QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who is more likely to still be employed by the WWE at the end of 2018, Brock Lesnar or Daniel Bryan?
Did you miss me? It’s been almost four months since I last wrote a column. The reason? Kids. No one told me that having a second kid was completely different than having one. I used to write my columns while my oldest was napping. Again, no one told me that my youngest wouldn’t nap when my oldest did. It’s a giant box of bull$hit really.
Anyhow, I’ve been itching to get back into the mix, so here we are. Hopefully I still have some fans. I was one of the fortunate few to have built a steady audience on LOP, and the prospect of losing that is not something that excites me.
So what did I miss while I was gone?
Tito is threatening to quit. Spoiler alert, that guy isn’t going anywhere.
The Doc has completely lost his mind and fallen into the pit of misery. Good thing I’m back to pull him out of his funk – it’s f*cking depressing.
There are a lot of good writers one the site drowning in their own negativity.
Sheesh, looks like me and my overly ignorant optimism couldn’t come back soon enough. Onto the column!
<u>The Eternal Optimist Presents: Brock Lesnar’s Great, Daniel Bryan Sucks, and Why Evolution is Everything.</u>
<u>Brock Lesnar is GREAT!</u>
I’ve seen a tremendous amount of backlash towards Brock Lesnar and his perceived lack of effort to appear in the WWE. I love it. You are all a bunch of suckers. The WWE has worked you so hard and you can’t even see the forest through the trees.
Think about what happened here. Brock Lesnar was an absolute badass that slaughtered everyone. The fan base loves wrestlers like that and cheered him endlessly. The WWE didn’t want to make Brock Lesnar a good guy – they needed and wanted a top heel.
Instead, the WWE has carefully crafted a narrative that even the most diehard of diehard fans have fallen for hook line and sinker. Brock Lesnar is a part timer. Brock Lesnar doesn’t care about the WWE or its fans. Brock Lesnar wants to be a UFC superstar only. Brock Lesnar is too good for Monday Night Raw.
The reaction has been unbelievable. The fans have turned on Lesnar and boo him mercilessly at every turn. Did you hear the pop when Kurt Angle suggested that he would strip Lesnar of the title? Those of you with blinders will try to force-feed a nonsense narrative that the Universal Title is better suited on someone else. The reality is that the WWE has a top heel champion that is believable, hated and moves the needle far better than anyone else on the roster.
I love me some Roman Reigns. He’s already had a top 15 career even if he never wrestles another match. That said, I want to see Lesnar beat him again. In fact, I’d love to see the WWE run this match at every Wrestlemania and Summerslam for the next five years. There’s absolutely NO reason to stop the gravy train. Eventually, someone will get hot enough to justify a real “passing the torch” moment. In the meantime, the Universal Title belongs on only one man. That man is Brock Lesnar.
<u>Daniel Bryan SUCKS!</u>
It’s inarguable that Daniel Bryan’s wrestling return has been a tremendous flop. In just a few short months, he’s gone from the most over guy on the roster to “just another guy”.
The booger eaters want to blame Vince McMahon and WWE creative for how Daniel Bryan has been booked. That isn’t the problem. Daniel Bryan has been booked incredibly well since his return. He was featured prominently at Wrestlemania and made to look strong in a match that under any other circumstance would have rightfully been a win for the heels. He went over Big Cass, a monster that the WWE had presented as extremely credible, on two Pay Per Views in a row. He faced A.J. Styles on his first match back on Smackdown and didn’t do the J.O.B.
No, the issue isn’t the WWE booking. The problem is simple. Daniel Bryan’s popularity isn’t sustainable. It was built on the greatest underdog story ever presented in a wrestling ring. Getting injured was the best thing that ever happened to him. His popularity was already waning by the time he went down with a neck injury. He was destined to be smashed by Brock Lesnar at Summerslam that year and slowly fade away.
His character is one-dimensional. Once Bryan the underdog climbed the top of the mountain, there just wasn’t anywhere left to go with him as champion. His injury allowed fans to remember him as how they wanted to, not how he actually was.
Fast forward to today. Bryan is boring. He’s posted some dominant wins but people are quickly realizing that he can’t quite live up to the memories that they had built up in their heads. His character is not polished. He’s looked and sounded second rate during many of his promo segments. He’s still a really good worker, but he’s definitely lost a step from his prime. The problem? There have never been as many great workers in the WWE as there are today. He simply doesn’t stand out in the crowd anymore.
Maybe the upcoming feud with The Miz is exactly what he needs to get back on track. I don’t see it happening. Instead, I think he’ll continue to both be presented and come off as more and more ordinary with each passing week. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the WWE recognizes that his brand is being devalued and lets him walk once his contract is up. At this point, it would be a loss barely felt.
<u>Evolution is EVERYTHING!</u>
On Monday, the WWE made the historic announcement that Evolution, the first ever all women’s Pay Per View event, will take place in October. I’m not going to get into the nuts and bolts of the card and where I land on the quality. There are enough d-bags on social media dropping terrible takes on that already.
Instead, I’m going to focus on why this is such an important step. I’ve been critical of the women’s division in the past. Unlike others, I’ve felt that the key to growing women’s wrestling was not to put them into main events of PPVs in order to “check off a box”. Instead, the key was to develop secondary storylines to the point where the WWE could fill an entire card with the women. We are finally at that point.
Why is this important? I think we’re on the verge of today’s wrestling being for teenage girls what the Attitude Era was for younger boys. One of the longstanding problems that the WWE has had was the “greying of their fan base”. In plain English – their fans are getting old and they aren’t replacing them with younger ones.
My social media use would support this theory when it comes to males. I don’t see any teenage boys on Twitter talking about the product. It’s not “cool” to them. On the other hand, my Twitter timeline is loaded with mainstream young females taking selfies with their favorite wrestling gear and discussing the product with incredible passion.
The female market is one that the WWE hasn’t previously tapped into. The general fan base has been disproportionately male. There’s only so much growth that can occur there. The female market contains so much untapped potential. Female empowerment is cool and there’s nothing that screams it more than 2018 WWE.
Evolution really does represent the next step in the Evolution of female wrestling. It’s about time.
That’s a wrap kids. It’s good to be back. Tune in next week when I take all of the booger eaters hopes and dreams, put them into a trash can, and light them on fire. Thanks for reading. Sound off below
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