Remember that one time the season one NXT guys surrounded the ring and whipped everyone's ass and tore the ring apart? Then Daniel Bryan took things to 11 by choking out that announcer with his own neck tie? That shit was intense. Next thing you know Bryan is shitcanned and back in the indies. He is brought back and kicking ass, being thrown in tag teams, and eventually fighting his way all the way to the top. He is the current unified WWE Champion.
But did they take too long to get him there? I feel that they did. I have been watching wrestling for a while and am used to slow builds. That used to be one of my favorite things about a good feud or storyline in wrestling. Hell, Sting in WCW didn't wrestle for a year that led to a clusterfuck of a match but just waiting for him to finally do it again made the wait worth it.
Jim Ross recently wrote about his feelings towards fans who appear to be abandoning Bryan now that he has the titles that he has been chasing for so long. Here's what he had to say.
“Amazing that some 'fans' are jumping off the Daniel Bryan bandwagon now that the highly skilled star has won the WWE World Title and the reason is that they feel that the 'chase' is over and therefore DB has no more challenges ahead of him. Has anyone noticed that Bryan is STILL smaller than virtually everyone he wrestles and is STILL an underdog even as the champion? Keeping a fan favorite in varying levels of jeopardy or peril works....it always has and always will. It has worked in films and in main stream sports since their beginning, which is why they keep score, keep track of the standings, and play for something at the end of the year. If Bryan can continue to amazingly overcome the odds and retain the WWE World Title in non fluke wins, when the time comes for him to lose the championship, to Brock Lesnar would be my suggestion, say at Summerslam or even in November at Survivor Series, DB won't fade away. The best pure wrestler in the world isn't going to disappear unless he is removed from TV or he suddenly forgets how to perform his craft.”
Of course I can't speak for anyone else, but I got tired of watching the chase a while before he finally won the titles at Wrestlemania 30. The screwjobs at every single pay-per-view got old. I don't mind watching a guy fight for the chance to get a shot at the belt. I will not say that he has no more challenges now that he is champion. Having him taking off TV for personal reasons outside of the ring by Kane was weak to me. Kane isn't in the title picture. Hell, who is? Orton? Batista? HHH? I can only pray that Brock Lesnar sets his sights on Bryan and they fight for the belt because those would be some awesome matches. But for J.R to think that folks are not behind Bryan anymore because there is no one for him to fight is silly.
Bryan was good before he had the belt. I'll say that the matches he had pre-beard were just as good if not better than the ones he's had in the last two years. That isn't to say that what he's doing is not good, it is just that he had more guys he was facing. There shouldn't be just two or three guys that seem worth having matches with for the belt. I look at the roster and I feel that Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Big E. Langston, anyone in The Shield, or even Bray Wyatt should be looking at Bryan and what he has wrapped around his waist.