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Thread: Reading Between the Ringropes #1 - Formal Analysis of the Sacrifice of Daniel Bryan

  1. #1

    Reading Between the Ringropes #1 - Formal Analysis of the Sacrifice of Daniel Bryan

    Reading Between the Ring Ropes.
    The point of this column and why you should read it is bolded and italized
    about a dozen paragraphs down.
    If you want to skip past who I am
    and use me for my knowledge
    start reading from there.

    Years previous to this, I wrote a weekly column entitled “The Friday Night Write” - the title being a quick way to let your readers know you’re a thirteen year old kid whose mom won’t drive him anywhere on the weekends. My first column dealt with the personal experience of attending a live WWE event, and how eye-opening an opportunity that can be for a fan of any age. My last column, if memory serves correctly, was a commentary on how the Wrestling World and Pop-Culture in general would react if Vince McMahon would suddenly pass away (knock on wood). My best column was, or at least what I thought was my best column, warned people to not be too close minded when choosing a style of wrestling. At the time of it’s posting, the ROH buzz was at an all time high and posters on this board were proclaiming that they were quitting WWE and watching ROH exclusively, citing the skill of the wrestlers and overall greater quality of the shows as the main reason. As if they were forced to decide, implying they didn’t have the time to watch all three major United States Federations. As if we were living in a wrestling Highlander

    I stopped writing columns when I began writing and studying fiction. I told the owner of this site that I was planning on giving up my spot on the main page because I simply could no longer write about WWE. The main reason being I could no longer watch WWE. It was a mix of lack of time, lack of desire, and lack of interest in the poor product they were churning out at the time. Admittedly, my tastes grew more and more snobby as I grew as a reader and writer. It was difficult for me to wrap my brain around Camus, Kerouac, and TS Eliot period - let alone juxtaposing that with the somewhat ludicrousness of World Wrestling Entertainment. I was unable to pour over lines of prose in the mornings, marking my favorites, only to in the evening be subjected to the dullness of some World Wrestling Entertainment television.

    The reason was simple - there are such stark differences between Professional Wrestling and Literature. Hard hitting analysis, that is. That’s what I get paid for.

    For one, literature is both more and less tangible. It’s difficult to nail down a concrete image of things like “injustice”, “freedom”, and the trauma of War. The words themselves are the physical manifestation of those ideas, but the words are always going to be nothing but ink on paper. And you, enjoying them in the silence of your bedroom or at a cafe or on an airplane or bus or wherever. Reading is an isolated act. Vonnegut can sum up the idea of loss, both of the physical and mental variety in three words “So it goes”. These three words perfectly encapsulating the absurdity of war, of suffering, of life. And when you read that, all you can do, granted it really hits you, is look up from the page - take a second to allow the words to sink into your mind forever, and more on to the next sentence. So it goes.

    To contrast this, in the world of Pro-Wrestling three spoken words can send an audience of 20,000 people into a tizzy of hollars, hoots, and utter jubilation.

    “I’m Randy Orton.”

    I couldn’t find the balance between the two - the silent beauty of literature and the public awesomeness of professional wrestling. These lines are placed into scripts to induce that type of reaction. The audience is trained to give the performer the correct corresponding __ - either a cheer or a boo. Or they give the man in the ring nothing - because they couldn’t care less whether he wins or loses. This is the worst possible scenario in both the wrestling world and novels. If we’re not cheering for Oscar Wao by the end of Junot Diaz’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize Winning novel “The Brief Wondrous Life” of Oscar Wao, then the author has completely failed. This is is something all art and artists share - we are introduced to a character, we watch them change in some fashion, and we decide whether or not we approve or disapprove of that change. In wrestling, the reaction is immediate, the payoff instantaneous.

    I couldn’t balance both. I didn’t see a way to transition from the immaculately cut and clean prose of Nabakov:

    “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for (at some forty-five hundred heartbeats an hour).”

    to the utter incompetence of, say, the words spoken by a character like Jack Swagger. These were my thoughts as seventeen year old - thoughts of grandeur, thoughts of elitism, incorrect thoughts of a boy who thought he was better than that childhood obsession. I had grown out of that phase, and was transitioning to a higher form of art. Wrestling is the lowest common denominator of writing. Right?

    All of these beliefs proved temporary. Most of all, they all proved incorrect. Wrestling, when it hits it’s mark, can be a transformative form of art. Comparable to filmmaking, almost identical to television scriptwriting, with elements of dance and performance art. And while it’s rare we see someone with the artistic vision of say Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan, or a performance artist like Marianna Abramović or more contemporary Russia’s “Pussy Riot” which has been in the news incessantly. But there is no doubt about it - if you were to take TV Characters like, say, the Wyatt’s and placed them on a street corner of NYC to reenact their usual cavalcade of tropes, speaking the words “the devil made me do it” or rambling about some “Sister Abigail” while one wears a Sheeps mask, one stares off into an unexisting abyss of nothing, and the leader rocks maniacally with a smile on his face that assures all unlucky enough to witness this sinister scene that he is in charge - not just of the two goons behind him but of each and everyone subject to the performance.

    The “point” of this performance would be for the viewer to decide, of course. People assume that all art has specifically defined parameters for what it can be interpreted into. That is far from the case. Experience all art - literature, oil on canvas, music, performance, or wrestling - is a personal experience. It draws from us what we draw from it - as confusing as that may sound. Regardless, there are certainly aspects to the Wyatt family that we can assign meaning to.

    From the moment the montages began there was a buzz abouts the Wyatts and their buzzards all around twitter and the IWC. The production was unlike anything we had seen in World Wrestling Entertainment. It was new, it was fresh, it had substance. It was more than the usual wrestler introduction of “I’m here, i'm queer, look at my muscles, look at my smile, here’s how strong I am.” The Wyatt’s are different. What the writers are doing with them is ingenious.

    I don’t want you, the reader, to begin to think that my proclamation is that the points i’m about to make are only apropos to the Wyatt’s, however. The formal film and fiction techniques showcased within these next few dozen paragraphs and pictures can be seen being used in each and every episode. And time and drive and girlfriend permitting - this will be my general goal of “Reading Between the Ring Ropes” - to highlight the intricate craft details used in the show we all assume is a money vacuum for children that we just so happen to enjoy.

    The bullshit is over. Here we are. Read on.

    “This is where our story ends” Bray Wyatt proclaims into his microphone.

    These are the words he chooses to begin his monologue. They, first and foremost, establish him as an unreliable narrator. This isn’t a new development, of course. Wyatt’s off-kilter personality is the definition of unreliability. But the words are still worth calling into question. Is this something he actually means? Are these words he believes? Or - are these words he simply wants us and Daniels to believe? As active watchers, we should questing everything the leader of the Wyatt’s says. He’s never given us a reason to believe in him or assign any inkling of trust to his words.

    “I have no mercy left to give” he continues.

    Implying that he’s shown mercy in the past. Implying that the only reason Daniel Bryan isn’t locked six feet in a dirt hole dug by Luke Harper is because Bray, for one reason or another, has wavered from his ruthlessness. This is an interesting development in the Bray Wyatt character. The viewer has seen Bryan Daniels kicked, slammed, maimed, and knocked silly for weeks on end - assuming all the time that the Wyatt’s are unleashing every trick they possess to continually get the upper hand.

    But the lead Wyatt here reveals that isn’t the case, exposing the fact that the Wyatt’s aren't yet at their most masochistic. That this is a merciful version of the monsters. This isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, but it’s a small detail the writers added just to showcase that this story is far from over, and that the Wyatt’s despicable-ness has yet to hit a crescendo.

    He continues to rant on, pacing back and forth like a madman screaming how easier the whole ordeal could have been if he had simply complied. This is a key moment in the entire segment. The audience needs to feel for a second that Bray is telling the truth - whether or not he actually is. We need to believe for the slightest of moments that “Yes, all of this could have been avoided if Daniel Bryan would have simply complied. None of the assaults. None of the embarrassment. None of the beatings.”

    This slight suspension of our moral code allows us to for a moment to stew in Bryan’s shoes. Are the beatings worth it? These are three of the biggest and strongest men wrestling has to showcase, and Bryan is historically puny. He holds no shot. This isn’t David vs. Goliath. This is David vs. a seemingly supernatural and sinister trinity of unholy evil. From the beginning of the feud, Daniel Bryan held no chance of winning a physical battle. And yet, he was cheered at each attempt - filled with a false confidence that would never return any physical rewards.

    He tried - and valiantly. Attempting to tackle all three in one night. It should be excepted that he would be able to beat all three in a Singles Match Scenario. But that isn’t reality. The reality is, there are no rules behind how many plights we may juggle at once. We can all handle one demon. But it’s the numbers game that ends up catching us. The demons that that pile on - the ones that all arise at once and drown us in depression. And although I hate cliches - this one continually proves true - when it rains, it pours. What happens to a man when his demons successfully defeat him enough times that he finally looks to the sky and screams "OK. You've won"? This false ending provides context for the turn that is about to occur in the ring (when I say turn, I don't mean heel turn).

    Ultimately, this is a story that is being told from the perspective of Daniel Bryan. Which sounds like an obvious statement, most stories are told from the point of view of the hero. But WWE varies. For example, when Brock Lesner gave Mark Henry that brutal beatdown that sent the man to the hospital, is there any doubt that the POV of that segment was Lesner? Did we at any time feel like the story was told from the eyes of Henry? No. The World’s Strongest Man was simply a bit part, almost interchangeable, in an angle that was simply used to show that Brock is back, ready for action, and at full strength. Also that he screams like a cave bat.

    The WWE production crew successfully puts us, the viewer, in the shoes of Bryan with simply by placing a camera the right spot. The below image shows us exactly what i’m referring to.

    This shot perfectly encapsulates the entire narrative. The Mise-en-scŤne is immaculate. Bryan buries his billygoat face in the mat, completely defeated. The silent henchmen stand far enough in the distance to give their leader the attention he craves, but close enough to step in when called upon. And Bray Wyatt, his pristine white pants recalling all of that purity of religious zealousness as he stands above his victim, his body language recalling domination, power, and frustration.

    Once this point is developed, the WWE cameramen and production crew really go to work in order to hammer home what exactly this means. And they do so beautifully. The power of the picture becomes so much stronger than any promo Wyatt or Daniel Bryan could ever possibly deliver. Because of that, the words take a backseat here and become somewhat stock. As in the previous image, we stay low to reference the domination of Bray Wyatt, and the power he possess over Bryan.

    The metaphor here becomes clear. Bray Wyatt positions his body to represent that of the centerpiece of Catholicism - Jesus Christ on the cross. But he does so not in a position of defeat or near death. Bray’s stance recalls the sturdy strength and power that the Church possess. His pose recalls not the defeated man dying whilst his lungs collapse on the cross - it recalls Brazil’s famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue. And thus, redemption becomes a key theme within this scene. Daniel Bryan weakly leans on the planted legs of Wyatt. He clutches at the white cloth that drapes the Redeemers legs. He uses them to attempt to pull himself up. The symbolism here is so, so clear. There’s hardly a need to even spell it out.

    Genesis 1:27 -- “So God created man in His own image.” And this is exactly what is occurring here. The key goal of being a Catholic is attempting to be more Godlike, more Christlike. Daniel Bryan does exactly that - mimicking his saviors stance and, simultaneously, opening himself up for attack. Knees to the canvas, arms raised to his side, head angled slightly up - Daniel Bryan has fully sacrificed his body to achieve redemption. He’s not only physically accepting his defeat, but mentally agreeing to be more Wyatt-like.

    But there is never forgiveness without consequence. Even through confession, there is a penance to give, a price you must pay to be back in His good graces. Bray Wyatt taking Daniel to his knee recalls Bryan’s childlikeness and also arises shades of Jesus’ mother Mary taking him to her arms once he has paid the ultimate sacrifice. Bryan has fallen. He’s completely defeated, and succumbs to the attack like a deer who has accepted that he’s about to be made lunch for a hungry tiger. Bray slams Daniels once more - the final sacrifice before the new Wyatt is fully accepted into the family. No one flinches at the viciousness of the manouver. It physical pain pales in comparison to the emotional and mental trauma of this experience.

    However, his place as a sacrifice, as a Jesus Figure isn’t lost in the mix. He’s accepted his fate, he’s been welcomed into the family, and the transformation has occurred - but the pain is not over. His status as an other is cemented. The key here, being that Bryan refuses the help of the two lackeys and above wobbly knees stands on his own, out of that sacrificial posture and walks to his fate on his power, his own free will. By doing this, we are assured that he isn’t being forced into this decision. He isn’t being strong armed anymore. He’s made the choice. He’s bought the ticket. And he’s about to take the ride. The Daniel Bryan in the ring was him at his most defeated. But now, only a few moments later, we see him arduously standing on his own volition after being helped from the ring by his new brothers.

    To me, this is the most tragic moment in this segment. Daniel Bryan is now strong enough to stand on his own. He no longer needs the support of his new leader, he no longer needs the shoulders of the others. He can walk on his own. And yet, he’s already made his promise. He’s already committed to joining the Church of Wyatt in order to avoid any further attacks. He turns, and the camera catches his glimpse from behind the shoulders owned by two of his attackers.

    Bryan looks at us directly. The viewers. The fans. The ones who cheered him on. The ones who gave him encouragement. In most film, literature, and art breaking the fourth wall is something normally not done. It’s risky, certainly. But they execute it here with such an acute subtle perfection. We are placed behind the Wyatts because we are the past. We are unobtainable. Daniel Bryan cannot reach us, cannot accept the cheers without first getting through the Wyatt’s. He would have to fight through the two monsters to reach the camera and us at home, just as he will have to fight them in order to win back out hearts.

    So close. But so far. Eternally far.

    It’s a beautiful shot, and a perfect summary of what we will see in the rest of this storyline. Extremely, extremely well done.

    Any and all sports can be truly poetry in motion when played perfectly. There is little more fluid than a Basketball team in rhythm. An immaculate pass and catch. A perfectly timed give and go. When something is firing on all cylinders, it’s easy to appreciate.

    This is what happened at the end of Monday Night Raw on December 30, 2013. The WWE hit all of it’s marked with a well-timed, well-written, well-acted, and well-shot segment that shook the foundation of the Wrestling world. There were arguments in the AM hours of the morning about whether or not this was a good thing for Daniel Bryan (the man, not the character) and his career. If this was him being buried. If this was him losing his Wrestlemania Moment. Good points were made on both sides of the argument. But that’s not what caught my attention. Regardless of whether this means future gold for Bryan or whether this is the beginning of the end of his career ---

    for one night, on the final Raw of the year, the WWE produced one of the most artistically skilled scenes in the history of Monday Night Raw.

    Are they usually this well done? No. Admittedly. But as I previously stated, if there’s one thing that virtually nobody appreciates about the writers and directors of WWE, it’s their use of formal elements and craft to develop stories rich enough, deep enough, and subtle enough to draw multiple meanings from. This religious translation is simply one possibility. Daniel Bryan giving himself the Wyatt’s was one where, simply, they just hit a homerun. period.

    Thanks for reading.

    twitter: @themoexp
    Also, I run the LPW E-Fed at the bottom of this here forum. We're always looking for creative minds.
    Last edited by Al.; 01-05-2014 at 11:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Hey man. Welcome (back?) to the CF.

    For the last three years I've tried in my own work to show wrestling can be thought of on far deeper terms than people realise, that the story-telling can run as deep and be as laden with metaphor as film or, as you pretty much pointed out here, literature. I thought I'd gone as deep as I could. I think you just changed the status-quo.

    Usually I try not to go into too much over-the-top rhetoric in feedback but this was spell-binding analysis written in the most sublime fashion. There were a few typos, which in something as strong as this unfortunately become a bigger thing simply because there's nothing else wrong with it, but who am I to begrudge that?

    I've always felt there was more in WWE camera work than anyone gave them credit for, myself included, so to see that be taken note of here was awesome. I just loved everything about it. Just when I thought wrestling was being plumbed at every level, you switch it up. I look forward to more and I hope you stick around to push my own writing to the next level, but also that of eveyone else. The CF is a great place to write so to have someone this accomplished come in and shatter the CF status-quo is a good thing. There's a lot of old hats hanging around writing great stuff and, as it seems you've been here before (and forgive my ignorance for not being familiar with any previous work) I guess we just added another name to the list.

    I'll leave it there for now. There's little I can in good taste mention on the content here because I haven't sat and watched segments in quite as microscopic a level as this yet. I sure as hell look forward to doing do though, as I look forward to reading more of your

    Well done and, once again, welcome!
    Last edited by 'Plan; 01-05-2014 at 12:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Is Your Superior PEN15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Awesome stuff, Al.

    If this is to be a series of columns, might I suggest your analysis would be appreciated in covering the end of the last Raw before TLC? Or would your style not work well covering historical moments since the story has played out, so there is less to interpret?

    This was tremendous. You took a risk here, as this type of column can so easily fall into pretentiousness, especially when covering a low level subject like pro wrestling. You managed to be engaging without sounding like an English teacher telling me the meaning and significance of a work of Shakespeare. I don't know if many will appreciate how difficult writing something like this without falling into those trapings would be.

  4. #4
    Power Trippin' YourAyatollah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    3,905 miles from nonymo
    Welcome back, Baby Zoom. This was excellent, thought provoking stuff.

    The Power Trip: Summer Lovin' (Tom Selleck) is up now. Click this and read it or I'll fucking ban you.

  5. #5
    An excellent column.

    There is this thing about every form of art - it is based on the viewer's perspective. This narrative that you gave is your perspective. You went deep into analysing everything. But was it the artist's intention? The camera angles? The pose that Bray Wyatt had when he hit Daniel Bryan with Sister Abigail - isn't that the pose he has given everytime he hit someone with Sister Abigail? But as they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

    Very refreshing to see this kind of breakdown of the event. Would be interesting to read more from you. And welcome back!

  6. #6
    Read this earlier this morning, didn't get a chance to feed immediately, but I have to say - fantastic analysis. Very intelligent piece and both the writing and content were top-notch. A few small errors - should be "its" instead of "it's", you called him "Daniels" a few times (unless it's a reference I'm missing, in which case forgive me!) and a comma here or there is missing. Tiny, tiny things in respect to how massively great this was, though. The use of pictures was great. It was almost as though you walked us through, step-by-step, your analysis. And I'm not always a huge fan of "personal" preambles, but your introduction fit this particular column so well that I see it was a big positive. Maybe even necessary for readers to fully appreciate the meat of the column.

    At times, wrestling can be shallow, and I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with that. I absolutely loved DX's sophomoric material in '06 and still enjoy watching it today - nothing deep about that. But...when they do reveal deep, meaningful art, it just adds another dimension. Chances are there have been a lot of deep things I've even missed, perhaps because I was so used to "surface entertainment".

    Extremely well done. Will be reading you again.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JacobWrestledGod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Exceptional analysis, no words are wasted on this at all. I was planning to write a creative piece on Daniel Bryan joining the Wyatts similar to this concept of joining Jesus Christ but this has already covered all and more than what I have to say. Kudos.

    If this segment is really about Bryan being defeated utterly and joining the Wyatts' faith, then this is the end game. Bryan's in the family, and there is no more swerve. However, I believe this is far from over. Let's see what other tricks WWE has up its sleeve.
    And Jacob wrestled with God.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Good stuff here.

    Nothing else to say here except job well done and I hope something else happens on WWE TV that is as worthy of thoughtful analysis as what we saw last Monday so that you can break it down again. Really good read.

  9. #9
    I really enjoyed this. Any column or columnist who goes out of their way to interpret what is happening in a positive light to help other people appreciate and enjoy what has happened, even if they haven't seen it themselves straight away, is worth the time of day, so I'm really glad you've picked this format and I'm especially pleased you picked this segment to break down.

    As Skul mentioned, there were a number of jarring proofreading errors, which kind of upset the flow a little bit, but we'll put that down to ring rust. Welcome back to the CF, hopefully you stick around if only to drop some more of these. Great read.

  10. #10
    The Underage Pessimist Subho's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Kolkata, India
    Wowzer! Really, nothing to say about how great of an assessment this was. Truly captivating, backed by a lot of passion. This truly highlights the extent that wrestling can sometimes reach when its viewed under a microscope as defined as yours. To see that this angle pulled you back in was wonderful in and of itself.

    Welcome back, indeed. Hope you write more.

  11. #11
    Main Page Rookie JCool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Analysis on the cinematography and how it contributes to the story being told...I never expected to see such critical work here.
    Has this ever been done before in these parts?

    The religious symbolism and imagery you spoke about mostly worked, although the mother Mary part didn't quite line up. Comparing Bray to Mary was a stretch, even if he is tenderly holding Daniel Bryan in his arms. I mean, Mary doesn't slam Jesus to the ground after he dies, nor would that ever make sense. Bray should not be confused for being anything like Mary, even in the slightest comparison that you used.

    Nonetheless, this piece illustrates, not only what a superb writer you are, Al, but what an amazing part of the WWW these LOP forums are. It's like going to the best supermarket each week. So many fresh and unique perspectives.

    I fully support this approach to column writing and would like to see more of it.

    The Schoolhouse: Now Showing on the LOP Main Page

    Winner of the 2016 Davey Boy Cup

  12. #12
    Kevin Dunn is an artist, and your analysis of his commendable but all too easy to under-appreciate work was the best thing I've read here in weeks. That was an awkward sentence. Your skills are making me self-conscious!

    I said this in reply to another column a few weeks back, but Dunn is so good at what he does that I can appreciate Limp Bizkit, of all terrible bands, when they play over his scintillating hype videos. The guy is a genius.

    I'm often quick to criticise WWE for all manner of things. Columns like this offer an insight into how well the machine is oiled when those cylinders are firing. Fabulous stuff.

    If I'm going to nitpick, there were a few instances where I felt the phrasing was a bit...superior? I don't know. I'm paranoid.

  13. #13
    I've got to echo what those before me have said - this was a terrific piece, really getting into the minutiae of what was going on. Something I'm not amazingly strong at myself, but love reading about - you've opened my eyes to everything that went on in this segment, right down to the camera work and placement of the key players. Excellent stuff. A couple of errors in there, yes, which did make me stop and check my reading, but the thought process behind this is super strong.

    Welcome back indeed.

  14. #14

    ĎPlan: First off, thanks for being the first. Someone has to do it, and my nervousness was that no one would for this piece and iíd be left staring at a big fat donut in that ďcommentsĒ counter. But my self-degradation fantasies aside, thank you very much for the positive feedback. AND - thank you for seemingly attempting to make this point for, as you said, the past three years. Itís an important one to make, certainly.

    As we discussed on Twitter, no, this isnít my first foray into the columns forum. But my writing previous to this certainly was a bit more sophomoric. And WWE is does this type of stuff semi-regularly, so anytime is a good time to be on the lookout. Even tonight!

    Pen: Old friend. Howís it going? Good to see you around here, even if I did have to hide that gruesome sig of yours. Haha. Thatís actually kind of crazy you ask - I failed to see that particular episode of Raw, my viewing has been off and on lately - and once a friend of mine read this he texted me asking that same thing. If I could look at that segment and do a little analysis. Two requests might not be something I can pass up. And no, the benefit of hindsight and history doesnít make for bad analysis. Thatís a large difference between film and fiction theory, though - film is about moving forward and looking at where we are now. Literature theory is more about the past and where we were then. Wrestling could fall into either, iíd say.

    When discussing this with others before I posted it, my main fear was falling into pretentiousness and ďlook at how fucking high brow I can beĒ. I didnít want to be that way at all, of course. So glad to hear the words didnít come off that way. Thanks for reading, man. Really appreciate it.

    Ayatollah: Iíll never shake that nickname. No matter how old I get, how long he doesnít show his face, and how many columns I write. Oh well, could be worse. Thanks for reading, man.

    Masked Newton: I think you make a great point - and thatís the crux of all art interpretation. But I think you misplaced one word that would change your whole statement. I wouldnít say itís ďbasedĒ on the viewers perspective. Iíd say it ďdependsĒ on the viewers perspective. I can create the greatest piece of art ever, no matter what medium. But if itís too great for anyone to understand, if itís too grand or too ornate for anyone to actually appreciate - what does it matter? If no one sees these things, have the WWE even done them? If the Pope shits in the woods, and no one is around to smell him, does he even need to wipe?

    The point is - yes, it depends on the interpretation we give the art that makes it what it is. And thatís the beauty of consuming - you get what you put in.

    Thanks for reading.

    Skulduggery: God, I love that word. Skulduggery. And malfeasance. Used it once in a high school paper and it got circled with red ink and there was a note next to it that read ďHUH?Ē Can you believe that? Ugh.

    Along that line - yeah, typos and errors have always been an achilles heel of mine. Iíll do my best to try to fix them in the future. To go along with what youíre saying - no, thereís nothing wrong with surface level entertainment at all. Although, an argument can be made that DX was a reaction to dot com influence infiltrating the corporate world and these young millionaires with too much money injecting a sophomoric mentality into places you normally wouldnít find it. Thatís one reading.

    JacobWrestledGod: Hey, man. Donít let me stop you. Write the damn thing.

    And I donít think this is the end of the storyline. I analyzed this segment in a bottle, cutting off both sides of the rest of the feud. I think for sure Bryan will somehow use his intellect to defeat his demons.

    Josh: Thanks for reading, man. And you and me both. Iíd love to keep doing this. But donít want to be assigning meaning to places where there isnít any. Not anymore than I might already have.

    Shinobi: I agree, man. I love reading the positive columns that illuminate the good this company does. Certainly isnít enough of that floating around.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks for the feedback. Iíll make a concerted effort to cut out completely those pesky errors. Damn them.

    Subho: Itís interesting that this was the segment to get me back behind the keyboard. Just something about it that really made me believe it was worthy of a deeper look. Which is the beginning of any great story.

    Thanks for reading!

    JCool: Way to keep it current and start out with the Bryan chant, there.

    I set out to do something new. Something I hadnít seen. Thatís where the idea for this column came, so I hope i wasnít mistaken. And I wonít argue with you about that particular part being a stretch. Thanks for calling me out! And thanks for reading and thanks for the compliment on my writing. Means a whole hell of a lot.

    Sidgwick: Iíve heard the name Kevin Dunn, but iím not overly familiar with the backstage names like that. If heís the man who can be credited for this, than props to Mr. Dunn.

    I was nervous the whole thing would come off pretentious and superior, so if it was only a couple times, iíll take that. Haha. Thanks for reading and thanks for giving me a name on who to credit. Hope to see you reading again.

    Oliver: Basic consensus - those errors need to go. As iíve said, iíll certainly be doing my best to correct those in the future. Thanks for reading and thanks for the feedback.

  15. #15
    Dave's Not Here
    Al - You have to thank (or blame) Pen for putting a link to this in his live RAW blog to get my old ass back here. I love reading the live spoilers here on the West Coast so I can see if any part of RAW is worth watching (like everybody else does with Smackdown)

    Your analysis of the imagery of Daniel Bryan and The Wyatts is remarkable. Highly commendable. But I freely admit that I did not see it. I didn't even bother asking my brand stinking new high capacity DVR to snag it for me. The only thing that I am sure about is the excellence that is Daniel Bryan. I am a huge fan of Bryan's and I think that he was put there just to get The Wyatts over like he did the Shield with Kane. It may fail this time, though and I'm not about to watch it happen. And as good as Kevin Dunn may be, I believe that he is the LAST major member of the WWE powers that be that Levesque did not put in place. You tell me if his days are numbered or not.

    Anyway Al, good to re-connect with you. I still haven't decided if I'm going to spring for WM31 happening in our backyard next year. Plenty of time to decide. I'll be in touch.

  16. #16

    Dave: My old friend! Good to hear from you, man! And thanks for reading. And thanks to Pen for posting that! Awesome.

    I usually get Raw spoiled for me by the Twitter. So usually we're in the same boat. Had to tune in after the explosion of mixed opinions last monday. I think the storyline gets the Wyatt's over, but i'd be nervous about it working for both sides. The winner of the storyline will move on to better things, but I can't see both coming out looking strong. There's a way to do it, hopefully they find that method.

    Great point you make about Dunn. They'd be SILLY to let him go.

    You should go to WM31. You should. It never comes to us. Gotta take advantage. You go, i'll buy you a beer.

  17. #17
    Broken Kleck Kleckamania's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    AL- I'm with you 847% on this. As some here already know, I'm very high on Bray Wyatt and WWE's direction of him. A lot of fans aren't looking at his segments closely enough, and I suppose rightfully so based on the simplicity in character development we have seen out of them in the recent years. As you have cleverly displayed here though, it is there, and it takes a discerning eye to uncover the artful beauty inherent in Bray's character development. Any issues with this column have been already covered so it's moot by now to state it again. I will say I LOVED your breakdown of the camera angles and POV shots and what they conveyed. Absolutely great insight there! Also, I think the true art is to implement those literary endeavors cleverly into the world of wrestling analysis. I attempt to do that myself. So I appreciate the hell out of this. The Highlander reference was gold too btw. I will PM you something else on here so look out. Thanks for your keen insight on this man. Really enjoyed it.

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