When you think of the term “B+ Player,” the name Daniel Bryan will, unfortunately, come into mind. The Authority beat that term into our mind until Daniel finally was able to silence them all at WrestleMania 30 by capturing the WWE Championship.
History has a tendency to repeat itself. The WWE is one of the best examples of this age-old clique. Over the luxury life span of the WWE, we have seen the fans get behind a superstar so much that a revolution is started. We have seen men like Mick Foley, Eddie Guerrero, and Jeff Hardy have their career’s forever changed by the fans. Fueled by the fan’s love for these superstars, the WWE was forced into action and before long, these superstars stood tall as the WWE Champion.
These superstars were able to have career high moments. With a collection of great stories, one man story seems to have set the mold for the ultimate underdog story. Yes, you guessed it right. That man is Daniel Bryan. In 2013, Daniel Bryan’s career was about to change forever. Fresh off of his Team Hell No run, Daniel Bryan was more aggressive and determined than ever to prove himself.
On the July 15th, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan would finally receive his opportunity to prove himself when John Cena selected him for a WWE Championship match at SummerSlam 2013. John’s decision would start the beginning of the “Yes! Movement” that was able to shake the very foundation of the WWE. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon would begin to criticize Daniel’s image and Cena’s decision to give Bryan a shot at the title.
Mr. McMahon forced Daniel to fight against his old partner, Kane and made Daniel run the gauntlet against the likes of Cesaro and his then partner, Jack Swagger to prove himself worthy. Huh, that sounds oddly familiar. Daniel beat them all and went on to SummerSlam to have the moment of his career so far whenever he defeated John Cena for the WWE Championship. It was a moment that was destined to blow up in his face.
Moments after the victory of his lifetime, everything came crashing down upon him. Triple H shocked the WWE Universe when he would betray Daniel Bryan’s trust and pedigreed him in the center of the ring. Randy Orton then slithered his way into the ring with the Money In The Bank briefcase. One three-count later and Daniel Bryan’s short moment of glory was all over. All thanks to The Authority.
Daniel Bryan refused to go down without a fight. The fans refused to go down without a fight. The fans rallied behind Daniel more than ever before. If the WWE was going to judge him and hold him down as a “B+ Player,” the fans were going to treat him like an “A+ Player” and give him the respect that “The Authority” wasn’t giving him. After months of being held down, Daniel Bryan finally received his opportunity by taking it with force with “occupy Raw.”
Daniel Bryan and the “Yes! Movement” rode into WrestleMania 30 at an all-time high. Daniel Bryan was the most beloved superstar in the WWE. Daniel had the odds set against him and had to fight harder than any of his colleagues for a championship that he rightfully deserved. It was the build-up to a moment that would have thousands of fans cheering “Yes!” at the top of their lungs as Daniel Bryan defied all odds and once again became the WWE Champion.
Fast forward five years and Daniel Bryan isn’t the same beloved underdog that he once was. This is a “new” Daniel Bryan that was proud to be rid of the “old” Daniel Bryan and the “Yes! Movement.” A man that is sick and tired of the disrespectful people trashing the environment. This is a Daniel Bryan that doesn’t need the fans to approve of him. This is a Daniel Bryan that even Vince McMahon can agree is much more than a “B+” Player.
However, there is a new ultimate underdog in the WWE. A new movement started almost overnight a few months ago. When Mustafa Ali had to be replaced in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match, Kofi Kingston was named as his replacement in the match. The fans began to petition for Kofi to win the match. The beginning of “KofiMania” had started. Kofi Kingston had a stellar showing in a gauntlet match before the pay-per-view and inside the Elimination Chamber match.
The fans showed their approval for Kofi by giving him a standing ovation. The fans didn’t just stop there. The fans continued to rally behind Kofi pushing for him to get a long-awaited push to the main event. That is when history decided to repeat itself. Kofi Kingston was given a shot at the WWE Championship at Fastlane. That was when Vince McMahon would make his return to SmackDown to voice his disapproval of Kofi’s title shot and took it away.
Remember the part where Daniel running the gauntlet sounded familiar? Well, in Kofi’s efforts to get a WWE Championship opportunity at WrestleMania, Mr. McMahon would force him to run the gauntlet against the likes of Cesaro and his partner at the time, Sheamus. Do you see what I mean about history repeating? Kofi would run the gauntlet but the judge was still waiting for him.
Daniel Bryan has done the unimaginable. He had gone from Vince McMahon’s idea of a “B+ Player” to the man who Vince is listening to. Now, it is Daniel Bryan who is calling Kofi the “B+ Player.”
Just like we have seen in the past, the fans were highly against calling Kofi Kingston a “B+ Player.” They only grew in their cause to get Kofi Kingston the respect that he deserves. With all the odds stacked against him, Kofi Kingston looks to follow in the footsteps of Daniel Bryan and head into WrestleMania with a shot at the title. This is a match that Kofi Kingston is going to have to win to show the world he is much more than a “B+ Player.” Which is something the WWE Universe already knows.