Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Daniel Bryan, Hot Commodity: Why Wade Barrett Needed the Win at SummerSlam

Pictured: The Right Call
Photo Credit: WWE.com
There's an overwhelming paranoia among some wrestling fans on the Internet that any time one of their favorites gets to WWE, they're always fighting an uphill battle with management to get quality screen time, booking support and a chance to make a meaningful connection with the genpop fans. This can lead to a hypersensitivity towards wins and losses where every time a cult favorite loses a match, he's "buried". This is nothing new, and it's been happening for years. These overreactions are a big reason why we can't have nice things.

So, it should go without saying that there was an undercurrent of people who were pissed off that Daniel Bryan, maybe the patron saint, or at the very least co-patron saint with CM Punk, of Internet darlings, lost to Wade Barrett. Here's the thing though. Bryan didn't need to win that match. Barrett though? You bet your sweet ass he did.

Let's take a look at both guys over the last couple of months, or at least for Barrett, the last six months. Bryan recently has been involved in a hot free TV feud with Cody Rhodes where he won a bunch of matches, won the Smackdown Money in the Bank match and then announced he'd cash it in at WrestleMania, thus ensuring himself one of the three or four biggest matches on the card. Barrett, meanwhile, has lost his stable twice, lost his Championship belt with little fanfare to a guy who's not over with the crowd and who's really lost his way since being arguably the biggest villain in WWE.

Common sense is that if you were going to put both of those guys in a big match, then Barrett should have been the one to win. Granted, if you also wanted to argue that both guys needed protection, and thus shouldn't have been programmed against each other, then yeah, I'd see where you were coming from. That being said, we were already through the looking glass on this one when the match was booked. Really, it was a damn good match, and only the most intensively-focused on wins and losses will see Bryan as losing anything because of it.

The new hotness among some fans is that Barrett should be next in line for a shot at Randy Orton. With Mark Henry's feud with Sheamus looking to me like it still has a lot of legs on it, that wouldn't be the worst stopgap program for Night of Champions (especially if the endgame for Hell in a Cell is a final Orton/Christian match). That being said, I think there's a lot of ground left to explore between the American Dragon and the former Nexus overlord. I would love to see these two continue their series of matches, because they had good chemistry with each other Sunday, because they have history that ostensibly reaches back more than a year, and because Barrett could learn a thing or two by wrestling Bryan. Maybe that's the direction they're going, maybe it isn't, but whatever the situation is, Barrett winning that match was the right call.

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