Mike Johnson discussed WWE’s pairing of Daniel Bryan & Kane on SmackDown Live this week during the latest installment of PWInsider Elite Audio. Johnson believes that the reason they had paired Bryan up with Kane is because the company isn’t comfortable booking Bryan in 45-minute matches and they are trying to protect his character.
“They are going to let him wrestle but put him in scenarios where he is protected and if you’re looking for those long drawn out 45-minute American Dragon style matches with the hard physical style — that’s not where they feel he should be. That’s not where they want him to be. It’s one thing to perform at that level, that’s not where they trust him physically to be and they are going to use him as a character more than the guy that’s the nucleus of the glue of the athletic aspect of the business. You wanted Daniel Bryan back but you’re not going to get the American Dragon back, so you got to live with it. You’re not going to get the long drawn out matches, based on the way they are booking him.”
Johnson also speculated that the reason they are not pushing him as a top talent on the roster is because he has not signed a new contract with the company.
“Maybe he’s leaving and maybe he hasn’t signed a new deal. They’re coming up with ways to utilize him rather than push him as a top guy. I feel like they’re like, “You know what we’ll give fans just enough and we’ll protect him physically at the same time by having him in tag matches.”
Bryan’s contract is set to expire on September 1st of this year, just two months away. It will be interesting to see if he sticks around and how they continue to book Bryan if he decides on leaving.
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