AS I SEE IT: More on Daniel Bryan and NXT

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

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More on the NXT show. It turns out that instead of being a brand, it’s pretty much going to be Ultimate Fighter meets WWE (minus the drunken outbursts and brawling…I think), where a “veteran” mentors a “rookie” and his progress is observed. Within this “mentoring”, storylines are already woven in, especially for one Bryan Danielson.

Mike Mizanin will be mentoring Bryan Danielson. Insert sound of hysterical laughter mixed with Internet outrage….which is probably exactly WWE’s idea.

Witness Mizanin’s officially WWE sanctioned…er… “WWE Universe” blog:

“It’s come to my knowledge that some members of the WWE Universe think they know everything about WWE and what it takes to be a WWE Superstar. They think that if a guy does well in the independent minor leagues, then all of a sudden he should be in the WWE. They think that if a guy can main event in front of a hundred people at a bingo hall, then he’s ready to main event at WrestleMania. Just because fans on the Internet say you’re ready doesn’t mean you really are.”

Bryan is a great in-ring worker, but the Miz says he’ll go nowhere without learning how to be a star – a quality he’s been honing for years. ‘My job is to make Daniel Bryan a star in the WWE,’ Miz said. ‘Let’s face it, if you look at a picture of him right now, do you think STAR? No, Daniel Bryan looks like my accountant … ordinary and bland.’

“….Maybe if he had The Miz’s charisma and look, he would have been in the WWE by now. Don’t hate on me because it didn’t take me a decade to get a WWE contract and go down in WWE history to be the first Superstar to win the United States Title and Unified Tag Team Titles.

Yeah, it just took you being an underwear model, and appearing on multiple reality shows including: Real World Back to New York, Real World/Road Rules Challenge, Battle of the Seasons, The Gauntlet, The Inferno, Battle of the Sexes 2, The Inferno 2, and Fear Factor, then finally appearing on Tough Enough. So actually it took you NINE years to get there, Miz.

As for only drawing a “hundred people at a bingo hall”? Try mentioning that Danielson worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling NOAH, two of Japan’s most successful wrestling companies. Not to mention Ring of Honor, who holds Manhattan shows in the very same venue that Monday Night RAW was initially filmed in. Or try Danielson being named Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Best Technical Wrestler the last five years, and Most Outstanding Wrestler for the last four years.

But I digress.

John Morrison responded in an article on that he told Mizanin backstage (after the news came out about the “mentoring” pairings ):

” I walked by [backstage at the ECW tapings] and said, “Pssh, he knows more than you do.” And that’s pretty much what everyone thinks. It’s gonna be interesting and I think that’s the point of it.

So it seems this is being used as a storyline within NXT. Of course, that sort of thing can go two ways: either Danielson fans can watch to see what “mentoring” Mizanin gives, the inevitable showing up (in terms of wrestling) by Danieleson…or if you prefer in reality show jargon, the “conflict”.

Then there can be some Danielson fans who are so pissed off by this storyline…and the real-life point that WWE makes that a wrestler’s accomplishment outside WWE don’t matter, that those who were already watching the Tuesday night wrestling slot stop watching it altogether (no, I wasn’t one of them). While there’s a part of me that’s intrigued by the potential conflict on this show, I’m not much for reality shows. I haven”t even watched Ultimate Fighter. So I’m not sure if I’m watching NXT or not.

One thing, WWE sure made sure Elimintation Chamber featured enough plugs for the show and the Danielson- Mizanin storyline in particular…by throwing in an MVP-Mizanin United States Champoionship match out of nowhere that seemed to have been put on the show for the sole purpose of plugging NXT.

Ultimately, I want to see what WWE lets Danielson do inside the ring. If eventually they let him be Bryan Danielson in the ring and the storyline is built with him against Mizanin, then that’s one thing. But I’ll say it again…let a wrestler with a different look have a different look. Wrestling’s roots comes from the circus and carny days. In a really good circus, there were trapeze artists, animal acts, strongmen, clowns, and so on. If a circus is all clowns, all animal acts, or all anything…then that circus loses its appeal. That’s been one of WWE’s problems over recent years…that there’s a “WWE look”. Everyone has to be 6′ 4″ (or more) and tanned, with a build obtained from…well, the gym and whatever else it’s obtained from. The problem is thar if everyone is a “strongman”, then no one stands out as a “strongman”.

Here’s a thought, given the recent passing of former NWA Champion Jack Brisco: What would WWE have thought of Jack Brisco if he came out now? Too quiet? Not colorful enough? No catchy gimmick? Just a college wrestler? My point is that in that day, the Jack Briscoes of the world made the Hulk Hogans and Dusty Rhodes stand out as characters. The Bryan Danielsons, Low-Kis, and CM Punks can make HHH, John Cena, and Batista stand out as oversized, colorful characters. They ALL had and have their place.

To conclude, how you can help Haiti:

Wrestling website Diva Dirt is continuing the effort to put together a friendly competition among wrestlers on Twitter to raise money for the people of Haiti which was struck by a tragic earthquake earlier this week. As part of the competition, they ask all wrestlers to tweet to their followers to send a donation via PayPal to [email protected].

How to pledge via PayPal:

1. Log in to your Paypal account or sign up for one.
2. Click on the “Send Money” tab.
3. Type [email protected] in the “To” field and enter your pledge amount into the “Amount” field.
4. Choose how you wish to send the payment [it’s advised to send it as ‘personal’ and ‘gift].
5. On the confirmation screen, you will see “Email to recipient”” which shows something similar to the image below. In the “Message” field type in the name of the wrestler who you are pledging in support of. As you can see in the example below, the pledge is in support of Awesome Kong.
6. Click “Send Money” to send your payment!

All pledges will be sent to the American Red Cross Haiti emergency appeal fund. Please spread the word to your favourite wrestler on Twitter and ask them to get involved!

WWE is asking its fans to support relief efforts through AmericCares at this link

You can also donate to these well-known charitable organizations:

  • UNICEF’s website
  • The Clinton-Bush Haiti fund
  • American Red Cross International Response Fund
  • Doctors Without BordersThe following organizations are accepting SMS donations in the US only:
  • SMS text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts
  • SMS text “YELE” to 501501 to Donate $5 to Yele Haiti’s Earthquake Relief efforts
  • SMS text “GIVE10” to 20222 to donate $10 to Direct ReliefUntil next time…

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