Bryan Danielson: The Afterthoughts

Posted: June 13, 2010 in Analysis
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Courtesy of

By now, I am sure that most of you who read my site are aware of what happened this weekend regarding WWE NXT Rookie “Daniel Bryan,” better known as Bryan Danielson. In case you don’t know, allow me to recap and enlighten you.

Last Monday’s NXT Invasion on Raw was one of the most shocking, yet compelling things I’ve seen on WWE television in years. The eight Rookies from Season One jumped into the ring area during the main event between John Cena and C.M. Punk and chaos ensued. The Rookies destroyed everything in sight, including Punk, Luke Gallows, Jerry Lawler, Justin Roberts, the timekeeper, security, the ring itself, the barricades, and especially Cena. The Rookies left Raw in its wake and we are still looking for answers six days later. Hopefully, they all will be addressed tomorrow night on Monday Night Raw.

This is where Danielson comes in. During the mugging, he stripped down Roberts, grabbed his necktie and used it to choke him. Here’s a picture to illustrate.

Danielson also spit in Cena’s face as he shouted “You are not better than me!” repeatedly in the WWE Champion’s face. I personally thought that was the best part; I would have loved to see a Danielson/Cena feud or even one-off match at some point. Unfortunately, we might not ever get that chance because the WWE released Danielson for his actions Friday evening.

At first, it seemed as if this was a well-disguised work to put over the attack on Monday. The WWE even placed a story on the home page of with news of the release and used his real name as well.

Courtesy of

On Danielson’s Twitter, he changed his name back to Bryan Danielson and in response to the firing, he made mention of the “winds of change,” a catchphrase of fellow NXT Rookie and winner, Wade Barrett.

Courtesy of Twitter

Taking this all into account, it would seem as if this was a complete work. Yet, as news became available, the kayfabe element of this situation quickly disappeared. It appears as if Danielson’s departure was legitimate.

Wrestleview, via the Wrestling News Observer, reported that the “higher ups” at WWE were informed before the decision was made and eventually the creative team was made aware of the firing. Wrestleview also reported that it was Danielson’s choking of Roberts that ultimately spelled the end of his WWE tenure. Choking was deemed “too violent” for PG television and after the incident involving Chris Benoit and his family several years ago, the WWE has attempted to limit “choking” on television, much like it has limited blood.

A lot of things have come into play and now that we have the facts, I would like to share my opinion. I find it very hard to believe that the WWE would go through all of this trouble if this wasn’t actually real. The timing of the initial report definitely gave the impression that this was an elaborate scheme to put over the events of Monday. There are still things that make me think that this could be an scheme (especially the “winds of change” Twitter comment), but I am not convinced just yet. Another interesting thing I have read comes from PWInsider’s Dave Scherer, who believes Danielson might have been the “fall guy” for an incident that could have derailed Linda McMahon’s political campaign. I think this is as real as it gets, but it still leaves me with some questions.

Will the NXT stable be able to get over with the crowd without Danielson?

If choking was an issue, how come Heath Slater wasn’t fired? He choked Cena with the ring ropes.

Why is his NXT profile still active on

Wrestleview reported that Danielson was well-liked backstage and he might be able to come back once things resolve themselves. Is this remotely true?

What I do know, however, is that either way, this is the most talked-about incident in the WWE in ages. Only time will tell.



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