With all the hoopla and stardust, no pun intended, I'm guessing no one has given any thought to the shell game taking place on the books for Wrestlemania weekend. Let's take a look at who's on the line, shall we?
Sting has gone on record stating that this Wrestlemania will be his last performance. There is no guarantee of another Undertaker performance at the grandest stage on Earth. But this column is about something far more important....the youth on the roster and more specifically, Daniel Bryan. The question on most people's minds when they read this will be something like this: Bryan? How can you say that? He's in the Ladder Match this Sunday, for crying out loud!
My response to that is simple. Watch the match very closely. Count the number of spots where he takes a serious risk of the Jeff Hardy variety or even that of Kurt Angle, to whom he has been compared to in years past. Sources backstage are legitimately concerned about Bryan's future as the method of rehabilitation he used to make his comeback early is being viewed as a band-aid on a bullet wound, meaning that his injuries will only mount if he's not allowed to properly heal. That said, WWE has a running history of riding injured horses until they can't carry the weight any longer and collapse under the strain. CM Punk, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Edge, and the list goes on of those who can legitimize the story.
So what makes Bryan so special? The answer to that has a number of parts. The first is himself. The man is a bonafide fan favorite, but he's also a favorite of the top dog calling the shots, Vince. Unlike his predecessor, CM Punk, Bryan doesn't complain about working hard to come back early, no matter how much it may cost in the long run. The next sore spot is his link to other divisions, namely the Divas Division. His Bella fixation may force his twin to make the same decision Beth Phoenix did when she left wrestling to be with her beau in his final surgery before leaving WWE. Edge never returned in a performing capacity again.
Is the picture getting clearer? Bryan is WWE's meal ticket here, folks and they want him for the long haul, so they have two options: they either give him more time away to heal, or they milk his run until they have no choice but to let him get away like Angle did. Vince wants him back in the hunt for the big belt again....mark my words. In fact, they wanted him even moreso than Roman Reigns...let that sink in for a bit.
Reigns is green....too green to be an effective foil for Lesnar, who has more years as the performer under his belt, but also less of a resume than that of Bryan. Bryan's story in a match versus Lesnar really is more compelling and, for my money, a better investment on the long term if built in such a way as to keep the stakes high and make the possibility of Lesnar losing seem legit. Put Bryan in the match, the rest of the card buys itself.
Sting isn't the story, neither is the Undertaker, people....the future of the company is at stake and the only future worth watching rests in the youth of the roster, at least from where I sit, which should tell you just a little bit about where this is all headed if they don't give him time.....just keep watching.