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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Professional 3 1.05.14: One Man Imploding Groups From Within
Posted by Jon Harder on 01.05.2014

Welcome everyone to another edition of the Professional 3 here on 411mania.com! I'm Jon Harder and HAPPY 2014! The first piece of the New Year will be a fun, different type of piece. My New Year's resolution is to find a way to make this column better than the year before. It's a lofty goal, but I sincerely the 411maniacs dig this piece. More importantly, I hope they dig it, but not turn on like they TURNED on my Santino Marella vs Antonio Cesaro match from last week's column! Good grief, some respected it and others completely turned on it. Regardless, I'm cool either way. I love the feedback. You guys, whether completely loving or hating a particular topic, are not afraid to speak your mind on how you feel. Thanks a bunch.

Before we go any further, check out this week's Hardway Podcast on TheJonHarder.com with Max St. Giovanni! MSG, brother of my right hand man, Leon St. Giovanni, is an aspiring actor in the Central New Jersey area, and has starred in a handful of plays. His newest play, "The Underpants", just got picked up at the First Avenue Playhouse in Atlantic Highlands, NJ all throughout January! For information on this play, as well as witty barbs from MSG, find on Facebook at http://facebook.com/roberto.forero.1!

Also, follow me on Twitter at @TheJonHarder. If you have any ridiculous tweets on the Mets, wrestling, or just something at random towards me, I will most definitely retweet you. That's how I roll.

And lastly, #PenniesForNorm.

Now, onto this week's column. The big topic from the last Raw of 2013 came from the absolute fact that Daniel Bryan has seemingly joined the Wyatt Family. After months of beatings at the hands of Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan, Bryan finally succumbed to them and agreed that maybe they were good for him. He was sick of fighting the machine and he needed some guidance to get to the next level. 2013 ended with Daniel Bryan giving into the Wyatts and ultimately leaving fans in utter and complete shock.


This twist in this feud is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. My God, this is such a beautiful viewpoint, and I'll tell you why. According to Dave Meltzer and his Wrestling Observer newsletter, this was reported:

For what it's worth, at a recent meeting, Vince McMahon said there are no more babyfaces and heels. Vince has for years pushed no strong delineation because of the belief that in real life, nobody is completely good or completely bad.

With that note coming out into the media, as well as this angle happening, it's perfect to see where it's going. It's very reminiscent of the Attitude Era or, at least, of what Vince Russo was trying to unleash in TNA with the "shades of grey" mentality when it came to developing characters. Having Daniel Bryan so distraught on being broken down and humbled by the Authority, despite his hard work and determination to get to the next level, and seeing there is no other option available for him to make it on his own, is in some respects real life coming out into the world.

There are a select group of people, who have paid their dues and worked incredibly hard in spite of the system, that will be continuously held down due to the fact that they don't play "the game" or have a certain intangible that others are jealous of and attempt to push down. After being ostracized for so long, you have to start working within the system to make it further in life. That's a realistic situation that all of us, at one time or another, have been through. Sad as it is, I have been through it as well. Seeing Daniel Bryan make that choice shows that the "shades of grey" mentality has been planted within all of us. The true "Reality Era" has kicked off.

I truly hope that this is the case. However, if we go to simple wrestling logic, it could just very well be that Daniel Bryan is playing the Wyatts to ultimately grasp his ultimate goal: to break them up within. How can a man so beloved by the WWE Universe turn his back to join the cult-like atmosphere if he didn't have an ulterior motive? I feel that with the realistic and typical WWE booking, this is where the feud is going. It wouldn't be the first time this has been tried in the world of pro wrestling: it most definitely won't be the last.

Since realistically, this is the way I honestly feel the Daniel Bryan/Wyatt Family situation is going, I'm going to give you issues to relate to, regarding this to stable issues. This week on the Professional 3, I'm going to give you three different situations revolving around a wrestler joining a particular group or stable, only to show his true feelings; have them implode within. Is it ruthless? Yes. Is it dangerous? You bet. Is it genius? You damn bet it is.

Without further hesitation...

THE PROFESSIONAL 3: One Man Imploding Groups From Within

1) KURT ANGLE JOINS THE ALLIANCE Back in 2001, WCW and ECW had come together with one sole purpose: to put the WWF out of business. Under the guidance of Shane and Stephanie McMahon, the Alliance's had already forced their hand to have several different performers join their fold, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Test, William Regal, and Christian. However, with the WWF standing tall and repeatedly overcoming the odds, the Alliance knew they had to do something major to get to Survivor Series 2001 with the ultimate obstacle being to put the other out of business. After months of beatdowns on him and ridiculous ways on trying to break his spirit, Kurt Angle turned out to join the Alliance on an episode of Monday Night Raw in late October 2001, after the Vince vs Shane McMahon Street Fight II. The world felt betrayed.

However, it was all a ruse. In the main event of Survivor Series 2001, after trying to implicate that Stone Cold was a mole for the Alliance and was attempting to throw the match for his team, it was a red herring, as Kurt Angle cost Austin the match and the Alliance their companies. The next night on Raw, Vince McMahon told the story that he and our Olympic Hero devised a plan to infiltrate the Alliance and in the end, cost them everything. Somehow, although the WWF survived, Kurt looked like a jerk for something so evil. However, it was an ingenious plot to implode a group from within, and Kurt Angle showed his true colors.

2) CM PUNK JOINS THE NEW BREED In the spring of 2007, the ECW Originals of Tommy Dreamer, the Sandman, Sabu, and Rob Van Dam were in the middle of a turf war with the New Breed of Elijah Burke, Matt Striker, Kevin Thorn, and Marcus Cor Von. A few weeks after WrestleMania 23, both groups knew that they needed the hottest commodity on ECW during that time period: CM Punk. The Originals knew that if CM Punk existed during the original ECW, he would have fit right in. The New Breed insisted that Punk had the style and the youth to be apart of what Vince McMahon coined them as the "New Breed" of ECW. On an episode in late April on ECW on Syfy, Punk made his true intentions known, as he shook the hand of Elijah Burke after a Cor Von victory against Rob Van Dam, and seemingly joined the New Breed.

Almost immediately, Punk showed his TRUE colors, as the next week on ECW on Syfy, after an Elijah Burke loss to Rob Van Dam, which coincidentally was caused by Punk, the "Best in the World" fireman carry pick-upped Elijah and gave him a GTS. The next week, Kevin Thorn, disillusioned from Burke making a bad choice, quit the New Breed. A little under a month later, Punk, Dreamer, and Sandman defeated the remaining three members of the New Breed in a tables match at ECW One Night Stand 2007, and the group imploded the following week. Within a matter of a month, CM Punk, who couldn't stand Elijah Burke personally or professionally, destroyed the New Breed and showed that HE was the future of ECW, not the New Breed. Ultimately, Punk's rebel nature fit perfectly for the Originals, and it showed in the long run.

3) CURT HENNIG JOINS THE FOUR HORSEMEN Quite possibly, the biggest swerve in the history of WCW history, and that's saying something. In August of 1997, on an episode of Monday Nitro, Arn Anderson, undoubtedly the backbone of the Four Horsemen, walked out to the ring, along with Ric Flair, Steve "Mongo" McMichael, Chris Benoit, and Curt Hennig, and in an emotional affair, retired from pro wrestling. Knowing that the Horsemen would be short a member, Arn went to Curt and not only offered him a spot in the Horsemen, but offered him HIS spot as the Enforcer. Hennig, caught up with emotion as the other Horsemen were as well, accepted and the Horsemen were whole again.

Fall Brawl 1997 was a dark day in the world of pro wrestling for all North Carolina based WCW fans. In the main event, where the Horsemen would take on the New World Order inside War Games, Hennig was taken out backstage with an arm injury...or so we though. In Flair Country, Hennig came in as a house of fire in War Games as the final entrant of the match, and proceeded to turn on the Horsemen. Flair, Benoit, and Mongo were destroyed at the hands of the seemingly NOT HURT Hennig, and the nWo won War Games. Worst of all, Hennig SLAMMED the steel door of the War Games on the head of Ric Flair. As it turned out, Hennig was in cahoots with Hollywood Hogan and proceed to piss on the legacy of the Horsemen. Devastated, Flair disbanded the group over the phone a few weeks later on Nitro. Curt Hennig IMPLODED the Four Horsemen, something no one else was EVER able to do.

Well folks, let's wait and see if Daniel Bryan does one of two things regarding the Wyatt Family. I just hope that the Wyatts might know what's in store, God forbid Bryan attempts this. It truly is a mixed bag. Let's just hope that no one tries to implode this column. It COULD happen. Later guys.


Jon Harder - jon@thejonharder.com


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