Pro Wrestling

‘WWE Universe’ Is The Real Story Behind WrestleMania XXX

Daniel Bryan WrestleMania XXX Press Conference

Courtesy of Official WWE Facebook Page

In many ways, WrestleMania XXX is all about the fans, even if that wasn’t the original goal.

When Dave Batista returned to the WWE in late Jan., the plan was always for Big Dave to headline the Show of Shows and walk out with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. But then a funny thing happened: the fans vehemently turned on the Animal.

Perhaps this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. After months of close calls, near misses and controversial finishes, the “WWE Universe” had been conditioned to believe that Daniel Bryan was finally getting his moment at WrestleMania. They became emotionally invested in both his quest for gold and the recognition of being a top guy. An “A+ player,” if you will.

As soon as Batista eliminated Roman Reigns to win the Royal Rumble, the realization came crashing down upon their heads that it wasn’t about Bryan at all. The victory was met with a chorus of boos. Batista was so hated by the fans after his Rumble victory that the WWE had no choice but to turn the big man heel. Dave was heavily booed to the point of embarrassment in nearly every major city he competed in.

The fans let themselves be heard, and the WWE listened. It’s up to you to decide whether this was out of necessity or the goodness of their collective heart.

As luck would have it, CM Punk walking out on the company provided Bryan with a John Stockton-like assist. This opened the door for a feud with Triple H, which gave Bryan a main-event rub and a seamless transition into the heavyweight title program. If Punk is still with the company, Bryan wouldn’t be in the main event at WrestleMania XXX. Not a chance. Maybe this is the real reason for all those annoying “CM Punk” chants.

Does this mean Bryan is a flavor of the month, as Stephanie McMahon and her husband argued on Monday Night Raw? Maybe, but there’s no denying that fans are begging for a happy ending to the Daniel Bryan story.

The good news is that they’re going to get it. There’s not a doubt in my mind that Bryan will leave WrestleMania XXX with 60,000 fans chanting “YES!” and both titles over his shoulders. It may turn out to be one of the greatest WrestleMania moments of all time. For the fans, it’s a rare case of “ask and you shall receive.” Isn’t that what it’s all about?

The bad news is that it may not last, but that’s a story for another time.

Dan Marsiglia is a Pro Wrestling columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google. Read more here.