Gleed’s Blog: Why Daniel Bryan's injury should serve as a wakeup call for WWE
By Haydn Gleed
In every company I have ever worked in, there has always been a contingency plan incase anything goes wrong. Working in IT as I do, it's vitally important that when the worst happens, I have procedures and plans in place that I can put into action to minimize the impact. In the last four weeks, WWE has shown that they don't backup plans, and it shows the downfall of their book on the fly philosophy.
Since the news of Daniel Bryan's injury broke, the product that has been presented on TV has been inconsistent and full of logic gaps that you could drive a truck through. I appreciate that you can't always prepare for every eventuality, but in any athletic competition, you have to expect injuries. I'm a huge soccer fan, but I can tell you that if one of my team's forwards goes down with an injury, I know we have a backup on the bench waiting to take his place. Ok the player might not be as effective as the starter, that's the reason he's on the bench, but he will fill the gap.
Since Bryan went down with the injury, they have turned Seth Rollins heel without presenting a compelling reason why. He used the old, because I'm better than the rest of them line. That doesn't explain why he left a successful group to join a team that they had beaten convincingly on two occasions. So far, Rollins to me has said a lot without actually saying a lot content wise.
Although there's no confirmation out there, I honestly think WWE panicked when they realised that Bryan wasn't going to be back in time for MITB and decided to do the most shocking angle they could think of, without thinking further ahead than that. There are too many questions that there are no logical answers to, due to not planning for the worst, so they are just ignoring them and plowing on and the product is suffering as a consequence. It seems that every feud they had in mind coming out of Payback has had to be reset and rethought as the pack needed to be shuffled dramatically due to no backup plan or options due to their short term booking.
The warnings signs have been there for years, but they have been lucky. Last summer when John Cena injured his arm, WWE were lucky they had such a hot act in Daniel Bryan to come in as the top babyface, but that was not by design, that was due to necessity. By all accounts and by the way they were treating him, Vince McMahon and company would have preferred to walk over hot coals than put Bryan in that position, but they were forced to. In my mind, WWE should have whatever the main programs are, but also have someone make a rough outline of what we should do if so and so gets injured before the payoff and book with that in mind.
If the plan all along has been for Rollins to turn in a "disaster recovery mode" situation, which I doubt was the case, they should have played up the fact that Seth was power hungry, that he wanted to be successful and would do anything to achieve this. Not in a heelish way, but just subtle hints of his true personality, so that when the turn happened you could point to and say his urges of wanting to prove he is the most dominant force in The Shield got the better of him. Or that when Triple H came to him with an offer he couldn't refuse, that would make his dreams and aspirations come true, it would make logical sense.
I hope that I am underestimating WWE, and come next Monday night I end up eating crow, and everything ties together nicely. I hope we will understand properly why Rollins has turned, why the WWE Championship match is full of heels (apart from the fact they are the only over acts in WWE right now), and why one week John Cena is pointing out the positives of Daniel Bryan, and the week after when The Authority strip him of the title and run him down, he's nowhere to be seen.
On a more positive note, I hope this makes WWE appreciate Daniel Bryan more, and realise what he brings to the table. I also hope this makes WWE realise that they need to start thinking more about the what if's just incase this scenario happens again.
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If you want to contact me because you think I'm way off in my criticism of WWE's booking philosophy, or you want to discuss anything about the blog, it's all good, hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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