It’s time for Daniel Bryan to receive a bit of a character refresh. The underdog act was great when he first did it, and he parlayed it all the way to a World Title win at Wrestlemania 30. It worked well for his role as GM for Smackdown Live, and still worked for his return to the ring from a 2 year hiatus. Now that Daniel Bryan is back, it’s time for him to drop the underdog gimmick, and do something different. The fans will still love him no matter what, but I have an idea for what to do next. If WWE were smart, they’d turn Daniel Bryan into a “shooter” type of wrestler and watch his career take off into a whole other stratosphere.
For the uninitiated, a “shooter” in professional wrestling is essentially someone who uses high impact, hard-hitting moves to increase the realism within their matches. Daniel Bryan already does this to a certain extent, but I say it’s high time to let him off the leash and really show the world what he’s made of. WWE has long said that Daniel Bryan is a submission specialist, so why not let him start being one. Have him win matches so convincingly, and methodically that his opponents actually have to strategize against his onslaught. Bryan is already a prolific striker, and with his insane knowledge of submission moves, WWE could have a really great gimmick already built-in for him.
It’s not enough to just have him wrestle like a shooter though, he’d also have to start acting like one. It may seem as if Bryan wouldn’t be cut out for a role like this, because after all, the guy is a genuinely nice dude. However…After watching his latest promo on Smackdown Live in response to Big Cass, I’d go all in on this character change before it’s too late. Need proof? Check out exhibit A:
You could hear the conviction in his voice. You could also hear a serious tone that could be the next step in the evolution of Daniel Bryan. Big Cass could be the first opponent to fall victim to this all-new, surprisingly more brutal Daniel Bryan. From there, you could turn him loose on the entire Smackdown Live roster, racking up one impressive victory after another. Building him up this way, would allow Bryan to sneakily earn his way back into the main event scene, and become a legitimate threat to whoever holds the WWE Championship when he arrives at the top.
Given his previous medical conditions, I doubt WWE would allow him to actually work with a stiffer style, but man, I’d love to see him work this gimmick. After all, Bryan is part of a dying breed, the last true professional wrestler. Making him a “shooter” would be an awesome feather in his cap, and hearing him bring back his “tap or snap” catchphrase would just be the best. Hopefully this slightly more serious Daniel Bryan is the beginning of his transition.