Bryan Danielson is coming to the WWE and, in the complete and utter, all encompassing opposite of a shock, the internet has settled comfortably into two opposite camps, with each claiming that the other side has no idea what they’re talking about. One camp has decided that Bryan Danielson is destined to succeed and be amazing in the WWE, while the other has decided that Danielson will be misused, if not ruined and embarrassed, before being summarily released. The first group points to the success of CM Punk in the WWE as proof that Danielson will succeed. Even Evan Bourne, a smaller guy, had his talent shine through and got over on WWE television. The claim is the cream of the indies has thus far succeeded in bigger companies with Samoa Joe, CM Punk and AJ Styles all being top guys and champions. Danielson, further, was trained by office favorites and seasoned veterans, Shawn Michaels and William Regal. His personality, charisma and interview skills are under-rated, and if they weren’t, he’s an in ring talent on par with Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, so with all that, he has to succeed. The naysayers claim talent isn’t enough. Many talented individuals, from Terry Taylor to Chavo Guerrero have been misused and humiliated for little to no reason. Danielson has a terrible look and that will stop his charisma from being showcased. The WWE only pushes pure wrestlers in the rarest of occasions- Benoit was to make a star of someone WCW wasted, while Angle is an Olympic Gold Medalist. Danielson has no such claim to fame. Sure some guys succeeded, but Paul London and Brian Kendrick were kept at the bottom of cards, even with their connection to Shawn Michaels. How can Regal make that much of a difference? Sure Evan Bourne got an initial push, but even he’s a jobber now on Raw. Hell, he won’t even be “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson when he debuts- a television show uses the American Dragon title, while WWE gives wrestlers fake names so that they may own the trademark. While both sides have their points, the true answer simply cannot be known and everyone professing sure knowledge is a bit ignorant. Here are some keys to Danielson’s success: Keep him away from Raw. - Raw is where the big guns make their home and there’s far too much politicking there for Danielson to get over. ECW would be ideal, then a move to Smackdown. Make sure he gets a solid, workmanlike gimmick. - If Danielson is a wrestling DJ, all is lost, but if he’s a solid wrestler, whether MMA based, no limits based, or whatever, he has the ability to get over with WWE fans. Let him keep his mannerisms. - While “Best in the World” might not be appropriate in the WWE, his “I’ve got ‘till 5”, “Whoaaaa” surfboard, and other mannerisms would help him stand apart and get over. CM Punk keeping the straight edge gimmick gives hope for this. Debut him in a city like New York or Philadelphia. - Remember the debut CM Punk got at the Hammerstein Ballroom that marked him for a star? That’s nothing compared to what response Danielson would get in a similar setting. It’s about being at the right place at the right time, so Danielson must be debuted in the right place! Pair him with the right opponent. - No one too far up the card is necessary, but Danielson will need someone he can show his skills with early. Whether the first few matches are squashes or not can be determined based on character, but a feud with someone like William Regal, Finlay, Shelton Benjamin, the Hart Dynasty, or even a new debut like Low Ki (now known as Kaval in FCW), Danielson will be over if he is in there with a guy who can wrestle. With these five steps, Danielson will be a huge success in WWE. Debuted in the wrong place, with the wrong gimmick, on Raw, against a giant, or in as unrecognizable wrestler will lead Danielson to failure. As always, time will tell.
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