Gleed's Blog: The latest twist in the Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella damages Daniel Bryan
By Haydn Gleed
Before Monday, SummerSlam was bubbling up nicely. There were the excellent sit-down interviews with John Cena and Brock Lesnar, a grudge match that has been built well for months in Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, and a women's feud with a long term storyline in Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella.
I'm afraid that the latest, unnecessary twist in the Stephanie and Brie saga has completely taken any enjoyment I had of this program. In fact, it caused me to switch Raw off on Monday. I have since, of course, caught up with the rest of the show, but the fact that this angle frustrated me so much that I would rather go to bed shows my level of annoyance regarding how this played out.
You have the obvious Claire Lynch/TNA comparisons with this story, which every man and his dog made reference to on Twitter as soon as Stephanie's promo started on Raw. After how widely criticized this angle was at the time, I don't understand how any logical thinking person can think, "Oh, they did it, and everyone hated it. I know let's do it and try to do it better." It didn't work for TNA, and it won't work in WWE because no one wants to believe that the lead babyface would give in to temptation.
The major reason this didn't work in TNA is that no one bought into the fact that the wholesome, clean cut AJ Styles character would cheat on his wife. If you were turning him heel, then I suppose it can be argued that this sort of angle would work, but by all accounts this was not even a consideration. Yes, you are putting heat on the heels for lying, but it places that seed of doubt in peoples mind that Styles could have committed adultery on his wife. At least he protested his innocence the whole time, so when it turned out Claire was lying, any damage that was done was limited.
Then you have what they did on Monday's Raw, and no one even implied or suggested that Bryan's Physical Therapist was lying. In fact, the way Brie reacted when she came out came across to me as a woman who suspected that this was happening all along, and now her suspicions had been confirmed. One of the commentators should have spoken up and at least said something along the lines of, "Folks this is only one side of the story," at least then we weren't left with the impression that what was being claimed was the truth.
As it is, according to the storylines, Daniel Bryan is a heartless bastard who let his wife quit to save his titles, even though he knew he wouldn't be able to keep them because of surgeries. And when he did have those surgeries, he was sleeping with some random women he just met behind his wife's back.
As Dot Net staffer Will Pruett pointed out in his review, Bryan has not responded in anyway. There was two hours of Raw left after this promo, they could have easily had a five-minute segment where Bryan phoned in to the show from home and said he will speak to his wife when she gets home, but he wants to tell his fans not to believe the lies. He could even expanded and say he hasn't heard from this women for weeks and he was told by her replacement that she has suddenly come into money, implying she was paid by Stephanie to tell these lies. They were making calls to the show in 1993, why couldn't they have done it in 2014?
I'm usually the guy who says, let it play out. Come back to me in three months time and let me know if what you are complaining about tonight makes sense in the long run, but the truth of the matter is this, after Sunday, Brie and Stephanie could go their different ways. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that the feud could continue to the Night of Champions, but I suspect that it won't. In which case, we will never revisit this angle on TV, meaning Bryan will forever be known as the guy who cheated on Brie Bella.
I don't like to be "that conspiracy guy" but I cannot believe that WWE are destroying the character of Daniel Bryan without realizing what they are doing. I'm wondering in their minds if they think if they can ruin the clean image of the man, his reputation will be tarnished and they can control the crowd reactions when he returns. I don't want to speculate too much, but I can't imagine that protecting Daniel Bryan until he is ready for his return is the number one priority on the list based on the way they presented this stupid, nonsensical, pointless, unnecessary, damaging, and foolish angle.
Agree or disagree and want to let me know? No problem! Hit me up on twitter at @haydngleed or email me at Haydn.firstname.lastname@example.org
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