Daniel Bryan's career so far in WWE has seen its ups and downs, but what is in store for his future?
Once pegged as the favorite of the initial season of NXT, he was quickly voted off the show in the first round of eliminations.
This was followed by the beginnings of a giant push with the Nexus that was just as quickly extinguished, as Bryan was released from WWE.
Bryan would later return with much fanfare at SummerSlam, starting an upward swing which would lead to a United States Championship reign, a Money in the Bank victory and its subsequent cash-in to become World Heavyweight champion.
This title reign, however, was mired in controversy, as Bryan dropped the title to Sheamus in a mere 18 seconds to kick off WrestleMania XXVIII. Many fans felt as though this would kill Bryan's chances at ever being a main event star again.
Since then, Bryan has seen success as being one half of Team Hell No—one of the only tag teams in recent WWE history that was able to get over with the crowd and truly bring some focus to the division.
After dropping the WWE Tag Team Championship, Team Hell No has continued its "dichotomous unity" angle, with Bryan harping on the idea that he might be the weak link of the team, trying to prove everyone wrong.
This new storyline aspect has rejuvenated his career even more, and the future is starting to look brighter than ever for him.
Although he may not be winning all of his matches, Bryan has been on a hot streak of looking strong as of late. For fans of the superstar, this should help put their worries that he would be the Marty Jannetty of Team Hell No to rest. The more that Bryan is given the spotlight, the less likely he will have to struggle to come out of this alive.
Bryan is never going to be an unstoppable beast of a champion, but in recent times, he has single-handedly taken the fight to The Shield better than whole trios have. He's also nearly defeated the current No. 1 contender to John Cena's WWE Championship in Ryback—a man twice his size.
Most importantly, the reaction that the WWE Universe has had to these instances was incredibly positive.
This shows that Bryan has a strong and growing fanbase eager to see him rise to the top in WWE, and that he has showcased the talent necessary for people to believe in him as a legitimate threat.
Dolph Ziggler will be needing a new challenger when his program with Alberto Del Rio ends. Daniel Bryan could fill this role with ease and provide massively entertaining matches, as evidenced by both his and Ziggler's past encounters.
Others still are speculating that Bryan will instead move on to face John Cena for the WWE Championship. While a feud with Ziggler could also present the same problem, there would more than likely be less of a chance that Bryan would walk out of a feud with Cena looking as though he wasn't merely being fed to the champ.
Perhaps Bryan could even be positioned as a potential replacement for Cena if he needs to take time off for nagging injuries later on in the year, instead.
In fact, his in-ring skills, stature and wide appeal could actually give the WWE Universe the true underdog character it deserves rather than the false one shoved down our throats.
One way or another, all signs point to 2013 being a step in the right direction for Bryan's place on the roster. There comes a point when WWE will be unable to ignore the situation and will be forced to pull the trigger.
Daniel Bryan has proven that he is far from the weak link. In fact, he may be the strongest overall performer in WWE today.
Are you a fan of Bryan heading back to the main event, or would you rather him stay lower on the card? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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