How long will the Daniel Bryan run at the top of WWE last?

daniel bryanThe fans have gotten their way. WWE not only gave the ball to Daniel Bryan, but he was able to keep it for more than a night. The question now is, How long will Daniel Bryan be the man in WWE?

Hulk Hogan, who for a long time was at the center of the wrestling universe himself, thinks it could be for a while.

“It’s his time. This is a new era. And last night in the Superdome the people really let everybody know what they wanted and who they wanted to be champion, so I think everybody gets it,” Hogan said in an interview with a Cleveland TV station Tuesday morning.

Hogan, at 6’8”, 300 pounds, carried the ball for WWE for several years. Bryan, at 5’8”, 200 pounds, really is the face of a new era. To win the WWE and World titles Sunday night at WrestleMania 30, he forced Batista, 6’6”, 290 pounds, to tap out to his Yes!lock, a symbolic pass of the torch from big man to small man that reflects how WWE has come to recognize what fans want today.

The big guys, by and large, look great standing there, but that’s about all they can do, is stand there. The little guys like Bryan might not look the part, but they can put on matches that are far more entertaining.

It’s not like big guys have been dominating the main events in WWE that much in recent years anyway. john cena is 6’1, 250 pounds; CM Punk is 6’2”, 218 pounds; Randy Orton stands 6’5”, but weighs in at a relatively light (for his frame) 235 pounds.

Undertaker’s shocking WM30 loss to Brock Lesnar was another passing of the torch from the big man era. ‘Taker, at 6’10”, 299 pounds, was WrestleMania for the past seven, eight years, putting on classic matches with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Punk that were not technically the main event, but were the main reason to buy the show.

The Undertaker era is over; the hulk hogan era is long since passed. Batista, Triple H (6’4”, 255 pounds) and Brock Lesnar (6’3”, 286 pounds) are part-timers at best.

It’s a new era, as Hogan said, and Daniel Bryan is the perfect man to lead it. Today’s fans aren’t impressed by the larger-than-life musclemen who dominated the 1980s and 1990s; they want to see good in-ring entertainment. If a big guy can provide that entertainment, great, but if all he’s going to do is stand there and flex his muscles, he’s not going to move the needle.

Daniel Bryan might not look like a pro wrestling champion walking through an airport, but he can wrestle his ass off, and that’s what fans today want in their heroes.

Good on WWE for finally paying heed to what the fans want.

– Column by Chris Graham



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