down the concept they seem to be using. Fact is Darby is capable of holding his own in the ring he showed that with Cody, and he doesn't need distractions outside the ring shifting the attention off him.
Sting is unquestionably a perfect mentor for Darby, but needs to stay in the background as it is doubtful that Sting will jump back in the ring anytime soon. Archer and Darby would be a better tandem against Sky and Page then seeing Sting get in the ring again. Sting's in ring schedule should be barely existent and kept low to make his in ring appearances special. Plus keeping Archer in the rivalry keeps the seeds there if they want him against Sting and or him against Darby in the future.
I offered up some advice a few weeks back that Darby needed to be more consistent competing and defend the gold a little more often, and they changed that. Next thing that needs to change is formatting Darby's matches he needs to win clean without the outside shenanigans going on even if it comes to Sting being banned from ringside. Actually that would be a perfect way to get more out of a feud if you ban everyone from ringside to show that Darby can go at it alone. I know that the shenanigans don't take the competitors away from the ring, but it takes us away from the ring and that's a problem as it could lead to us missing something that happens in the ring. Darby's stock has risen higher than most on the AEW roster in the last year and if they want to keep going then they need to prove he can win one on one where there spotlight stays on him and just him nobody else. Darby has shown potential, raw emotion, and the ability to be a star, but now needs to prove that he isn't flash in the pan and can keep growing.
Christian has slowly been trying to find his footing in his new home especially considering the fact that Christian has been out of the ring since 2014. From the start I thought it was better idea for them to find a young star to work with Christian first and they did exactly that starting him with Team Taz. I picked Kip Sabain as my choice to be his first short feud to bring him into the company, but Kip isn't exactly the most credible choice to give Christian his first feud in AEW so giving him someone else might be a better choice.
It is an understatement to say that Team Taz is currently a dumpster fire and is in need of resetting momentum. Tension seems to have been bubbling since Starks and Cage lost to Sting and Darby back at Revolution, but when egos clash that happens from time to time. In every faction they need to help establish themselves as they matter and it was Powerhouse Hobbs's turn to get attention. Cage and Starks were the focus in the Sting and Darby feud with Powerhouse being a background fixture, but now he's moved to front and center to feud with Christian.
In my opinion, the best way to allow a veteran to best help the roster is placing them with an unproven youngster to help establish the youngster as a new star. Powerhouse had the spotlight when he turned heel on Cody, but fell to the background when Sting became Darby's partner. From the get go I've said that AEW needs to invest time into developing the stars that fans aren't aware of to get attention on the unknown stars. Though Brian Cage and Ricky Starks gained attention they aren't fully established, but to get Powerhouse up another level a feud with Christian is needed for both men.
On the night the Pinnacle debuted we were surprised to find that MJF not only turned on the Inner Circle, but totally destroyed the once dominate faction within AEW. Though the Pinnacle does draw comparisons to the Four Horsemen it is still early to tell for this faction, but there debut couldn't have gone down better. One note worthy part is that Sammy comes out of this smelling like a rose considering he was the only one that didn't trust MJF from the very start. It was unexpected to see Inner Circle behind door number one after MJF open the door, but it was also a question of why else would a restroom be in the locker room.
Raising the intensity another step forward when Hager was reveled behind door number two and the fight was on from there with the Inner Circle. A fight in confined spaces is always tough to pull off, but they did it the best way possible by splitting everyone up right out of the gate. If this is the start of things to come and things will only get worse for the Pinnacle it will be a dangerous time on Dynamite for everyone with a war about to begin. Don't believe again it would be easier for me to let the video do the talking!!
At Revolution, QT Marshall turned and eliminated fellow Nightmare Family members the Gunn Brothers from the tag team battle royal. Then eliminated himself from the match to the surprise of his partner Dustin Rhodes. Marshall has been the faceless member of the family for months and at one point was given a chance to try and begin developing his own identity which is something he was unable to do. On a recent edition of AEW Dark fellow Nightmare family member Lee Johnson finally got his first AEW victory and would thank everyone in the family except QT Marshall which was what causes him to snap. The only thing is that we didn't know how crazy he went until this past week's edition of Dynamite when the exhibition match when s*** hit the fan.
In my opinion, this was the best way they could've continued this feud and I didn't think there would be this much insanity. Marshall struck Arn Anderson which looked accidental at first, but it seems like it was apart of the plan. Intensity, unexpected and the bar was set high, because once blood is spilled everything changes. They definitely worked to push a lot of the talent and the announcers were tasked with making those trainees matter more and prove that they important enough to be included in this big turn. It is the best decision to split up the nightmare family and break some talent off from the group as a way to better develop more future stars instead of keeping them behind the shadow of Cody and Dustin.
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