Daniel Bryan fans are still reeling from his tear-jerking announcement on last Monday night’s episode of Raw. (You can relive most of it in the video clip below.)
To thousands of disapproving WWE fans in attendance and the likely millions watching at home, the company’s most popular performer confessed what I’ve suspected for quite some time.
His wrestling career may be finished.
That’s certainly not to say he’s done with the WWE. If it’s true that he can no longer wrestle as doctors have speculated, he would have a much more lucrative career staying in Stamford as an on-air personality or, as Bleacher Report suggests, a NXT trainer, than venturing out to Parts Unknown.
Those positions would continue to earn him a well-deserved paycheck, though it probably isn’t how his more rabid fans — the “Yes Movement” — want to see him go out.
But if you count yourself among that group, it’s important to realize that you may have some culpability in where Daniel now finds himself in his career.
Look at the way you pushed and pushed for a Daniel Bryan return and at the way you reacted when the WWE finally relented and brought him back to the ring.
The McMahons received so much criticism from the Yes Movement for not utilizing Bryan in a proper way. They strong-armed the company into putting the belt on Daniel at Wrestlemania 30, and when he sustained an injury that put him out of action for months, they railed against most of the company’s creative decisions that soon followed.
The constant second-guessing of pushing Roman Reigns — the incessant booing of John Cena — the outrage at how Bryan was handled in the Royal Rumble and later when he went one-on-one with Reigns at this year’s Fastlane event — it all added up to one thing.
The Yes Movement didn’t just want Daniel Bryan back. They wanted him back and at the top, and they were ready to bully WWE into submission even if it meant their guy wasn’t ready to actually be back.
As fans, it’s easy to look at what the company does with its superstars and armchair-quarterback a million reasons why this-or-that is stupid and how everyone in WWE Creative should be fired.
It’s difficult to exercise patience, but more often than not, it’s best that we do.
If Daniel Bryan fans hadn’t put all this undue pressure on WWE and the man himself to come back before he was ready, his injuries may have had more time to heal instead of growing worse.
That’s not to say it’s all your fault for where Daniel Bryan now is, but it’s certainly a factor. Remember that the next time you cancel your subscription or refuse to ever watch the product again because your guy isn’t the guy.
Sometimes, WWE really does know what is best for business, and it would probably be in your best interests — as well as your favorite superstar’s — to stop making so many unrealistic demands and to simply sit back and see where the show takes you.
You may not always get Daniel Bryan or [insert favorite superstar here] when you want him and at the level you want him, but by sitting back and having a little more patience, you might actually give them time to heal and have them around for a lot longer than you would otherwise.
Daniel Bryan is just 34-years-old. His career should be in its prime, and now he’s facing the very real possibility that it’s all over in part because some of you were too impatient to go with the flow. You had to dictate the story, and that story is looking less and less like it will have a happy ending.
[Image via WWE]