The unprofessionalism that John Cena and Daniel Bryan displayed this week by refusing to work Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia has me fired up. With that in mind:
The Eternal Optimist Presents: The WWE Should Bury Daniel Bryan & Why The World Cup Should Be A Fantastic Tournament.
The WWE Should Bury Daniel Bryan.
John Cena and Daniel Bryan put the WWE in a terrible position by refusing to work Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. Major angles and storylines were put in place that revolved around both men.
I’m already sick and tired of listening to people praise both men for their supposedly heroic act. This isn’t a heroic act. A heroic act is running into a burning building to save a person’s life. This is refusing to do your job.
Lets forget about the WWE for a minute and apply this logic to your work place. If your employer needed you to go on a business trip to Saudi Arabia because you needed to engage in a task that would generate the company millions of dollars, what do you think would happen if you refused to go? You’d be in breach of contract and find yourself on the streets in a heartbeat.
The title of the article would imply that I’m singling out Daniel Bryan and giving John Cena a free pass. I am certainly not doing that. They are both in the wrong and I would have no issue with the WWE punishing both men accordingly.
However, John Cena is pretty much untouchable. He’s more or less retired. He’s such an established star that the WWE needs him far more than he needs the WWE at this point. If the WWE tried to punish him in any way, he could walk away tomorrow and not be any worse for wear.
Daniel Bryan on the other hand, is not nearly as bulletproof as Cena. First and foremost – he’s not a mainstream star with Hollywood options on the table. He’s a great wrestler that the diehards gravitate towards. His popularity, although still strong, has certainly waned since he made a full time return. Second, unlike John Cena, Daniel Bryan has a spouse whose career he needs to be concerned with. His actions can have a negative impact on someone he cares about.
I firmly believe that the WWE needs to send a message and BURY Daniel Bryan. He acted unprofessionally and jeopardized what has arguably become the most important show on the WWE calendar. They need to send a message to anyone else in the locker room that this type of behavior cannot and will not be tolerated.
The WWE can’t release Daniel Bryan. He’s too big of a star to allow to wrestle for another promotion, even if his star power has faded considerably from where it was. If Neville generated the interest that he did as a result of the perception that he was treated unfairly by the WWE, can you imagine what would happen if the WWE would release Daniel Bryan?
Instead, I think the WWE should put him on the bench. The truth is, he isn’t generating ratings and the product barely suffers if he’s not a part of it. Daniel Bryan’s one desire over the past few years has been to be able to WRESTLE again. If the WWE wants to really hurt him, don’t give him any matches and let him rot away under contract. He can’t go to the competition, the product won’t be jeopardized and the message will be sent.
Why The World Cup Should Be A Fantastic Tournament.
Lost in all of the controversy surrounding the WWE’s decision to keep Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia is the World Cup Tournament itself.
Sure, it’s not a real world cup. The WWE didn’t take wrestlers from around the world and pair them off against each other. Sure, the tournament lost significant star power when John Cena decided not to participate.
Here’s the thing – this tournament is fascinated and unpredictable.
First, Shane McMahon’s announced that if a Smackdown wrestler loses to a Raw wrestler in the finals, that wrestler will no longer be on Smackdown. That may have slid under the radar to many, but it’s important. There was no reason to include this unless the plan is to have a Raw superstar win and send someone over to the Red brand.
I suspect that the WWE decided that they needed additional star power on Raw with the absence of Roman Reigns. So who gets sent? Any of the four wrestlers involved would fit the bill. I suspect that neither Jeff Hardy nor The Miz will be sent back as they JUST came over to Smackdown in the last shakeup. That leaves Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton. Reigns absence leaves a void on the face side, and Orton looks to be the next challenger to A.J. Styles. Because of this, my gut tells me that Rey is going to end up on Raw.
Given this storyline, it seems that Raw superstar will have to win. That’s pretty unpredictable as well. I think that we can safely rule out Dolph Ziggler as the winner. However, a perfectly legitimate case can be made for any of the other three on the Raw side. If the purpose of the tournament is to strictly cater to the Saudi Arabian audience without having any impact on future plans, Kurt Angle is the guy. If the WWE wants to firmly establish someone as the replacement to Roman Reigns, this tournament can be for Seth Rollins what King of the Ring 1993 was to Bret Hart. If the WWE wants to elevate Bobby Lashley to the main event as a heel, there isn’t an easier way to do than to have him win the World Cup.
As a result, there is SO MUCH unpredictability within this tournament. I honestly can’t even predict a single opening round match because I can justify outcomes for both sides in each one.
In the Raw bracket, because both Rollins and Lashley are plausible winners for the tournament, that match can go either way. Although Ziggler isn’t a likely winner of the tournament, he could still beat Kurt Angle. If Lashley wins, Angle is a lock to win as well. However, if Rollins beats Lashley, the WWE may not want to burn through Angle v Rollins in an unannounced manner. Thus, a Rollins v Ziggler semifinal makes sense.
The Smackdown bracket is even more unpredictable. The Miz faced Mysterio and Orton faced Hardy on recent episodes of Smackdown. I don’t think the WWE will repeat those matches. That gives us the options of a face v face match in Mysterio/Hardy or a heel v heel match in Miz/Orton. I don’t think they’re going to go with a heel v heel match in this market, so Mysterio v Hardy makes sense. However, I still don’t think you can rule out ANY of the possibilities – it’s all about who the WWE is planning to send to Raw.
This tournament is a complete tossup for me, and it should be tremendous fun as a result. As for a prediction – I think it’s a shining moment for Rollins. He beats Mysterio in the finals, and I’m here for it.
That’s a wrap kids. Agree or disagree? Sound off below!
You can find me on Twitter @The_Eternal_Optimist