Welcome to another edition of The Main Event. I am your host, Don Franc, back with another column that you will all hopefully enjoy. Long introductions aren’t really my thing, so let’s get right to…
– My thoughts and prayers go out to Shad Gaspard’s family. By all accounts on Twitter he was a really good person. I do know that he is a fantastic father for advising rescuers to go for his son first. He did the right thing and in the process had to sacrifice himself. I sincerely hope that they find Shad and that rescuers are exhausting every resource that they have to track him down. I don’t blame his family for wanting privacy in this tough time and we should all respect that. I’ll be praying that Shad’s son gets to see his hero again even though hope is fading fast, to the point that the search has been suspended. I don’t believe in miracles, but maybe one should happen in this instance.
– Rusev spoke about Chris Jericho being a great locker room leader who would always be available for talent to ask him for advice. That says a lot about his character. Sammy Guevarra is in a real good position now because Jericho is clearly high on him and I can only imagine the great advice he’s been getting. Jericho is in a good position to give advice to the up and comers, especially if he’s so willing. Maybe Rusev’s politicking? I don’t know, but I feel Rusev’s story has a lot of merit to it, especially considering that Jericho likes working with the younger guys.
– I just read that the word wrestling is supposedly banned from being said on WWE television. Is that how far Vince’s head has been up his ass? Heyman has been advocating for the word to be used more. Firstly, this whole notion is ridiculous; sports entertainment my ass. Secondly, that Heyman actually has to fight for the word wrestling to be used in a wrestling promotion is totally absurd. And finally, I don’t know if the return of this truly terrible word is a good or bad thing because now they drilling that point home with the Edge/Orton stuff. What the hell, WWE? Sheesh, sometimes just thinking about their foolishness gives you a headache. It should be a miracle I’m still watching for twenty years now! WWE is a wrestling promotion whether Vince likes it or not.
THE MAIN EVENT
CM Punk is better than Daniel Bryan.
I don’t care what the general consensus of the IWC is. For too long have the public been proclaiming that Bryan is better than Punk. What has the Yes Man done that The Best In The World hasn’t, besides starring in a reality television series with his wife!? A product of the very people that tried to oppress his elevation up the card no less. I guess the Yes Movement isn’t just a catchphrase anymore; because when it comes to what is asked of him, without a sound his lips make a yes movement.
That’s where CM Punk comes in. He is the Voice Of The Voiceless after all. Therefore he was able to take his ball and go home. All that Bryan had to take home was his injuries, because his body couldn’t handle the pressure of performing at the highest level. Is Bryan overrated? No. Is he better than Punk? Hell No. Not even the IWC’s pro-Bryan movement can change that to a “yes”. The only “yes” that should have came out of your mouths was when The Straight-Edge Superstar asked if you were entertained.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not dislike Daniel Bryan. He has had a prolific career with many a great character. In fact, I quite enjoy his work. I just think CM Punk is better, that’s all. Daniel Bryan gets put on a pedestal whereas CM Punk gets lamented at times. Granted, he did say negative things about WWE in the subsequent years after his departure from the company which made him come across as bitter. But can you really blame a man for revealing what he truly believes to be injustice done upon him?
On the opposite spectrum, Daniel Bryan has become the very thing that he stood against all those years ago. He rose his stock in Vince’s eyes by marrying Brie and becoming a star on Total Bellas. Lord knows Vince values that damn reality show more than Bryan’s career and I’ll cover my hat in hot sauce and eat it if that sentiment were not the case. It’s because of this politicking that Bryan has the balls to say no to Vince and his much maligned shows in Saudi Arabia. The vegan has become a corporate stooge dressed up as a rebel. Daniel Bryan sold out while Punk left before he was forced to.
The B+ Player rode the coattails of of The Pipebomb all the way to becoming the false prophet of The Reality Era. Saying Bryan was the catalyst of The Reality Era is akin to saying Undertaker scolding CM Punk for the way he dressed was a work. Hilariously, D-Bry dresses like an Amish hobo or unkempt farmer – depending on the beard – and ‘Taker keeps his mouth shut. Yeah, it’s easier being the Yes Man and succeeding than being vocal about the politics around you and having your momentum hindered.
I say this to point out that CM Punk had a harder road to break down barriers than what Daniel Bryan did. CM Punk was one of the very first – if not THE first – well-known independent wrestlers who managed to succeed in the land of giants. That very success paved the way for Bryan to break through. CM Punk should be given great credit for opening doors for those who followed in his footsteps, Goat Face among them.
Phil Brookes is responsible for indirectly giving Bryan Danielson the greatest moment in his professional career. Without Punk, Bryan’s mega-push would not have meant as much. You see, Punk was the first victim of WWE’s mistreatment of major independent stars. That is a trend that still exists to this day, with the exception of a few. It was inadequate booking decisions WWE presented Punk with that caused them – and the fans – to be robbed of what could have potentially been the next mega-star.
This was the catalyst of fans throwing all their chips into the Daniel Bryan basket. And yes, they cashed out plenty; but only for the shortest of time. Punk’s depressing situation caused fans to get behind the guy WWE didn’t want to be on top. The Pipebomb may have opened the fan’s eyes to the ongoings behind the scenes more than ever before. With Bryan, fans would not allow WWE to recycle the same mistakes they made with Punk. WWE saying that the entire D-Bry storyline was a work and that they planned everything that way is untrue. They just happened to stumble upon fans who did not want another one of their favourites to be overlooked. And this all stems from Brooke’s troubling journey in WWE.
But not only is it the trials and tribulations that Punk had to overcome in WWE that make him better than Bryan, it’s in the performances where he betters him too. In terms of ability on the microphone alone, the Straight-Edge Saviour is the Wrestlemania 17 main event to Bryan’s Wrestlemania 2000 counterpart. He had a way with words only reserved for the true greats. Goat Face is by no means bad on the mic, but he fails in comparison to The Voice Of The Voiceless.
That efficacy on the microphone resonates with his character work as well. CM Punk without a doubt portrayed better characters too. So much so that Bryan’s “Planet Champion” gimmick was a poor imitation at capturing the magic created by the “Straight-Edge Society’. Something as simple as the “Best In The World” gimmick topples anything the former member of Team Hell No had to offer. Bryan’s pairing with Kane was certainly entertaining, but the simplistic bravado Punk portrayed during his aforementioned gimmick – with his mic skills adding that extra intangible – will always see Bryan coming up short. Yet another element in which Punk comes out victorious.
Even when factoring in memorable moments Punk takes the cake. The only aspect that anyone could ever argue in Bryan’s defense against Punk’s overall betterment is his in-ring ability. Even then I’d choose Punk for the win. Not everybody enjoys the American Dragon’s style of wrestling. Punk was more exciting in the ring with a mixture of multiple components of what makes a wrestling match entertaining. Even if I were to concede on this front – which I don’t – Punk’s overall ability trumps that of Bryan’s.
In no world is Daniel Bryan better than CM Punk. One of the biggest injustices in wrestling lore is people believing that he is. Bryan may have been the face of The Reality Era, but it was CM Punk who proved to be the launching pad. The true creator, not the false prophet. At the end if the day this leads me to one conclusion: despite the general consensus, CM Punk is better than Daniel Bryan.
CM Punk Is Not The Mystery Hacker
I know there are many people who want this to be the case, but that is highly unlikely. I’m not saying that CM Punk returning to WWE is highly unlikely – because there’s a good chance he returns somewhere down the line – but I don’t see Punk returning in this capacity. The gimmick in and of itself suits Punk in the sense that their motivation is the truth; and because he is famous for The Pipebomb that aspect falls in line with his character.
Brooke’s appearances on Backstage threw fuel to the fire as he likely knew it would. WWE also knows that with Punk back in the picture, fans will automatically assume or hope that the mystery hacker is indeed CM Punk. I wouldn’t bet on it. Not worth the disappointment if you ask me. Besides, why would Punk return to empty arenas with no fans around to celebrate his return? As vain as he appears to be he wouldn’t want to have his climactic return under these circumstances.
Punk would want to ensure his return to wrestling is a grand endeavour. That’s why I think the mystery hacker storyline is too lame to warrant being part and parcel of what would be Punk’s epic return. Although Punk is not the mystery hacker, I’m still hoping WWE can make something good out if this. The hacker isn’t exactly hacking anything now and I thought the point of this was to expose secrets on television. It kind of defeats the purpose of the storyline.
The WWE could make something good out of this mystery hacker storyline. This type of story aligns with what’s happening in society today. We all know of the actresses phones who got hacked and their racy pictures exposed. This story is a sign of the times and perhaps WWE should attempt to do more to emphasis that fact. Whomever takes up the mantle of the mystery hacker, I hope WWE can live up to a story catered to the modern day. Let’s see how good Vince really is at adapting.
Nevertheless, if CM Punk ever were to return to WWE it surely won’t be as a mystery hacker. Couple that with the fact that the hacker isn’t exposing any secrets and having an effect on any storylines so a return under this guise would be pretty underwhelming.
And that does it for this edition of The Main Event. Is CM Punk or Daniel Bryan better? Do you think Punk is the mystery hacker? Drop a comment below. Alternatively, you can follow me on Twitter @donfranclop or pop me an email at [email protected] Any and all feedback is always much appreciated. But until next time folks…
This is Don Franc signing out.
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