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Posted in: Fact or Fiction
The Fact or Fiction All-Star Fiestapaloozaganza featuring The LOP Main Page and a Special Guest (FINAL DAY)
By Rob Simmons
Jun 13, 2015 - 9:41:52 AM

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DAY FIVE


Well here we are at the end of our Fact or Fiction event. It’s been a great five days, and I just want to thank all of the Main Page writers here at LordsofPain.net for agreeing to participate. To my knowledge, this has never been done before, and it was great to have everybody together. Also, a big thanks to our old friend Hustle for coming aboard as a special guest panelist. So what do we have for our last day of Fact or Fiction? Well, let’s talk about one of the most popular Superstars on the WWE roster.

FACT OR FICTION: Daniel Bryan will never wrestle again, and should that be the case the WWE will sever ties with him by the end of 2016.


DANNO
FACT. Unfortunately, I think this is the end for Daniel Bryan. It breaks my heart to say it. But let’s look on the bright side of things and try and find Bryan some other employment.

Clothes Shop
I do a bit of electrical maintenance in these modern clothes shops. Every one of these twenty somethings wears the cave man look that Daniel Bryan has made famous. Seriously, with that much fuzz, Bryan could make his £50 bonus paid via a gift card every month.

Nice Drug Dealer
I like that character from Pineapple Express played by that 127 hours bloke. I really nice drug dealer. I think Bryan has the look and the temperament to be the best “weed” guy in the neighbourhood.

PE Teacher
We had a PE teacher with the nickname “Shampy”. He earned this nickname, after he apparently had relations with a shampoo bottle in the changing rooms. How “Shampy” managed to keep his job is beyond me, but that was the story. DBry could be the new Shampy. He likes physical activity and obviously loves shampoo, with all that hair and stuff.

Tattooist
I’m not sure if Bryan has any artistic skill, it just sounds like a fun job.

So yeah, Daniel Bryan is a goner. But at least we’ve got his future sorted for him.

MAVERICK
Look, I am not a doctor, and I have no intention of pretending to be one. I have NO IDEA if Daniel Bryan will ever wrestle again. However, I have no intention of being a doomsayer either. Modern medical technology is really kind of remarkable. So I would actually be surprised if Bryan never wrestled again. We've seen many, many wrestlers come back from career threatening injuries to be as good as ever, so there's no reason why the American Dragon shouldn't be one of them. Yes, his comeback this time around was truncated, and his emotional vacation of the Intercontinental Title was tough to watch, but I am not prepared to give up on him. So, it's FICTION for me. Bryan will be back. As for the second part of the question, I find that sort of ridiculous. Why would WWE sever ties with an incredibly popular star who could act as an ambassador for them in a non-wrestling role? It would not make any sense at all, particularly as his wife is Brie Bella and his de facto brother in law is John Cena. FICTION there too. If Bryan does retire, WWE will retain his services either as a GM, a trainer, or a kind of walking Make A Wish guy.

THE DOC
Daniel Bryan has established enormous value in WWE that goes beyond what he can do in a wrestling ring. That's part of his legacy, should he not be able to go ever again - that he worked so hard to become a character that was about more than submission holds and fiery competitiveness between the ropes. So, I think that this is FICTION. If he never wrestles another match, then his personality alone will allow him to continue on in some capacity for a couple of years. It may take him a year to fully recognize that it's over, which would then be followed by a grace period where he accepts that he's done and decides he can do something besides wrestle in order to contribute.

TITO
He'll wrestle again even if it's not on the WWE's watch. FICTION. What else is he going to do? Wrestling is what he does best. The fact that he's not getting the BIG neck surgery and is going for quick fixes should tell you something. He's the modern day Kurt Angle who rushed any treatment possible to get back in that ring. Even if the WWE can tie him up for the next 3 years or so in a non-wrestling fashion just to ensure that a competitor doesn't steal him, once he's free from the WWE, he'll to back to the ring. Very few wrestlers are able to walk away from a short time away from their peak years. I believe that Bryan will have the big neck surgery soon and then attempt a big comeback in a few years. Edge, Chris Benoit, Lita, Rhyno, Steve Austin, and many others did it, why not Bryan?

HUSTLE
Oh, hey, look... a theme... FICTION. It's still too early to declare the RIP to Daniel Bryan's career. They had him go out on live television and say that he'll return, and that wouldn't have been the case had his future been up in the air. He'll be back, but unfortunately, we're back to the "it could be at any time" point in the story. He could be back in a few weeks, but it could also be a few months. None of us know, and we shouldn't pretend to. I will say this, though... if he has another setback, that will be it. If he returns to the ring, and after a couple months, his symptoms flare up again, it's time to call it a career for the sake of his future. We'll just have to cross that bridge when we get to it, however.

’PLAN
FICTION. I think I’m over the constant, frantic pandemonium that now seems to dog anything and everything that happens to involve Daniel Bryan. It sucks that he’s injured again and it sucks even more that it casts such a cold shadow over his possible future in the ring. WWE have been behind him since day one though, recognise how talented he is and have, in my mind, exhibited on multiple occasions – though this flies in the face of pervasive fan sentiment it must be said – how to use him at his most effective. Whether he wrestles again is for time and experts to tell us. WWE will categorically not sever ties with him though. Worst case scenario would be him taking on a production or training role in the company. Once again, I levy the accusation of doom-saying.

LEAF
FACTION- I'm sure I won't be the only one throwing down a Nation of Domination, Evolution or Shield here.

I can't see Daniel Bryan wrestling again in spite of his continued persistent guarantees. If the WWE had Corey Graves retire after a series of concussions, what can be said for a man who has been a physical wreck on the main roster?

I would love to say Bryan will wrestle again, even if he has to tone down his style, but I just get this feeling that this tale isn't going to involve numerous comebacks. I can't help but picture that the Daniel Bryan story will be about a man who reached the top of the mountain but was never the same again, in the same way that we constantly refer to a lesser tag partner as a Jannetty.

Should the WWE sever ties with him though? Absolutely not.

Daniel Bryan is one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. His YES chant will go down in history with other popular phrases like "What?". If you have been watching Lucha Underground, you may have heard that the fans over there have been chanting "Si!" at Alberto, carrying on a mock adaptation that started in WWE. That's the kind ofinfluence that he has had.

With Bryan appearing as a judge on Tough Enough, and with WWE even getting big names like Hulk Hogan on board, it's hard to imagine that they will keep the rebooted show as just a one series wonder.

Furthermore, with the influx of signings from the independent scene, who do you think would make a fantastic talent scout? Who is popular enough to be a great company ambassador? Who probably wouldn't mind adopting an on-screen character as their wife is part of the roster?

Daniel Bryan has a place in the WWE because Bryan is more than just a great wrestler. He fits in with everything that the WWE is today.

In conclusion, I'm pessimistic about his health, but I know that he'll be a key part of the company in years to come.

This has been fun, we should do this again some time guys!

OLIVER
I can’t bring myself to think about the possibility that Daniel Bryan will never wrestle again. It makes me too sad. Never wrestling again seems like it would be too unlikely for Bryan, for me – he’s a guy who’s worked so hard to get to where he is, worked for years to reach the pinnacle of the business, and then had it all swept from under him because of injury. It’s pretty upsetting, really. I can’t imagine he won’t come back to wrestling, so I’m going to say FICTION for this one – as long as his surgery all goes to plan, he’ll be back. It will be interesting to see if he’s forced to change his style this time, as I wouldn’t expect the powers that be to run the risk with him too much again in the future. Maybe he just needs to not wrestle every match like it’s his last this time around? Either way, I’m not sure WWE would ever really sever ties with him. They’ve kept injured people of a similar standing as Bryan around in NPC roles forever, so they’d surely find something to keep the Yes Man on TV. Plus, like I said in my Angle answer before this, there simply has to be a training role for him in the future. I could think of no better trainer than Bryan for new recruits.

SUPER CHRISSS
LOOOOOL! While Daniel Bryan may very well never be medically cleared to compete in the ring, there is no way WWE will "sever ties with him". Look at Corey Graves. He's essentially a nobody (to many fans; I like the guy) who was forced to retire due to a history of severe concussions. Rather than releasing this guy who 99% of the WWE Universe had nobody heard of, they turned him into a NXT commentator, pre-show analysis, and gave Graves his own show on the WWE Network.

Now, imagine what they would do with Daniel Freakin' Bryan, who is STILL one of the most over guys on the roster. There are so many things WWE could do with him in a non-physical role: General Manager, Raw/SmackDown commentator, head writer of the WWE Creative Team, you name it. To think WWE would cut ties with a former multiple-time world champion who they dedicated an entire WrestleMania to less than two years ago is laughable. FICTION, and it's not even debatable.

So the FICTION contingent wins out on this one, with only Danno going out on a limb and not only saying he’s done, but also finding him other employment. Leaf kind of got caught in the middle, and that’s where I’m going to end up as well.

I DO think Daniel Bryan will wrestle again, but I DON’T think it will be for the WWE. Quite honestly I believe it’s in the WWE’s best interest to not let Daniel Bryan in the ring again. There are just too many question marks involved with his overall health, and if I were them I just wouldn’t risk putting him out there and possibly having him do even more damage. Let’s be honest, D-Bry isn’t going to change his style, it’s just not in his nature, so asking him to do that is just wasted words. So what do you do with him?

At the end of the day, Daniel Bryan is a wrestler. Yes he’d be a great ambassador for the WWE, but does anybody really think he’s not dying just a little every day he can’t get back in the ring. So when it comes to whether or not he gets back in the ring or not, I think it’s a matter of when and not if. However, I think it will be outside the WWE, because Daniel Bryan will be the one to sever the ties. The WWE isn’t stupid, they know how hurt he is, and from the little bit of information we have it sounds pretty serious. However he’s going to want to get in the ring again if he can. I love the guy, but he seems like he’ll do everything he can to get back in the ring again, whether it’s in his own best interest or not. So that’s where I’m torn, and I side with Leaf- FACTION.

I really hope you all enjoyed reading Fact or Fiction. We’ll do it again in a few months and hopefully we can get the entire panel back. I don’t think I’m being presumptuous in saying that every columnist here at LordsofPain.net appreciates you being here and reading our stuff. It’s truly appreciated.

Once again,
Thanks so much for reading and we’ll catch you next time!


********************


DAY FOUR


Welcome back everybody to the biggest collaboration in LordsofPain.net history, the All-Star Fact or Fiction. Yesterday we had the panel completely agreed on Seth Rollins’ title reign NOT being a failure so far. Let’s see what happens today when we discuss what NXT could do for the Main Roster.

FACT OR FICTION: With wrestling eyes everywhere on the NXT Women's Division, and the great matches they're putting on, the WWE Main Roster Diva's Division will be overhauled within the next six months to make it more competitive and less of a joke. In short, #GiveDivasAChance.


SUPER CHRISSS
This is actually a tough one. Had you asked me this question prior to Elimination Chamber, I would have said FICTION in a heartbeat. The dynamic and rivalry between The Bellas, Naomi and Paige has been played out to death; the fact that Paige is the only woman in the active main roster divas division that I care about doesn't help matters, either. HOWEVER, on the first Raw of June, WWE surprisingly gave Nikki vs. Paige (for the divas title) the top of the second hour timeslot, which is a huge accomplishment for the divas. The two impressed in that match, and the crowd was invested - two things which will go a long way in WWE deciding whether to continue #GivingDivasAChance.

But the problem is, we need fresh blood in the divas division. The new alliance between Tamina and Naomi isn't going to set the division on fire, I'm afraid. There are PLENTY of experienced/over divas down in NXT; too many, actually. I feel that Charlotte and Bayley have out-grown the developmental territory, in all seriousness. If I had confirmation that we would be getting some NXT call-ups over the next six months, I would answer with FACT. But knowing WWE, we might not see any main roster additions until next year's WrestleMania season. I sure I'm hope wrong about that. Therefore, I'm answering with FICTION.

DANNO
FACT. Now let me start this by saying how much I respect women. I love women. I have two women, my wife and daughter, which are very important to me.

Women look odd wrestling. They are like female soccer players. They have great skill, technique and passion, but they aren’t as good as their male counterparts. They do things awkwardly. But, I can see a change on the horizon.

Mickie James and Trish Stratus are considered legends. Now, imagine having 5 or 6 females of a similar calibre. That is what we are dealing with. They are a golden generation of WWE Divas. Now, don’t get me wrong, they’ll still have awkward moments, but the standard will be through the roof in comparison to Aksana or one of the Funkadactils.
So yeah, we may be on the verge of something special.

MAVERICK
In six months? FICTION. Change takes so much longer than that. The women of NXT are rightly praised for putting on good matches at the NXT Takeover specials (though the hyperbole is often more than a bit rich for my blood, to be quite honest about it; they're not that good) but there's a reason they get that much time and space to perform; it's a DEVELOPMENTAL FED. Once they are on the main roster, they are squeezed for time, perhaps a ten minute segment on Raw, one on Smackdown and a six to ten minute match on the monthly pay-per-view. Only on rare occasions does this change; the Trish Stratus era, AJ vs Kaitlyn at Payback '13, Steph vs Brie at Summerslam '14. It's the time limits that really make it difficult for any kind of women's wrestling golden age to begin on the main roster. It may well take the death of Vince McMahon for female wrestlers to be taken seriously on a permanent basis. For now, it's small steps. Once Paige is joined by Evil Emma, Sasha and Becky (Charlotte is horribly overrated for my money, and with the Bellas improving all the time, we will at least get a series of good eight minute matches on pay-per-view. Don't expect miracles overnight though.

THE DOC
FICTION because it's not a joke right now. It's not NXT, but it's the best place that women's wrestling has occupied on the main roster in quite some time. AJ Lee gave women in WWE a prominent voice again; she made progress for the Divas Championship simply by holding it, given where her character was at back then. The development of Paige in 2014 was a step in the right direction, too, as was the level of hype surrounding the Bellas - no matter the reason or the quality - from the build to Summerslam and beyond. So, for two years, the division was improved. It's not a joke. However, some of the females involved may never be able to overcome years of being treated like a joke. NXT will, therefore, serve to build on the foundation laid by AJ, Paige, and the Bellas and simultaneously weed out the less talented women who are too far gone to ever really be taken seriously again.

TITO
I think we've already had an overhaul of the WWE Divas division, so I'll go FICTION. Seems like with the addition of Paige, the Bella Twins taking wrestling more seriously, and reducing the amount of Total Divas segments on RAW has already began to revise the division. I believe that NXT wrestlers will just add and thicken up what is already in place. And I wouldn't call it a joke, either... Much more entertaining than the days of Kelly Kelly running the division. Nikki Bella has blossomed (in more ways than one) into a pretty good female singles wrestler. In a few months, we'll see the division have nice mixture of old and new female wrestlers.

HUSTLE
This one is also a FICTION, but I'm holding out some hope that I'm wrong. Even at the very core, it's difficult to see the main roster Divas getting too much time to work with on even a semi-regular basis because of how little extra time there is to go around. That's an incredible thing to say, considering just how much television time the company has on a weekly basis, but there are so many wrestlers on the roster, and so many matches and storylines to get over all the time, that it's difficult to see much more being added to the Divas. Sure, when someone like a Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch or Bayley make their main roster debut, you might see them in a longer match or two, just on the heels of their NXT buzz, but it won't take long to return to the status quo. It would be nice to see better in-ring competitors getting longer matches to work with, but the company's track record isn't very good. At some point, after the initial excitement has begun to die down, Nikki Bella would pin Sasha in two minutes, and the "experiment" would be over.

’PLAN
FICTION. Not because such an overhaul won’t happen but because it will take much longer than six months if it is going to be a permanent change. Indeed, change is a funny thing; people have a tendency to think of it, expect it even, in quick and sudden sharp bursts. This is not the case. Change never happens overnight. It is a slow grind forward and requires patience, dispassion and careful scrutiny to appreciate it as it happens. The Divas have already been slowly benefitting from intermittent spurts of greater interest, and the length of the intermissions has been growing shorter. The more of those NXT-bred talents that come up the more the change will gather momentum. It will take much longer than six short months though, which in pro wrestling terms is nothing. Women in WWE over the last year and a half have started to be treated as less of a joke already. My advice is to be patient, keep your eyes open and your disposition balanced; the change is already underway.

LEAF
FACT- They have to, haven't they?

I know that several of my fellow columnists will be talking about the success of the NXT divas, how HHH views the divas division, the success of the #GiveDivasAChance hashtag... All fantastic points. What I would like to talk about is Wrestlemania.

At Wrestlemania 31, arguably the two biggest wrestling personalities clashed with the biggest actual brand in the Divas division. If you think about possible tag matches within the division, this was the biggest match they could have put forward. I think it showed that the WWE had a lot of faith in the divas as they weren't just battling for a familiar prop for the sake of it, nor did they have to include a celebrity face. They didn't even throw every Diva into the match. This was the biggest match they could have presented to us, and that's what they delivered.

Now, in six months’ time we will be on the Road to Wrestlemania once more. With events like TLC and Royal Rumble coming our way, we will start building towards that big event. For next year's spectacle, it has been rumoured that the WWE want to absolutely smash the attendance record. I'm sure you've heard the rumours, we're talking about a potential Undertaker retirement match in his hometown, readily available Legends of the industry being on tap, Rock vs. HHH. Hell, if you believe what we heard on the Steve Austin Podcast with Paul Heyman, we might just get Austin vs. Brock.

You have to imagine that the WWE will go in there with all guns blazing. Do you think that they would give us a weak Divas match when they are trying to make this a must see event? Now the WWE has to consider so many factors with the division: the cross-brand appeal of Total Divas and the success of the NXT women for example.

With Vince McMahon coming round to HHH's way of thinking recently, by attending NXT events and by apparently offering Samoa Joe a full time contract, you have to imagine that he is on board with the changes that we have already seen in developmental.

The way we see Divas is changing. With Vince starting to see things HHH's way, and with such a huge Wrestlemania on the horizon, I can't see how the WWE can continue to offer a lacklustre presentation of their female product.

OLIVER
Six months? That seems a little soon to me. However, I think the general statement is likely to happen, so I’m going with FACT. I could talk all day about the NXT women’s division, and probably could write miles and miles of columns about it. The short story of it all is that the NXT women’s division succeeds as much because of the quality matches as the time and effort put into character development – and that’s what I think needs to change on the main roster for the women to really have been given a chance. There’s very little reasoning behind actions on the main roster, for me, with Nikki and Brie Bella suddenly turning heel or face depending on who they’re going up against without any real explanation. When they’re given an opportunity, though, they can craft something with regards to story – for example, the Stephanie McMahon/Brie Bella tale in the approach to SummerSlam last year. Now, that was never going to lead to something like Banks vs Lynch in terms of in ring quality, but the actual attention lavished on the two competitors (and yes, I appreciate that one of them basically owns the company now and may well have been on a total power trip, but don’t let the point get overwhelmed by that) in the buildup made the match mean something. That’s where NXT succeeds so well – they can sell you on any matchup between any of their women, and build their matches in a way that shows their care. It’s not a ‘you won a battle royal, now your number one contender’ sort of environment – every match has had a reason for existing to some extent. The best example of this is, and will always be, Bayley vs Charlotte. Bayley spent months on the receiving end of a ton of crap from Charlotte and Sasha Banks, but proved herself and earned a title shot by overcoming the other people in the division. She didn’t fluke a rollup win on the champ and that be it – she overcame everyone that could possibly have gotten in her way and earned her shot. No main roster woman has really done that, they’ve either picked up lucky wins or won terrible gimmick battle royals. The story was Bayley, whose character we’d seen move from callow upstart to being able to hang with the best of the division, coming up against someone who’d dogged her every step of the way in Charlotte. It wasn’t a case of a one off, hastily built feud – that match had months of history behind it, and as a result resonated with the crowd and viewers. The determination of Bayley, the will she had to win that title and show she belonged on NXT against possibly the most genetically gifted and outrageously talented female wrestler on the whole roster. And the thing was that it meant something to Bayley to win. It wasn’t a ‘huh, yeah, I guess I could be Divas Champion because I might as well’. It was ‘I want that damn belt because I’ve busted arse for the past six years to be the best damned wrestler I could be and it means a shedload to me’. The first is going to get the crowd going ‘Woo. Yay. Hurrah.’. The second is going to get them screaming ‘TAP THE F**K OUT YOU F****G F**K’ or ‘oh God, please don’t keep getting up Bayley you are a precious flower and I will love you even if you lose, just don’t get hurt’ at the ring.

Sorry, Bayley vs Charlotte still makes my heart hurt nine months later.

But that’s kind of the thing, isn’t it? That’s what the main roster needs to do – not just shrug and go ‘yup, give those women a chance, let them have seven minutes on pay per view’, but to actually Give Women A Chance, capitalised for impact. I could get on a lot more with a main roster full of disparate characters who all have their unique characters and motivations, but I can’t really get along with a bunch of similarly minded bratty women who are just there and do some matches now and again. There’s a big difference between the hashtag and actually giving women a chance on the main roster – one is a soundbite, something snappy that WWE can reel off and claim to be doing. Actually giving them a chance means really going in on the foundations of the division and working upwards to change things. There are three hours of Raw, and yet it seems we hardly get more than a single segment that focuses on the Divas Champion and her challenger(s) in some way or another. Can’t they do more than that? I have to believe that the women on the main roster are generally good enough at wrestling to put together a competent match within their allotted time, which is all the NXT women are really doing – whether it’s three minutes or thirteen, there’s rarely a women’s match on NXT that’s in any way sloppy or not hinting at something bigger than itself. I can only really think of one truly ‘poor’ match on NXT in the past year or so, to be honest with you. So I think the real change has to happen backstage, and it has to happen in a structured and sensible way – only when that change is truly enacted, as it has been on NXT to great success, will it actually lead us to a division that has meaning and power.

Whether that happens in six months or not is a question I can’t even begin to fathom out the answer to. But I would suggest that the success of the NXT women’s division is a big hint that the main roster division can and will work a lot better than it currently does. It just needs someone to come in at the ground level and to allow the division to breathe a bit. Let it slip outside its own box sometimes, let the characters actually develop into meaning something to viewers, and let us relate to them to some extent. Stronger characters and developed storytelling will go a long way to improving the division, and I don’t think that’s too hard to achieve.

Wow, that Oliver sure had a lot to say on this topic didn’t he? But despite all that, FICTION still wins out 6-3. Once again though, I’m going to make this a little closer, because I firmly believe this is FACT. With Charlotte, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and more tearing it up in NXT, the WWE Main Roster Divas have to be chomping at the bit to be able to show what they can do. In six months’ time I think we’re going to see a whole new dynamic in the Divas division. At least I really hope so.

Tomorrow, we finish up our 5-day event with a question concerning the future of a certain WWE Superstar. Come back to see how it all wraps up.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading!