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Thoughts On The Bryan Danielson Situation

Yesterday, I thought nothing of Bryan Danielson’s tweet saying:

Just changed my twitter name to Bryan Danielson. The winds of change are stirring.

I just figured that WWE was going forward with changing his working name back to the name that made him famous on the indy scene. Daniel Bryan was such a silly name switch anyways.

But I was truly surprised to see that the reason for his twitter name switch was because he was “fired” by WWE. According to Dave Meltzer from The Wrestling Observer/F4WOnline, according to those in WWE, the firing is legitimate.

Within WWE, the word has been sent out internally that the Bryan Danielson firing is legitimate the same way any other firing would be done. All the higher-ups in the company were informed that he was gone before the item that everyone assumes to be a work was put on the web site. It’s difficult to believe given the timing that it could possibly be legitimate. The idea they would work their own employees on a wrestling angle is also hard to fathom given the history of companies that have done that.

The reason for the firing seemed from a spot in the great NXT angle from last Monday when Danielson choked announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie. It was violent yes, but it was the actual action in the angle that made me think that this was different than your normal beat downs. It stood out as aggressive and realistic, yet because it’s wrestling, you knew he was probably protecting him in all ways possible.

Because of the Chris Benoit tragedy, WWE has tried to clean up their product in certain ways and doing away with aggressive chokes in that manner has been apart of that clean up. Also, with their new Mattel toy deal being such an important relationship for them, I would imagine that they are at the mercy of Mattel in some ways.

And you can’t throw out the possibility of this being a work. Why they would need to do a worked angle like this, I’m not sure, but this is WWE. They’re trying to be different right now with their angles and this could be apart of it. My read is that Danielson is being slapped for doing what he was told, making the angle too realistic, and as a possible scapegoat for someone else’s mistake.

If this was something that the upper brass of WWE didn’t want to happen, they could’ve cut the camera in the back when they noticed what was happening. I have a feeling that he’ll be back. It’s a shame that WWE continues to step all over themselves in these kinds of situations.

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9 thoughts on “Thoughts On The Bryan Danielson Situation

  1. I wanted to believe it was a work initially, but when Dave pointed out that WWE has promised to keep releases on the up and up given the scrutiny they’ve fallen under the last five years, I honestly believe they are (however foolishly) punishing Danielson for going too far – and the fact they edited the choke out of the replay tends to back that up.

  2. Excellent blog.

    From WWE’s perspective, I can sort of understand their reasoning in relationship with the Benoit situation, but the moment itself called for a gang-like beatdown. I honestly felt like the scene with Danielson and Roberts was the best one in the entire sequence.

    WWE is trying to stay above-board with all this stuff, but like you said, I think it leads to them stepping on themselves. In trying to control the product so much, they aren’t able to let the guys become characters themselves, and I think it stifles the product.

    Danielson should go to TNA, in my view. I know it’s less visibility, but he’s still visible on a global stage and will be able to better showcase his talents in general in that organization.

  3. @Stevie J – I still have to listen to the latest audio, to see if it was Danielson’s call to do the choke. Again, if someone in the truck fell asleep and could’ve prevented this, Danielson is a scape goat.

    @Benjamin – Thanks for the kind words. My only issue with Danielson going to TNA today is that it’s a more poisonous situation than in WWE. Maybe if they clean house and get Hogan and Bischoff out of there, I wouldn’t have an issue with it. But today, I think he’s worse off in TNA than simply waiting to see what happens in WWE. Maybe he can go back and wrestle on the indies until this blows over and come back.

  4. @GG Ditto on Benjamin’s summary and on your view of Danielson’s current situation. Going to TNA he’d be stuck on the undercard or worse. Maybe back to ROH for a little while, where he’d be welcomed home with open arms, and treated like the former world champion he actually is. He’d get TV time AND get to work quality matches, not be treated like a midget jobber who knows MMA moves.

  5. I’d think ROH could be a good place for him too, however I think their contracts are set up in a way that doesn’t let him get out easily. Because the best case scenario is for him to wait it out and wait for WWE. I’m not sure he can do that while being on ROH TV.

  6. I will start by saying WWE haven’t handled this situation particularly well, and in my opinion Danielson should certainly have remained in employment.

    However, one thing I am finding frustrating is that a lot of wrestling fans seem to be completely oblivious to why there is an issue here. It is not completely unreasonable, from an outside party’s perspective, to not want to be associated with that type of stuff. Having a guy getting strangled by a tie is clearly presenting a controversial image, and if they don’t want to be associated with that, that’s their prerogative. They are doing what they feel is best for their brand image. Anyone who doesn’t understand that is in the wrestling bubble.

    Now, who is at fault? I don’t know. If Dannielson had ran the idea by them, and they gave it the go ahead, then he is cleared of any responsibility.;it’s an issue for the writers or production staff . But if Danielson was adlibbing , then it is to a degree his fault. He didn’t do anything intentionally wrong, but there is a definite naivete there. WWE has been pushing a very inoffensive image for a long time now, and he should have known better than to do something like that without getting clearance first.

    As I said, maybe it shouldn’t have been an issue, but I understand why it was. It’s purely an image thing. I don’t think he needed to be fired either way. They could have just gave him a slap on the wrist, and told him to run things by them beforehand in future.

  7. I definitely agree with you, but to an extent. It’s completely their prerogative. However, if his job was to make the angle realistic, and they didn’t give him a list of things he can’t do, and yet still fired him, that’s on them. Now, if they specifically told him to not choke anyone in a vicious manner with an object and he did, it’s on him.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, Batista tried to run John Cena over with a car. Just a couple of months ago, it was shown that a car backed into Bret Hart’s leg, which turned out to be false. I’m not saying those are just as vicious, but where’s the line drawn?

    I’m of the opinion that Danielson wasn’t told not to do something and he’s the scapegoat. But since when has WWE ever been fair?

  8. But you can’t just list everything in the world that someone can/cannot do. There’s a certain degree of judgment required from the performer. Somethings sort of go without saying.

    It has never been said specifically to me that I shouldn’t walk around my office drinking straight whiskey for example. But I have sense enough to know that if I was to do so tomorrow, it would probably not be particularly well received. In the same vein, wwe has been marketing itself hard as a PG show for the last long while. Common sense dictates that doing what he did might ruffle a few feathers, and as such he should have asked for the go ahead first. Especially when he still only has one foot in the door and is completely dispensable.

  9. Have you ever seen the angle in which Don Muraco hangs Ricky Steamboat by the neck by a rope over the top rope?

    I doubt you’ve seen someone in your office drink whiskey before you. If you did, you’d think, hmmm, I might not do that, but it’s not like someone didn’t do it before and if I did, I probably won’t get in trouble.

    Too much gray from WWE in this situation. There are so many ways this could’ve been avoidable. If the director was on the same page, he would’ve cut away quickly. Or, the writers who wrote the skit. At least they’ve been around for a long time, and not just a few months like Danielson.

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