Has The Corporation returned to the WWE?
In years past, it’s been a wrestling tradition to have stables be a part of the business. Stables are a group of wrestlers who bond together to create a force among the roster. Sometimes they’re a band, sometimes just a group of friends, but they always have something in common. Sometimes, long after the stables have disbanded, they are known to come back together either to the delight or the chagrin of the audience. Some stables who are notable for doing this are The Four Horseman, the nWo, and D-Generation X. All three of the aforementioned groups had an air of prestige to them, and they helped revolutionize the sport as well as the era.
I believe that we may be seeing the rebirth of one of the Attitude Era’s most notable forces, The Corporation.
In 1998, Vince McMahon was involved in a war with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Where McMahon would find a way to top Austin, Austin would always find a way to cause him more grief. Later down the line, superstars such as Mankind would also become a thorn in the side of McMahon, and thus, The Corporation was born. When McMahon sought out the best choices to be a part of this group, he found an array of superstars who were eclectic as well as dominating against anyone who dare challenge the team. Superstars such as The Rock, Ken Shamrock, The Big Show, Kane (briefly before WM15), Triple H, Chyna, The Big Bossman, Test, Shane McMahon, and a few select others. The group became a force to reckon with in the WWE, helping to eliminate D-Generation X and create a bond with The Ministry of Darkness, which came to be known as the Corporate Ministry.
The Corporation began because Vince McMahon didn’t feel as though Stone Cold Steve Austin was the right image for the company. Odd, considering prior to Austin’s reign, the crotch-gesturing Shawn Michaels was champion, but I digress. With Austin as champion, McMahon’s company was labeled as being extreme, audacious, crude, but not surprisingly, it worked. People loved it, and Austin was the forerunner of the company. McMahon’s vision of the WWE at the time was ruined by the beer swilling redneck, a group of degenerates, a lunatic, a deadman, and various other oddities.
Recently, the WWE Championship has been held by various superstars who create a good public image for the WWE. John Cena, a superstar who is loved worldwide by children, mothers, fathers, soldiers, and the general public. He’s racked up over 400 visits to children through the Make A Wish Foundation. He’s supported the Susan G. Komen Foundation, he’s a swell guy. Prior to him was The Rock, a bonafide A-list movie star who has electrified audiences for over 15 years. Before The Rock was CM Punk, a superstar who loves professional wrestling and lives a completely clean straight edge lifestyle. CM Punk defeated Alberto Del Rio, a rich, debonaire Hispanic superstar who helped bring prestige to the gold.
When you have such superstars as these holding the WWE Championship for the last two years, it’s difficult to ascertain that a 5’9”, bearded, former anger management patient who’s catchphrase is essentially an one-word answer could ever become “the guy” in the company. Daniel Bryan is a superstar for wrestling fans. That’s the simplest way to put it. As a fan of professional wrestling, you’ve become familiar with Daniel Bryan for his work in the ring. His persistence, his drive, his intensity, his passion. He doesn’t worry about entertaining, he forces himself to be the best no matter what the odds are.
However, to look at Daniel Bryan, you don’t see a professional wrestler. The average guy changing the channel wouldn’t stop if he saw a guy holding THE championship who was shouting “YES!” and talking about how great his beard is. This is all in the eyes of Vince and Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H. With this being said, it’s not difficult to understand why the company would want a guy like Randy Orton to be the WWE Champion. He’s tall, tan, has cool tattoos, the ladies love him, he’s well-groomed, he doesn’t take huge risks if he doesn’t feel the need to. He’s a company man’s champion. If you had never seen pro wrestling but liked tattoos, liked guys who were handsome and had that army guy look, or even liked MMA, you would see something in Orton that you liked.
This is why it’s easy to understand the motive behind Triple H and Vince McMahon’s plight. As Triple H explained, it was difficult for him to end Daniel Bryan’s journey to becoming the WWE Champion. As a wrestler, Triple H probably saw a lot of the same drive in Daniel Bryan that he once possessed. As a 13-time champion (8 WWE, 5 World Heavyweight), The Game definitely gets why Daniel is so focused on becoming the top guy in the company. Still, his tactics on holding Bryan back are underhanded and essentially evil.
What will Daniel Bryan do now that he’s not only got Orton to worry about, but also the top dogs in the WWE? Even if Triple H, Vince McMahon, and Stephanie McMahon back off, Orton is still a challenger that many have fallen victim to. Orton isn’t afraid to use weaponry or his former signature maneuver, the punt to the head. However, with H and the McMahons on his side (as well as The Shield), Orton is seemingly unstoppable. What will it take to get the gold off of Randy Orton? Will Daniel Bryan even have a fighting chance? For that matter… will anybody?
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