Former booker of ROH and current Vice President of Dragon Gate USA/owner of EVOLVE Gabe Sapolsky is featuring a column on HeymanHustle.com looking at CM Punk and Daniel Bryan as World Champions in WWE and responding to detractors.
“At WWE Table Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, CM Punk retained the WWE Title while Daniel Bryan won the World Title. I had the privilege and good fortune to book both Punk and Bryan as Ring Of Honor World Champions. When both stood atop WWE Universe last night the only thought that came to mind was “F*CK YOU!!!!”
I’m not one to say “I told ya so” but I said years ago that Punk and Bryan (known as Bryan Danielson on the independent wrestling scene) would accomplish what they did. I didn’t just say that because of their in ring abilities or natural connection to the audience. I believe in them because they have those special intangibles that separate the greats from the wannabes and the elite from the greats. It’s not just extra time in the gym or studying a craft. It’s an inherent drive, a determination, a leadership gene.
So my “F*CK YOU” isn’t for Punk or Bryan. I am beyond happy for both and excited for their futures. For years, I had to hear critics, journalists, naysayers and detractors tell me reason after reason why neither would ever make it under the bright lights of WWE. They picked both Punk and Bryan apart trying to highlight every weakness they perceived that they had. To all of those people I proudly say “F*CK YOU.”
Bryan and Punk prove that independent wrestling has today’s new stars. I believe we have several of these athletes now in Dragon Gate USA and EVOLVE. Talent like Johnny Gargano, Ricochet, Akira Tozawa, Sami Callihan, Chuck Taylor, Rich Swann, Uhaa Nation, PAC, Brodie Lee and AR Fox, to name a few, have arrived. They aren’t tomorrow’s stars, they are today’s new generation. I said it about Punk and Bryan in 2005 and I’m saying it today about these exciting performers. If you aren’t already watching, it’s time for you to start paying attention and enjoy the ride to the top of the WWE Universe.”