Daniel Bryan is one of the best wrestlers in the WWE. After being built up as a world champion and technical marvel, is he being lost as part of Team Hell No?
After acting idiotic in the ring and gaining mounting losses, can he be taken seriously as a competitor again?
Bryan came to the WWE after working in the independent scene for 10 years (WWE.com). According to The Baltimore Sun, he trained at Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Academy. He credits William Regal as having a huge influence on his career.
Once he came to the WWE, he captured the United States championship. He went on to defeat Big Show for the world heavyweight title in 45 seconds and held the title until he lost it to Sheamus at WrestleMania.
His paring with Kane as Team Hell No was the start of a tag team revival in the WWE. Bryan and Kane had great chemistry and developed into an entertaining and funny duo.
That's the problem. Funny has taken priority over winning matches.
Bryan spends more time arguing with Kane over who is going to win or tag in than he does wrestling.
Serious wrestlers who became overtly comedic wrestlers have failed in the WWE in the long run.
Goldust debuted in 1995 and, as noted by WWE.com, became a feared oddity that perfectly captured the essence of the Attitude Era. He went from being a feared intercontinental champion to a running joke. He suffered from Tourette's and was part of a comedic tag team with Booker T.
Despite 11 WWE titles, Goldust was never the same again.
Brodus Clay was a dominant force as G-Rilla in Deep South Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling, becoming the No. 1 contender to the heavyweight title (Onlineworldofwrestling.com).
The former bodyguard for Alberto Del Rio is now dancing in the ring and losing to Antonio Cesaro.
Dusty Rhodes was tarnished as The American Dream.
Granted, wrestlers can pull off funny turns. Christian, Edge, Michaels and Eddie Guerrero did it successfully. But the men on this short list never lost their edge or forgot how to wrestle.
As a tag team champion, Bryan should be one of the best in the ring, funny bits aside. His loss to Big Show in a handicap match erodes his aura of technical dominance.
It may be too soon to tell which path Bryan is going to take in the WWE after his tag team run. Hopefully, he’ll follow the path of Bret Hart and Michaels and not Santino Marella.