As I look at this picture, I’m reminded of another picture from a few years back.

Lets take the whole Benoit nightmare that happened outside of the ring and look at this from purely an in ring view. For most part you have never seen the WWE put two World Championships on small wrestlers. Hell, they almost never let the small wrestlers guide the company. Even with HBK, the WWE tended to have bigger guys around HBK to help guide but never really let Shawn go full force with it.

That was until Eddie got the strap off of Brock. And Chris… Chris who many considered the pound for pound best wrestler int he business at the time, seemed to be always at that door. Vince, in a clear moment decided to let the titles rest with both men. Even though Benoit’s run wasn’t that interesting, outside of his matches with HBK/HHH. Eddie’s programs with JBL made fro great TV. Which showed that you can have a smaller wrestler handle the weight of leading your shows.

Since then we haven’t seen much of that. Maybe a small wrestler here and there holding the strap. But not both at the same time. but then it happened. Then the WWE painted themselves into a wall. CM Punk’s pre WWE career was just as strong as Taz’s pre WWE career. The difference is where Taz never got an opening to really be himself. With CM Punk, Vince didn’t have a choice.

They threw Punk into the crappy version of ECW and Punk stayed above water while a lot of the ECW roster floundered. Punk had the crowd behind him to the point that he HAD to win Money In The Bank, because people wanted to see him go after the World title. Even when he was put in the spot to look weak against the bigger wrestlers, Punk still looked good. Good enough that even after dropping the belt and being stuck in the mid card level… The fans wouldn’t allow it. So the WWE turned him Heel. And just like with The Rock and Stone Cold, the Heel Punk was still too hot to be kept down.

Feuds with Rey and Big Show as the Straight Edge Society showed that no matter who he was in the ring with, Punk can be gold. this point was doubled in his feud with Jeff Hardy over the World Title. Then he got hurt and they put him in the announcer’s chair. Despite what people say, I liked him there because he had the knowledge and was funny. But the fans needed to see Punk in the ring. So the WWE decided to spark a powder keg that even they didn’t know how big the blast would be.

They placed Punk in the New Nexus and put him on the path of their golden boy, John Cena. Once the door open, there was no way they were gonna close it. Punk and Cena had a great back and forth in their program. But when it was over, the WWE did something that surprised me. they respected history. they placed Punk in a feud with randy Orton, another golden boy…with the base of that feud being the interaction the two had with each other back when Punk won his first World Title.

The set up was simple, basing the animosities on Orton and his crew having attacked CM Punk backstage before a PPV title defense, resulting in Punk having to vacate the belt due to injury. It made for a great feud, right RANDELL!!! Skip forward to Punk winning a number one’s contender match for the RAW heavyweight title, placing him in the path of John Cena despite it being known that Punk’s contract was ending soon and he planned on leaving. We’ve all seen this storyline. The wrestler vows to leave the company with the title. but they never do. And that is when it happened. The infamous promo that everyone talked about and for the first time in a long time…you didn’t know what exactly would happen…and you enjoyed it. You watched as John Cena went up against someone who was not only amazing on the mic but great in the ring.

The outcome of this was refreshing and now CM Punk is a mainstay in the main event scene.

IF you look at Bryan’s path to the title…pretty much the same. A guy with a great following, who no matter how he was missed handled, the fans want to see him at the top. This Bryan wins the Money in the Bank match…and after set back to set back. He has the Belt. The same belt CM Punk won his first time.

I’m not going to go as deep as I did with Punk, but Bryan isn’t the prototype wrestler as the WWE likes to push. Both men like Chris and Eddie are technical wrestlers, which alot of people tend to think is boring. Eddie like Punk when his title first and is the in ring and on mic specialist. Bryan like Chris isn’t that good on the mic but is great in the ring.

Two separate moments in WWE history. Similar wrestlers representing the same thing that we all have been saying. Sometimes the smaller guys should lead. Hopefully the WWE listens this time.

P.S. Two former ROH World Champions now current WWE World champions. Has the ROH become this generation’s ECW. Something to think about…

See you later Space Cowboy….

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