Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's going to take time for the Daniel Bryan Phenomenon to spread

Daniel Bryan
If you are not feeling the Daniel Bryan frenzy that is seizing WWE programming then you truly don't have an appreciation for professional wrestling at its core.

At that core, professional wrestling is about entertainment and athleticism, displayed by hardworking talents in front of audiences on a weekly basis, regardless if it's at a small gym or Madison Square Garden.

Bryan may not wow people with a captivating physique and jaw-dropping size, but at 5 feet 10 inches and 210 pounds, he has amazed the WWE Universe with his spectacular athleticism and daft personality.

The uproarious chants of "YES"from fans all over the country have resonated through with WWE management, as they have given Bryan the position to challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship at Summerslam.

The company has been building Bryan up for months, and he has taken the proverbial football so to speak and ran with it. He may be the guy who can replace Cena as the No. 1 franchise player in the company.

While the die hard fans and the WWE Universe have given their 100 percent support to the wrestler known as the "American Dragon," the true question is can Bryan's popularity translate to non-wrestling fans. Can he draw viewers who are channel surfing onto Raw and make them watch the rest of the show? Can he draw huge crowds on a weekly basis at TV taping, pay-per-views, and house shows?

I checked out my Twitter feed last night and came across a conversation between ESPN Sportscenter anchor and wrestling fan Robert Flores and Austin American Statesman sports columnist Cedric Golden about this past Monday's Raw.  Golden told Flores that he glanced at Raw while channel surfing. The segment he looked at was Daniel Bryan versus Ryback.

After checking out the match, Golden quipped "makes me miss the NWO days. This Bryan dude passes for a superstar nowadays?"

Golden shared the same thought that maybe other non-fans would have if they saw that the main event of a WWE Raw telecast featured a guy with medial height.

For every 10,000 fans who bellow out "YES," there's 100 people channel surfing at home longing for the days of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock, and wondering how a guy who is the same size, and maybe just as nerdy, as Bill Gates is main eventing Raw.

It is up to WWE Creative to keep Bryan's momentum at an all time high. John Cena is not getting any younger, and other than CM Punk, have failed to establish wrestlers who can be on Cena's level. It's time for the creative team to sustain Bryan's momentum, and with time, the jaded non-fans who might want to give wrestling a chance will get behind him as well.

It's going to take time and effort for a mass audience to ride the Daniel Bryan Phenomenon Train. WCW used to have a marketing slogan called "Where The Big Boys Play."

It's going to take effort and patience from WWE to convince audiences that the big boys don't necessarily have to be big.