Daniel Bryan is more focused on finding openings in the rules to keep his title then using his wrestling to find holes in his opponents techniques.
He has gone from being a talented submission artist to a conniving trickster who does whatever he needs to for the win. He has become the new ultimate opportunist in the WWE.
No one can replace Edge as far as talent goes. The man was just the right mix of a look that people liked, a persona that radiated star appeal and a love and talent for wrestling that only comes from the most ardent fan with the best physical traits.
He gained the nickname "ultimate opportunist" for cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase twice and finding any way to win, even if it meant using comrades.
Edge was also a great wrestler and even though his character portrayed a coward, he could hold his own in a match.
Bryan doesn't have all of the qualities that Edge did, but he is showing the same cowardice and clever thinking that dominated a large portion of Edge's career.
The only question is if the WWE will do the same with their new opportunist. Will they let him show the skills he has in the ring, or are they just going to make him another cowardly heel who can't win any other way?
Bryan has already used his girlfriend A.J. to help him win matches and while I wasn't a fan at first, Bryan is really impressive. He is using here injuries to make him seem like the hero and while it is obvious that it isn't the case, he is playing it close to the vest.
But every opportunist gets backed into a situation where they have to fight and on equal terms. It happened with Edge and it will happen with Bryan.
When Edge was pushed, he could fight and many times was able to get the victory.
By the end of the feud with Big Show, Bryan will have to do the same. In the end the villain always loses, though it doesn't mean it has that every win before that has to be won by dubious methods. The best way to make a perfect villain is to make someone a coward who actually could win a fair fight if they wanted to.
That is what is going to define Daniel Bryan and possibly make him better than the other performers that have held the strap.
If he doesn't get that defining moment, he will end up being like the Miz or Christian: someone who can keep the belt through trickery and nothing else.
Daniel Bryan can do something great with this title run if the WWE lets him and he takes the initiative.
He has the opportunity.
Now, he just needs to take advantage of it.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog, elbaexiled.blogspot.com, that focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.