WWE is, in fact, fake. It’s a work. Scripted. It’s all made for the purpose of entertainment. I describe a good WWE show as a cross between Cirque du Soleil, UFC, and a "Rocky" movie. There are elements of novel athleticism mixed with exciting story telling and real sports competition. And to illustrate what I mean even further here are three videos illustrating the Daniel Bryan storyline. Click HERE to watch the highlights to the Daniel Bryan storyline (4:11), click HERE for his highlight moments at Wrestlemania (7:37), and click HERE to witness the story of how Daniel Bryan’s storyline kept a 7-year-old child moving through his battle with cancer. Currently Daniel Bryan is retired at age 34 and has become one of the company’s most respected modern-day icons of the industry that was taken from us way too soon.
When I watch an episode of Monday Night RAW or Smackdown Live, I watch people like Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler (performers on RAW and Smackdown respectively) work their butts off but instead of getting the respect they deserve, they’re constantly being reduced to being a midcard talent which is basically a category of wrestlers that never get to go for the WWE World Heavyweight title or become a face for the company. Because as fake as a lot of the storylines are in the WWE, a wrestler’s desire to obtain championship title belts are a big deal to them. Holding a championship title means that the company trusts you to lead the industry and it also guarantees a large fan base for those wrestlers and sometimes more pay (because leading faces of the company are more likely to generate more types of merchandise). There are people in the company who are excellent assets to the product that the fans are solidly behind every time they erupt with cheers when their theme song hits on a live show. These people should be utilized as legit singles competitors soon before they get put on the shelf like Daniel Bryan.
The WWE to me is a long story that uses the lives and motivations of real athletes as a character. Unlike an actor that can die in a movie and still have another life outside of Hollywood, a wrestler that gets shoved down the undercard or never make it to the main event status like John Cena, most of the time don’t get a second chance. They have to result to smaller independent promotions that only satisfy their pleasure in entertaining a crowd but does not satisfy them financially. My creativity in story telling is at its best when I get to pretend I’m on the creative writing team for the WWE (which are basically the people that create all the storylines on every single live show) and think of better ways to portray the wrestlers they need to be portrayed because this makes for a captivated audience in addition to a much more ethical cost benefit analysis for them as well. I think of each live show as a chapter in this story and every match and segment as its pages. As you read the story, we can only wait in anticipation if something interesting in the chapter happens or if it’s going to be another boring episode. During times of the week where there isn’t a live show occurring I like to theorize and think of storylines that are best suited and appropriate for the next live event. My creativity is incited when I get to look at each wrestler as a person with their own skills and not a one-dimensional character.
A big reason why Daniel Bryan was pushed the way he was is because the fans and the creative writing team both noticed his perks of being a wrestler in the independent scene who wanted to prove himself in a bigger stage. They noticed that he didn’t have the tall and bulky build of other successful wrestlers like John Cena or Triple H and decided to give him the classic underdog story that everyone can get behind (at least this is how I hope the story came to be). Daniel Bryan was great because he was a talent that the fans and the company both liked. The more I watch the shows, the more observe certain patterns in who the crowd cheers and who the crowd boos. Every time I turn on the TV or my laptop to watch a live show, I can only hope that the creative writing team books their talent in a way the fans support.