A letter to Vince McMahon
by, 06-04-2013 at 09:50 PM (3296 Views)
5th June 2013.
Dear Mr. McMahon:
I'm a WWE fan who regularly watches the product, and would like to take the chance to address an issue that's been happening all around WWE programming.
I'm aware that I am what it is generally known as an Internet Wrestling Community (IWC from now on) member. The reputation those members have is not quite flattering for those who are classified with this term, in general terms at least. We are labeled as whiners, complainers, non -PPV buyers, and non product supporters. And while there is truth in those statements, there's still people who not bitch about PG being far worse than the Attitude Era, who supports some of the storylines and characters we are given, who pays for PPVs and gets some merch when they can. So. I hope you honor me by reading these lines. I may not be the most brilliant mid behind a computer, but I try to give credit where credit's due, therefore I expect my claim does have a bit of a reception.
I'm not sure if the Twitter quote you supposedly posted is true or not, but let's give it the benefit of the doubt. You said (I'm paraphrasing) that the way to success is knowing what your audience wants. This may lead to a lot of controversial debate, sometimes well phrased and thought, sometimes the outcome of biased, radical minds who don't have all the possible points of view, just their own. But I figured out there's an issue in which not inly IWC fans agree with, also regular viewers do, so I consider this an issue to give a deep thought about it.
This issue is Daniel Bryan.
When he signed with the WWE back in 2009, those who have seen him on ROH, myself included, although I'm far from being a ROH connoisseur, were happy as we considered Bryan Danielson an excellent wrestler, but were not so sure about his speaking abilities, which may him leave WWE without success. And twice during his WWE tenure we were afraid our predictions come true. Once after he was released due to his incident with Justin Roberts, in which he choke the ring announcer with his own tie, the other after losing the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 28 in an 18 seconds bout with Sheamus. But all of a sudden, the post-Mania Raw crowd turned him into a fan favorite when they made his YES!, chant an anthem, using it whenever it was suitable, even turning into a a SÍ!, chant referring to Alberto del Río, something that made this good ol' Spaniard guy happy. The rest, as they say, is history.
All of this leads me to the point I want to make. During the last few weeks I've noticed how Daniel was getting big chants from the fans in attendance. It seemed to me that not even the biggest names in the company that appear regularly, Cena aside, was getting such a huge reaction. But I was cautious due to my bias towards Daniel. Until last night. We had a good chance to see him next to Randy Orton, another guy well celebrated by the fans. Yes, Randy got a big pop when he tagged in, and people loved his moves, but Daniel was up there, toe to toe with him, getting lots of Yes chants with almost every move he made. Later, the tendency was confirmed when he made double duty and faced Ryback, the number one contender for the WWE championship. Bryan again received a huge amount of cheers, not only during his entrance, but in the match itself. Ryback just got the “ooows” from the crowd whenever he cut Bryan's offense, and some “Goldberg” chants. You were there, Mr. McMahon. You could see it first hand, I'm not inventing anything.
Daniel Bryan is a special case in the company. As you may know, there are frequent discrepancies between the regular fans and the IWC fans. Normally, the larger number of the casual fans is prevalent against the smaller, but noisy comments of the Internet followers. But in this case, there seems to be unanimity: Daniel Bryan is well liked by both groups. He is entertaining in the ring and as a character, he can deliver on the mic, being even goofy like here (especially in the 1:19 minute and in the 1:44):
Other funny Bryan instances are him as a ninja, or him popping out of a trash bin. And if that is not enough, he is extremely talented in the ring. There's a saying on the Internet boards that certain wrestlers are so talented they can put a 5 star match against a mop. Daniel Bryan is one of them, in my opinion. A couple of instances: his match against Dolph Ziggler at Bragging Rights 2010:
Or the WWE title match against CM Punk at Over the Limit 2012:
You may argue that the revenue Bryan is bringing to the company is not enough to push him to a main event position. I can't guess without the actual figures, and obviously I don't have them, but I have a question about it. Right now, on www.wweshop.com Bryan has 15 items on sell, including some Team Hell NO and a couple of things (bib and creeper) that those without kids won't buy. If I check other superstars, the figures increase: CM Punk has 58 items, John Cena 63, Ryback 22, The Rock 54, Orton 29, Sheamus 25, Rey Mysterio, who's been out of TV for months, 37. I want to know how Bryan sells are doing proportionally. Maybe he is not doing that bad considering other superstars have a wider range of objects, but this is just a wild guess.
I know the importance of monetary income a superstar produces. Right now, the most profitable superstar is John Cena. He still has some good years until his body (probably not his mind) says it needs a lighter schedule to keep going. It's the law of nature. So, when Cena stops being the guy who makes more money for WWE, you'll need a replacement. That replacement can be Daniel Bryan. As I stated above, he is well liked by a great part of your audience, he is entertaining to watch in and out of the ring, and he can give excellent interviews, such as the one he made with Peter Rosenberg. Ask him if he's willing to do some charitable work with the Make–A–Wish foundation. Send him to make big TV interviews. Expand his merchandise. And most of all, push him to the main event, and make him the WWE champion and the face of the company. Don't rush this push, though. Don't place him in title matches from one day to another. Give him a good story, move it forwards, make him gain momentum and finally give the big one with a bang. The fans are already invested in his character, just make them more. Maybe a Royal Rumble win? A big win at WrestleMania 30? I don't know, you are the creative mind, I'm not. What you are is the boss of the WWE. Therefore I bid you: please make this happen. You won't regret it.
Hoping to hear from you soon.