With the WWE Money in the Bank All-Stars match approaching and Daniel Bryan’s recent surge in popularity amongst the WWE Universe, it is worth looking at some potential reasons why Bryan deserves a main event spot in WWE.
Throughout his WWE career, Daniel Bryan has impressed fans with his pro wrestling prowess and ability to entertain audiences.
As a former World Heavyweight champion, WWE Tag Team champion and United States champion, Bryan is on the cusp of earning a main event spot with a win in the Money in the Bank All-Stars match.
These seven reasons will help form a picture of Daniel Bryan’s accomplishments in and out of WWE. Of course, becoming a main event WWE Superstar relies on many variables, but in the case of Daniel Bryan, hard work has seemed to pay off.
Thanks to the Internet Wrestling Database for helpful information.
On WWE programming and WWE.com, Daniel Bryan’s illustrious career before coming to WWE has been touched upon. Bryan’s WWE.com biography states, “Trained by WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, Bryan competed on the indy wrestling circuit for more than 10 years.”
Few WWE Superstars have the background on the indy wrestling circuit Daniel Bryan has. In wrestling for various organizations like Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerilla and more, Bryan came to WWE with a reputation already made.
Of course, in WWE, prior reputations matter little, and Daniel Bryan had to prove his worth in WWE’s developmental programs before becoming part of the main roster.
Through paying these dues with success, many old-school pro wrestling fans see Bryan as deserving of a main event spot in WWE.
At the end of summer in 2009, WWE signed Daniel Bryan (then Bryan Danielson) to a contract. After finishing a string of shows with Ring of Honor in September, Bryan started with Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), which was a developmental territory for WWE.
In February 2010, Daniel Bryan was called up by WWE to be part of their new show, NXT. On the very first NXT episode, Bryan engaged in an intriguing rookie versus veteran match against Chris Jericho.
Daniel Bryan’s time on NXT was mostly spent losing matches to just about everyone else who appeared on NXT, including The Great Khali, David Otunga, Kane, Darren Young, William Regal, Skip Sheffield, Batista and Michael Tarver. While not having success on the first season of NXT in terms of wins and losses, Bryan would soon be embroiled in a major summer controversy.
When the NXT Superstars invaded Monday Night Raw on June 7, 2010, it signaled the beginning of a new generation of talent appearing on WWE’s main programs.
Caught up in the violence of the invasion, Daniel Bryan stepped over WWE’s TV-PG line when he violently choked ring announcer Justin Roberts using Roberts’ tie.
I did what I felt was natural, but I am not used to wrestle [sic] in a confined environment. WWE has to be very carful [sic] about being PG. I wasn’t used to that at the time. I was an independent wrestler, sometimes I would do things because it just felt right, and when it felt right, it wasn’t right for the company.
Daniel Bryan would be released by WWE on June 11, 2010 following the choking incident on Monday Night Raw.
As a member of WWE’s developmental program, Daniel Bryan was able to hone his skills and adapt them to the WWE style. By making it to the main event, Bryan can become an example for WWE of how successful their rookie programs are.
In pro wrestling, infamous stories can help someone’s career. CM Punk’s leaving WWE, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s war with Vince McMahon and the original incarnation of the New World Order are all infamous stories in pro wrestling lore.
Daniel Bryan’s surprising release from WWE led to much speculation on the Internet.
Indy wrestling fans were given a treat. Bryan quickly rebounded from his WWE release to wrestle for Chikara, Evolve, Dragon Gate USA and PWG.
Online campaigns were started for WWE to re-sign Daniel Bryan. Even PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) jumped on the bandwagon to support the “up-and-coming vegan wrestler.”
A surprise return at the SummerSlam 2010 pay-per-view event helped to give Daniel Bryan a surge of momentum in WWE. Following his return, he quickly won the WWE United States Championship from The Miz at the Night of Champions 2010 pay-per-view event and finished off 2010 as champion.
Being released and brought back to WWE most likely helped make Daniel Bryan more well-known to the WWE Universe than his time on NXT.
As WWE champion, Bryan could easily use his release in 2010 as a way to explain his rise to the top in promos. If this were to occur, Bryan could easily be embroiled in a feud with one or more members of the McMahon family.
Daniel Bryan kept the WWE United States Championship into the beginning of 2011 and was featured on Monday Night Raw, NXT season 4 and WWE pay-per-view events.
On the March 14, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan lost his championship to Sheamus where Bryan put up his championship against Sheamus’ career. After his loss to Sheamus, Daniel Bryan started to become a regular fixture on Smackdown, where he wrestled nearly every week.
During his initial mid-card run on Smackdown, Daniel Bryan wrestled against Sheamus, Sin Cara, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase Jr., Heath Slater and Tyson Kidd, among other mid-card Smackdown stars.
Being showcased nearly every week on Smackdown did wonders for Daniel Bryan’s career. He was able to demonstrate his abilities against a wide array of opponents.
In having entertaining matches against so many different WWE Superstars during his Smackdown run of 2011, Daniel Bryan has made a strong case for a WWE Championship run. Bryan’s abilities were rewarded at the Money in the Bank 2011 pay-per-view event when he won the Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder match.
Daniel Bryan held onto the Money in the Bank contract for quite some time and even claimed he was going to wait until WrestleMania 28 to cash it in.
Instead of waiting until WrestleMania 28, Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank contract at the December 2011 TLC pay-per-view event. He defeated The Big Show in a matter of seconds right after The Big Show defeated Mark Henry in a chair match to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The Big Show was WWE World Heavyweight champion for only a moment.
The irony of this event was that The Big Show had been encouraging Daniel Bryan to cash in the Money in the Bank contract and go for the championship.
Bryan became an unlikely champion because of his size and stature. This was especially apparent with The Big Show and Mark Henry being top contenders to the championship at the time.
During this championship reign, Bryan also became an arrogant WWE villain. Being a WWE Superstar who was least likely to be seen as a top champion inflated Bryan’s ego.
Daniel Bryan’s reign would last until WrestleMania 28, where he lost the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Sheamus in a mere 18 seconds.
Bryan’s fatal flaw was demanding a kiss from his then-girlfriend AJ Lee after the match had started. Not realizing this, Bryan took a Brogue Kick right after the kiss and subsequently lost his championship.
In becoming WWE World Heavyweight champion, Daniel Bryan helped to add some surprise to WWE. His heel turn showed the WWE Universe that Bryan was not only an excellent pro wrestler, but also a true entertainer. This championship reign would provide a preview of just how entertaining Daniel Bryan really is.
2012 saw Daniel Bryan’s WWE career take off in ways that it never had before. In May and June of 2012, Bryan became a top contender for the WWE Championship. At the Over the Limit pay-per-view event, Bryan lost to Punk for the championship in a match that went nearly 25 minutes.
It would be during the second half of 2012 that Daniel Bryan would become as entertaining as he was technically sound in pro wrestling.
After being dumped and rejected at the wedding altar by AJ Lee on the 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan engaged in a feud with Kane. Daniel Bryan defeated Kane at the SummerSlam 2012 pay-per-view event, but Lee’s new position as Raw general manager gave her the power to further humiliate Bryan.
In trying to control both the anger of Kane and Daniel Bryan, AJ Lee enrolled them in anger management classes with Dr. Shelby.
It was through these vignettes that Daniel Bryan developed as an entertaining WWE Superstar outside the squared circle.
The entertaining duo that went on to become Team Hell No gained popularity through their arguing during matches and sessions with Dr. Shelby.
Before Team Hell No was formed, Daniel Bryan used the “Yes” chant after winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It took on a life of its own after Team Hell No was formed, and the “Yes” chant soon became a “No” chant.
Interestingly enough, in an interview with IGN.com from May 18, 2012, Daniel Bryan explained the “Yes” chant:
It’s originally from the MMA fighter Diego Sanchez. It was after I had won the World Heavyweight Championship and they just said “When you go to the ring we want you to be very excited.” And so he would come to the ring going “Yes, yes yes”- just pumping himself up. I did it in more of an obnoxious way, just acting like I was the happiest human alive. Pointing my fingers in the air like a jerk. And, to be honest, it’s just fun to do.
Daniel Bryan’s technical abilities have gotten him very far in his pro wrestling career. In becoming a WWE Superstar, Bryan also became an entertainer.
In attaining a main event spot for the WWE Championship, one needs to be as entertaining in the ring as outside the ring. Bryan has proven he's someone who can do it all in WWE.
Like many pro wrestling veterans of the past, Daniel Bryan learned the craft of pro wrestling from the ground up. From his training with Shawn Michaels, to Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling and a whole host of other pro wrestling organizations, Bryan immersed himself in various styles of pro wrestling.
As a professional wrestler, Daniel Bryan’s knowledge and experience should be respected enough on its own to be a main eventer anywhere in the world.
His ability to use aerial maneuvers as easily as submissions makes Daniel Bryan a superstar that excites in the ring.
Combined with his extremely entertaining personality in WWE, Daniel Bryan is more than ready to become WWE’s newest successful under-235-pounds main event star. In the line of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit and CM Punk, Bryan is ready to become a successful smaller WWE champion.
The wrestler Daniel Bryan is more than capable of putting on entertaining matches with anyone on the WWE roster. This is an important aspect of being a main event WWE Superstar. Some have the size, some have the microphone skills and some have in-ring ability.
Even though he is not the largest pro wrestler, few can match Daniel Bryan as a sports entertainer in and outside the ring.
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