In this edition of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, I take a look at Monday's developments in the Daniel Bryan vs. fun-hating corporate bigwigs storyline. Since it was segmented into various promos and matches (or "segments" – go figure), I'll likewise segment my comments into bulletpoints for each segment.
I think I just ruined the word "segment" for myself.
You've just won a braaaand neeew caaar!: Triple H and Randy Orton performing verbal fellatio for each other is far more effective when they're trying to draw the ire of the crowd as heels instead of when they were faces recounting their trials like stuffy, heavily muscled old men. "Back in my day, we had to drag our faces through a ring full of steel chairs wrapped in barbwire dipped in lemon and salt to win a championship. *Flex flex flex*"
Daniel Bryan showing up was the best part for me, and yes, I'm biased. I have to say though, Daniel Bryan doesn't have the best range on the mic. He's usually either lightly mocking, subtly jerky to AJ (as a heel), or jabbing himself in the chest while screaming until he's red in the face ... or so I assume. Can't see much with that beard in the way.
However, I really like this "pretty boy" label he's taunting Randy Orton with. It might sound a little juvenile, but it stands on all the pillars representing common criticisms about WWE's choosing-who-to-push methodology. Randy's good-looking, he's chiseled, he's a superficial marvel, but he lacks the substance, the sort of wrestling talent Bryan knows he has. Although I wouldn't say Orton lacks substance, it serves the purpose of the story. After all, he's the hand-picked "Face of the WWE." If he doesn't lack substance in wrestling ability, he must elsewhere. You could say the "pretty" comment also implies shallowness, specifically missing the depth dug by a moral compass or a sense of honor. You can unfold a lot from the "pretty boy" comment (and I invite you to ... in the comment section ... *wink wink, nudge nudge*) and that's what makes it so impactful.
The "YES!"calade: As far as the "heel gets a nice car, heel shows off nice car, face destroys nice car" trope, John summed up its history nicely in The RAW Deal. It's not exactly new, and you could argue it's even a bit phoned-in with how the car was introduced only for the night, but at least it gets Bryan back his heat. Also, I felt a mixture of relief and glee when I saw they tailored the angle for Daniel Bryan. Rather than destroying the car like we'd expect, Bryan put his unique spank on it and energized the crowd in the process. That's one reason why it's good to be a D-Bry fan: it's fun chanting "YES!". Especially while passing by coffee shops with open front doors. Now there's an embarrassing story.
Underneath the boot heel of the COO: Damnit, I really enjoy seeing Triple H throw his weight around as a corporate heel. He might not have the same talent on the mic as Mr. McMahon in the same role (but who does or ever will or AHHHH -- I love heel Mr. McMahon, the biggest villain of my childhood, even bigger than Frieza), but he gets the job done, especially when he has such great set pieces to work with. It might smell faintly of cheese, it might have some continuity issues (I'm looking at you, Mr. "I have an ironclad contract"), but lining up the whole roster on the ramp to watch Daniel Bryan get ripped apart by the Hounds of Justice was awesome. It invokes tales of Christ's apostles getting fed to the lions in the Roman coliseum. The hero punished before his peers by an oppressor is almost a universal motif, recognizable to any audience. Most importantly, it's a great way to earn the face sympathy while drawing a stink eye for the heels.
Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan: OHMYGLOBIDYOUSEETHATGERMANSUPLEXSOSICK!
Me Triple H, me wear suit, me flex muscles: A minor flub, but I couldn't help laughing to my Facebook friends about Triple H saying, "Me show you what happened at SummerSlam." Again, forgivable, but funny nonetheless. Next week he should grunt through all his promos like he's a Fallout character with 0 intelligence.
Aw man, here comes Daniel Bryan's new finisher, it's going to be so hype, Rollins is gonna get his f*cking head kneed i--wait, wuh?: Although another rare flub, it was a little less forgivable and a lot more aggravating to cut to another shot right when Daniel Bryan was about to hit his new finisher. He was Hulking up, whipping the crowd up into a frenzy and I was so freaking pumped and then BOOM! -- a shot of the audience. To make it up for you guys (and myself), here's a gif of the finisher when he hit it at SummerSlam to win the WWE Championship (I love typing that), which I'm sure has some obscure name.
What WOULD HAVE BEEN ugly was seeing Randy Orton punt in Daniel Bryan's skull, which would have had the viciousness and impact befitting the "fed to the lions" motif. However, I understand the WWE's stance on it, although Orton doesn't like it. Hopefully he and Bryan don't mind taking another fine like they did after their match on RAW I wrote about back in June. Then again, the punt usually signaled a prolonged absence from the ring (but not always), so he probably couldn’t use it without getting some kind of go-ahead from creative. They could at least tease it though.
Just so you know, I’m not cancelling the Gothic series or anything. I just put it on hold for this week because I really wanted to do this article. I only get the one article a week and don’t have room in my schedule (especially since the fall semester just started on Monday) to write a second. Don’t worry, it’ll be coming next week. Any guess for who the Superstar is? Give you a hint: he’s big, he’s red, he’s a ma—okay, fine, it’s Kane.
Anyway, thanks for reading, dudes and dudettes. Remember that any and all criticism is appreciated. Have a great dizzle.
Nicholas LeVack is a junior English creative writing major and media studies minor whose interests include writing, wrestling, video games and occasional outdoorsy things. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected]