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Daniel Bryan Says Change in WWE’s Presentation Is ‘Absolutely Necessary’

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SmackDown Live general manager Daniel Bryan offered his take on what WWE could do to improve its current product.

NBC Sports’ Scott Dargis asserted his belief that WWE feels stale and asked Bryan his feelings on the matter. Bryan responded the company should do more to emphasize a wrestler’s personality outside the ring:
“I think a change of presentation is absolutely necessary. I think the way that we present our superstars probably needs to change. Years ago they went through with this idea of having as much live stuff as possible on the shows, but I think when you watch say UFC for example, some of the things that are the most endearing, that make you care the most about the fighters are these backstage vignettes that get to show their real personality. You’ll see great fights that people will cheer maybe because they’re great fights, but the fights that have the most impact are the ones with fighters who people actually care about.”

Bryan highlighted a perfect example of what he’s talking about: a pre-taped piece on Roderick Strong that aired on NXT.
Most fans have followed Strong’s work through Ring of Honor and various independent promotions. They weren’t aware, however, of Strong’s upbringing in Florida and how his relationships with his mother and father shaped his wrestling career:

Two years earlier, NXT gave the same treatment to Finn Balor as he prepared to challenge Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship at The Beast in the East:

Decades ago, simply having two wrestlers deliver an entertaining match would’ve been enough to satisfy fans. Beyond house shows, there weren’t many opportunities to regularly see wrestling’s top stars—adding a level of mystique to their mere presence.

Now, however, the WWE Network gives fans hours upon hours of wrestling on demand with the click of a mouse. If somebody is simply interested in watching good wrestling, then he or she can bring up any number of matches on the Network.
WWE needs to give fans more of a reason to become invested in the current members of the roster—whether it’s following their rise as a babyface or rooting for their downfall as a heel. Pulling back the curtain a little bit and showing a wrestler’s backstory and allowing their personality to shine through could help the company accomplish that goal.

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