Most of the time, a columnist's "job" is to break everything down, looking at every detail they can find, going over the positives and the negatives of what they're talking about. That's what all of us do, no matter where we write, and how many people are reading our work. Sure, we might have our own personal, unique ways of doing so, but we all do it.
Tonight won't be one of those times for me.
If you know anything about me, you should already know what I'm about to discuss, but for those who haven't figured it out..
Daniel Bryan is your new World Heavyweight Champion, and my marking out has yet to stop since he won the belt. Watching it live, I was on a group Skype call with the Lords Of Podcast guys, and I had the sound of the event muted, so I wasn't able to get the full experience of things, but even then, while everyone else was talking about things, all I could say was "OH MY GOD" for several minutes. Literally. It's all I could say.
Of course I went back to watch the show later in the night. I watched it by myself, without a bunch of people talking into my ear. I watched it with the sound on, so I could get the actual event-watching experience, and everything I've been telling people would happen if I ever got to see Daniel Bryan win the World Title actually went on to happen. I marked out, probably frightening my roommates for a bit. E-cred be damned, I actually got emotional when he won. I wasn't sitting there, crying, but I got emotional. I'm sure most of you understand that completely.
I've explained it before, but I'll do it again.. when you've been watching a wrestler rise through the indy ranks for years, from small shows in front of a few dozen people to shows for bigger indy companies like Ring Of Honor that make it to DVD and are being performed in other countries, you become attached to them in a way. When you tell people, for months and years on end, that one of the major wrestling promotions should take a chance on signing these particular wrestlers, that attachment begins to feel like you're trying to help a friend or a family member out. In the case of Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan, it went to an entirely new level, based on the amount of hate that he has received from those who didn't watch him on the indy scene at all, and who had their first experience of him when he was a member of the NXT roster.
He's too small to achieve any success with World Wrestling Entertainment, because Vince McMahon only wants to push bigger workers.
He's too boring and doesn't have enough of a personality to be able to cut promos and participate in segments for World Wrestling Entertainment.
He's an indy darling, and Vince McMahon doesn't know anything about the indy scene, so he won't want to give in to what indy fans want.
We've heard/seen it all. Hell, there are people reading this right now who have said/typed those things before. Through it all, I've continued to defend Daniel Bryan, merely saying that if he was given a proper chance to succeed, he would do just that.. succeed. I've never said he would go on to win 20 World Titles, or that he would turn into the most charismatic performer we've ever seen. All I said was that he would succeed. So far..
- Money In The Bank winner
- One-time United States Champion
- One-time (and current) World Champion
All that in less than two years, overall, of being with the company. I'd say that he's succeeded.
This is the spot where most columnists would go on to look ahead a bit. Who will Daniel Bryan feud with now? How long will Daniel Bryan continue to be the World Champion? You'll read columns like that from lots of folks, I'm sure, so I won't do it.
I'm just incredibly happy. Happy for Daniel Bryan, the wrestler. Happy for Bryan Danielson, the man. I won't sit here and say he and I are best friends or even close to it, but in the interactions I've had with the guy, he comes across as incredibly genuine, humble and an overall nice guy. Someone you want to root for. Someone who deserves success. He's been working his ass off for the last 12 years, and now, he stands as the World Champion in the largest wrestling promotion on the planet.
He could be the champion for a year. He could drop the title at tomorrow's Smackdown tapings. All that matters is that he won the title in the first place.
As a columnist, there's so many things to complain about, but right now.. maybe just this one time.. I don't want to do that.
Thank you, Vince McMahon. Thank you for giving someone a chance that most people never thought he'd receive. You get your fair sure of criticism from people, but when you do something right, you really do it right.
Congratulations, Bryan. Words cannot express how proud we are of you.