The first phase of this match went as expected, with each man feeling the other out, attempting to establish the upper hand very early on.
Daniel Bryan did what he does best, going for one submission move after the other, much to the delight of the Chicago crowd, who had been chanting “yes” from virtually the first moment the pay-per-view began.
Amazing how much the fans have latched onto that one word, isn’t it?
Sheamus also did not disappoint, using his bruising style to punish Bryan during much of the match before the first fall.
This match had been touted as the brawler versus the technician, but all due respect goes to Bryan. The stiff shots that he leveled against Sheamus every time, it looked as though the Great White was gaining an advantage.
An awkward spill out of the ring caused Sheamus’s left wristband to be caught in the corner ropes, giving Daniel all the reason he needed to target the world champion’s left shoulder.
He was so intense with his attack that he was disqualified, giving the first fall to Sheamus.
Daniel Bryan continued working the left arm and shoulder of Sheamus, cinching him up in the yes-lock until Sheamus was counted out.
The match was tied 1-1.
Sheamus, however, would not stay down for long as he hit a surprise brogue kick, but was unable to gain the pin.
The match went back and forth between both men as much of the first half had gone, and it looked as though the outcome could go either way.
But, out of nowhere, Sheamus was able to get back on his feet and mount another round of offense, hitting a second brogue kick, and gaining the third and final fall.
Winner, and still world champion, Sheamus.
I have to say, I expected Bryan to regain the championship, thanks to outside help from AJ, who may have decided that she could gain her ex-boyfriend’s favor by helping him walk away with the strap.
But, despite how this one ended, the fact is, this match is the one we should have gotten at WrestleMania.
Yes, that was then, and this is now. And Bryan, though he was surely disappointed by not having more of a showing on the grandest stage of them all, is enough of a pro to take it in stride. But, he certainly deserved more in the eyes of the fans.
He got it at Extreme Rules and then some.
Daniel Bryan is indeed a main-event performer, and he proved it against Sheamus.
The Great White is still world champion and now the question is will his heat against Bryan continue, or will he move on to another challenger?
I believe that this feud is not over, as Bryan is 0-2 against Sheamus and has more to prove now than he ever did before.
But for this to continue, something else needs to happen, mostly because a two-out-of-three-falls match is a pretty decisive way to declare a winner.
Sheamus’s “injury” could very well be the catalyst for a future match against Bryan, as he is now in a very vulnerable state, thanks in large part to the fact that Daniel is such a submission specialist.
Despite what happens from this point on, there is no denying Daniel Bryan’s immense popularity that has just exploded over the past month.
There is also no denying that these two guys had a great match. Hopefully, they have more to give.