Psychology In Wrestling: It’s Finally Back

Randy Orton Champ There have been a lot of complaints about the events after Daniel Bryan’s instant classic Sunday night against John Cena. Many people are complaining about how the typical WWE mentality has won out once again by teasing the fans with a Bryan victory and WWE Championship reign, just to rip it from him and give the belt to Randy Orton. All I’ve read is how this is a horrible idea, a horrible plan, and some saying they’re done with WWE because of this happening. I find those views to be very shortsighted, and well, flat out horrible. You’re going to give up on a company because they have come up with a storyline that’s going to make an “indie guy” into the face of the biggest company in the business of pro wrestling? Where is the sense in that move? I will never understand the supposed “new school” mentality of needing an instant payoff in order to enjoy the product. Yes, Daniel Bryan won the title, yes Triple H screwed him over, yes Randy Orton cashed in and became the corporate champion, does that mean that Daniel Bryan is now marginalized because of this incident? Absolutely not, if you are a true fan of the business you know this will actually make him a much bigger deal. Patience is a great thing and the vocal minority of wrestling fans needs to learn this lesson.

What we saw in those final moments was the start of something massive, if you’re too narrow minded to be able to see this then maybe you should give up on wrestling because these things are becoming a hallmark of the new Triple H era in WWE. Triple H is a student of the game, he’s worked in the business, and he’s a lifelong fan of the business, having someone like that in charge is great for everyone, the fans included. We haven’t seen an evil corporate entity of this magnitude in quite some time and I’m glad it’s finally made a return. Triple H is a great heel and Randy Orton actually shines in that role, how can pairing them with Mr. McMahon and the Stephanie that everyone hated during the McMahon-Helmsley storyline be anything but great for the villains of WWE programming? You now have Daniel Bryan up against the machine, he’s got the same momentum now that Stone Cold had back in the day, he’s taking on the bosses and their hand-picked champion. The story is timeless and works well every time we see it, you have the man with nothing to lose going after a nearly impossible goal, against some of the longest odds in the business. If you watched SummerSlam and that finale didn’t make you feel a NEED to see what happened on Raw there is something seriously wrong with you.

There is nothing more beautiful in wrestling than a perfectly executed storyline, something that makes the star of each worker connected to it rise, this is exactly what happened Sunday night. Randy Orton has gone from a guy just floating around the bottom of the main event scene as a babyface/tweener character to now being the absolute top heel in the company, and possibly the entire business, considering his history and having two strikes that’s an impressive feat in its own right. Daniel Bryan has been the most over babyface in the company for quite a while, but he’s been needing that one little rub to get him to “face of the company” status. Sunday night, in losing the title he worked so hard for and had just won he actually got that rub, by getting screwed his star status has just gone off the charts. Who can’t relate to busting your ass every day for a lifetime and having the rub snatched out from under you just as you reach the top? Seeing that happen makes Daniel Bryan the most relatable star on the roster, something that the fans had with a man named Stone Cold Steve Austin, he worked his ass off only to be screwed at every turn by the evil Mr. McMahon. This is the greatest thing to happen on WWE television from a storyline perspective in years and it’s going to pay off in spades. I know we’re cautioned all the time not to jump the gun on something like this, but we also saw something else happen on last night’s show, there were two other workers who are now in the backup role if something happens and Bryan can’t work for a while with this program.

We’ve seen for many years that one ill-timed injury can bring a storyline to a complete halt; as a result, it’s a great idea to cover your bases in case something like this happens. It also doesn’t hurt to have a stable of workers involved in the storyline so it’s not just the same person going for the title every single month. Last night Dolph Ziggler and Big Show were added as outliers in this program under the gimmick of having questioned the McMahon family, making them face punishment at the hands of what appear to be The Corporate Security Force, The Shield. We now have at least three people involved on the babyface side, possibly four if you include Mark Henry, and four people on the heel side not counting Triple H, Stephanie, and Vince. This works out well and gives us multiple matchups to keep the gimmick fresh the rest of the summer and possibly even into next year. I truly believe we now have the Triple H equivalent to McMahon and Austin, a storyline that will make Daniel Bryan the biggest name in the business and has the potential to run in different directions for years to come. As someone who’s grown up watching wrestling, this is what I live to see happen, an amazing storyline, talented workers putting on an amazing show in the ring, and larger than life characters that make you NEED to see them, NEED to see what is going to happen next with their situation. We finally have something compelling, something to sink our teeth into and watch every second to see what’s happening next.

Another sign of a great storyline is when you constantly ask, “what are they going to do next time?” That was the central question after Sunday night, what’s going to happen on Raw? The only problem I see is that they don’t use Smackdown to further these feuds, although it might if the numbers take off like they could, and should, do with this program running. After the ending to Raw last night you had to be asking yourself, what’s Daniel going to do now, what is The Corporation going to do next? I can’t wait to see Raw next week because I NEED to see what happens with these characters and the stories attached to them. To the people who felt that the ending to SummerSlam made Daniel Bryan look weak in some way, if you watched Raw last night, saw the ending to the show, and STILL feel that way, there’s no saving you, his stand against The Shield was amazing and could in no way be construed as weak. This is the first time in ages I can say that I honestly feel that every weeks Raw during this storyline is flat out, must see television. I know where I’ll be next Monday night, if you’re a true wrestling fan then you’ll be right there with me.

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  • kbunyon

    Bravo Chris, I'm very impressed!

    • christopher525

      Thanks, while my Barry Windham article was a little less stellar than I wanted it to be, the Wrestling Fan article is my favorite because it's dead on my feelings and I got approval from Stone Cold and Little Egypt, pretty high praise, hope I can get someone along those lines to read this one as well.

  • CJ Blaze

    Good read Chris! All of those people that are "done watching" need to wake up and see the bigger picture.

  • jean

    My initial reaction was surprise and then anger but I was kind of expecting DB to get screwed over by the McMahons.
    They are creating a new corporate feud in the PG era which DB will be the face of the anti-corporation.
    The Shield coming out as McMahon's henchmen was not all that shocking considering the brutality they have inflicted on certain superstars and their ability to be a "game changer" in key matches and storylines, through sabotage and ambush tactics inflicted onto their opponents/targets.
    What did shock me though was HHH's heel turn and subsequent "sell out" to Vince's agenda. It seems strange that they both are getting along now and are in mutual agreement over who should be the face of the company.

  • Darren

    I agree with you 100% I loved the ending to Summerslam and Raw the next night was even better. Something told me HHH was gonna screw D. Bryant. Daniel Byrant will eventually defeat the evil empire and become WWE champion. I think after Cena 4-6 month layoff would be the perfect time to turn him heel when he returns. He can return and screw Daniel again and reclaim himself the face again.

  • Mike

    Too all of the fans who are like me in wanting something like the Attitude Era back to make it as interesting as it was… THIS IS IT!!!

  • Jack

    Great read.

  • Michael

    Excellent, excellent article. Couldn’t agree more.

  • christopher525

    To everyone who has read this and felt compelled to comment, thank you a million times over, it's much appreciated.

  • Ibra

    Great read and your aboustely correct on your points but tna still have better wrestling. But the only person to me that could play this role better than Bryan right now might surprise you when I say his name. It’s not cm punk or anyone else in wwe it’s the greatest man alive Austin Aries. Watch tna everyone it’s a really good show just give it a chance.

    • christopher525

      I don't think Aries would be great in this role because he's got his own persona. He's a hell of a worker, but he does the cocky guy better than the hard working underdog. I would love to see him in a WWE ring, actually, just to see how he does on the big stage. I'm still waiting for WWE to make a play on one guy that was once in TNA, which just made me think of my next article. Thanks for getting the train rolling in my mind.

  • Ibra

    I only watch raw for daniel Bryan, cm punk, ziggler, shield, cesero, and the Wyatt family. Can’t wait for kassius ohno.

  • jblack424

    Great read. For a guy who thought tna matches are usually better summerslam had two match of the year candidates. Then best storyline since punks mitb and it will probably be better

  • Kelvin Blanca

    why would they complain? WWE became ten times more interesting now. Plus Bryan is in the transition period now: He's nearly there at the peak. He just needs strong contenders like Orton to solidify his character. get over it bandwagon fans. WWE is making progress.