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Bryan concussion muddles WWE plans

Daniel Bryan celebrating with a sold out arena in Providence, Rhode Island.

Justin LaBar Videos

Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, 10:30 p.m.

You don't appreciate YES until you hear NO.

It seems now that Daniel Bryan is temporarily sidelined with a concussion, he's being appreciated by those who once refused to believe he was anything more than a goofy vegan who didn't own a television.

That's what it came down to. The bulk of WWE's company can see the drawing power of Bryan. When I say “those”, I'm talking about the alpha male decision-makers who look and see a guy smaller than they want, who looks like a lumberjack, doesn't own a television, doesn't drink, and at one point was a vegan. They wonder how this guy could be taken seriously or connect with a wrestling audience.

The same once was said for a guy named CM Punk.

The plan for Bryan to be a member of The Wyatt Family for an extended period of time to give a rub to the trio — NO.

WWE, or its alpha male decision-makers, realized they needed to call an audible and have him escape the trio. It wasn't going to work long-term as they originally thought.

When Bryan turned on Bray Wyatt, a sold-out arena in Providence joined in unison with the YES chants to salute Bryan. It was more electric than past arena chants. It blasted through the television set. Casual wrestling fans who might watch two of the four weeks of programming a month text me with phrases of astonishment regarding how over Bryan is with the crowd.

You want Bryan on the card to keep the fans coming out to the non-televised live events — NO.

Bryan seems to have suffered some type of concussion during his match in which he turned against Wyatt. WWE offered refunds to those ticket holders that didn't get to see Bryan this past weekend. You can't hide behind how important someone is if you know you gotta offer full refunds to ticket holders because of his absence. Two guys cause WWE to issue refunds. Bryan is one; the other is John Cena.

You want Bryan to be part of the Royal Rumble — NO.

As of now, serious doubt remains on whether Bryan will be medically cleared to compete in the 30-man classic battle royal in Pittsburgh. Even if the match mainly consists of punch, kick, struggle in the corner, it's still physical activity, and WWE doesn't take chances with concussions anymore.

WWE's been getting a lot of NOs lately which don't fit its plan. The word backstage is Vince McMahon is finally starting to get on the Bryan bandwagon after his continued persistence of popularity despite WWE's philosophy on him.

Better late than never, but prove to me you understand what you have.

Bryan's health isn't a major issue as he'll be cleared sooner than later. Maybe not before Rumble, but he won't miss any severe amount of time.

WWE has two options. If he's clear to be in the Rumble, don't tell anyone he's cleared for competition, have him enter as a surprise and win. The other option, if he can't get medically cleared, is to have him be the WrestleMania opponent for The Undertaker.

Two prestigious routes with different meaning.

The people want Bryan. WWE teased the fans before with Bryan winning the WWE Championship. They have a chance to make those teases all come around to build to a great payoff. If Bryan is placed in the WWE title match at WrestleMania, fans will have their doubts based upon what they've seen in the past. However, the interest will be there as they hope to finally see their guy crowned champion.

Basically, it could make WWE look like it had this big elaborate plan set up from the beginning.

The other option is Bryan taking on what some might say is a bigger match than the title match: The Undertaker's streak. Bryan won't win, and he shouldn't. Nobody should ever beat the streak. I don't even know if people purchase WrestleMania to see the attempt of the streak ending as much as they purchase just to see the novelty act that is The Undertaker.

It's like going to see a Rolling Stones concert. You know you're not going to get their best performance ever, like you might have in 1975, but it's the novelty to say you got to see them.

Bryan in a WrestleMania match with The Undertaker is a nod to his star power and abilities. Rumor has it that Undertaker has requested Bryan as a possible opponent for this year. His past requests have been granted.

If Bryan doesn't get the title or the big match against Undertaker at WrestleMania, then WWE's not worried about the size of its wallet or the quality of its customer satisfaction. WWE will be proving it's more worried about showing off the size of its ego.




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