Last night the WWE kicked off the road to WrestleMania with one of its marque shows The Royal Rumble. The main card featured five title matches and two rumbles. Most of the smart marks will be talking about how well Brock Lesnar sold for Finn Balor. Or Becky Lynch’s huge victory in the Rumble. Some maybe even discussing the gender equality of Nia Jax entering herself into the Men’s Royal Rumble.
Yet if you were watching carefully there was one story line that should have peaked your interest above all others.
During the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between the champion Daniel Bryan and contador A.J. Styles we were introduced to a new part of Bryan’s character. During the match Erick Rowan formerly of the Bludgeon Brothers and Wyatt Family made his way to ring side to watch the match. Before this he had not been linked with either contestant and seemed out of place. However on his walk to the ring he gave a hint as to who he may be there on behalf of. Sporting a flannel shirt and a beard is seemed as tho he could be there on behalf of Daniel Bryan.
After a offensive maneuver from AJ Style went ariy knocking out Senior Official Mike Keota, AJ Styles attempted to pin Daniel Bryan after using his signature move The Styles Clash.
However due to Keota being incapacitated the pin fall did not count. Then Erick Rowan climbed into the ring and choke slammed AJ Styles. Daniel Bryan crawled into the pin and Mike Keota managed to regain consensus to count the pin fall. Allowing Daniel to retain the WWE World Championship.
Then Erick Rowan raised the arm of Daniel Bryan. Seemingly creating a new faction between the two.
After the match on WWE.COM Daniel Bryan commented on how that was some of the best wrestling the crowd has ever seen, yet the crowd was silent. Because he wasn’t out there to impress the people, he wasn’t out there to make them cheer, not to make them boo, he is out there to change to world. The promo was haunting, Bryan looking more wild eyed and disconnected then ever.
The “New” Daniel Bryan has been acting more radical than Jim Jones as of late. In addition to his beard and hair being restored to their once great length, he is starting to bare a passing resemblance to Charles Manson.
Pair all this with his over the top preaching about the environment, it seems that the “New Daniel Bryan is staring a bit of a cult.
This angle isn’t new to the WWE. CM Punk was once the leader of the Straight Edge Society, The Wyatt Family has often been compared to a cult, and even back in the day Right To Censor was a bit cult like.
The difference between those angles and this one is that everything Daniel Bryan is saying is steeped in truth. We are killing the planet, most of the food we consume is manufactured from animal cruelty, and for the most part we are a population of drones who are more interested in our Instagram feeds than meditation.
The teachings of “New” Daniel Bryan are lessons we can actually learn from, which somehow makes this even better. This could cause a clear divide in the wrestling community, and force people to pick sides. Soon there could be groups of flannel clad vegans asking for a black bean burger standing behind the normal fan who is head to toe in A.J. Styles gear suckign down a large farva of coke.
Daniel Bryan could be creating the greatest heel of the modern era right before our eyes. With his first victim being the Phenomenal A.J. Styles.
Erick Rowan could join Bryan as a version of Tex Watson. Brie Bella is a given to be apart of the cult married to its infatic leader she could serves as his first convert. The once fashion model now a member of Daniel Bryan’s cult. The once beloved leader of the Yes Movement could become a leader of a new wave.
Only time will tell, and unfortunately the WWE has a way of ending these cults before they truly get started. So all we know for now is that if you like vegetables and flannels you are now the enemy.