WWE has been building up the Daniel Bryan character for the last year now. Once they saw the WWE fan base behind a man that they didn’t foresee becoming as popular as he has become, they saw a huge storyline opportunity that was not only easy to pull off, but badly needed. Arguably. Bryan has had the biggest build since personalities like The Rock and Steve Austin, so WWE had to use him as such.
Thus, starting at Summerslam, they made a near 8-month storyline that ended with Daniel Bryan winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30. This was huge for Bryan fans and WWE fans alike. They got exactly what they wanted.
The bearded underdog was now a World Champion again, and it was fun to see. So it seems another promotion wanted to replicate that.
Eric Young has been with TNA for years now — over a decade, in fact. TNA has given him some of the dumbest things to do, and gimmicks that didn’t even seem logical. Yet despite it all, Young did as told and the TNA fans loved him for it. So it should come as no surprise that Young would be beloved enough for TNA to catch on and put a World Title around him one day.
Issue is, TNA apparently felt that since Eric Young had a beard, fit the underdog role, and was in a similar story that Daniel Bryan was in with the same qualities, it would be great for him to become a World Champion, too. I mean, why not, right?
Daniel Bryan had to overcome the odds of The Authority and beat their Corporate Champion after months and months of them all holding him down to get where he was. Young had to… uh… get past a Corporate Champion after around a month of issues with management to finally win the TNA World Title on a LIVE iMPACT Wrestling broadcast.
There’s a bit of a difference, as you probably figured out. Yet it was almost a carbon copy of WWE’s product.
WWE obviously took notice of this and were reportedly “incredibly amused” by the similarties. Of course, no one had an issue with Eric Young at all. Many Superstars were happy for him. Yet the way it all went down just was laughable on TNA’s end, and WWE obviously felt the same way that the TNA and WWE fans did about it.
WWE simply feels that the booking is absolutely ridiculous on TNA’s end. While again, the focus is not on Eric Young at all, it is impressive that TNA went to such an extreme.
TNA used to be the place where you could see another product that the WWE simply could not give us. Now, TNA is the place where you see knock offs of WWE’s product that has not only improved, but has an Attitude Era-like feel to it for the new core of fans. TNA has been going downhill for some time now, and moves like this will only increase the nosedive speed.