After months of torment at the hands of Triple H, Daniel Bryan finally got his revenge at WrestleMania XXX by beating The Game and qualifying for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship main event.
WrestleZone breaks down how Bryan registered the clean win:
Bryan hits the running knee and gets the CLEAN victory! #WrestleZone— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) April 7, 2014
The WWE Universe Twitter account captured Jerry Lawler's thoughts:
The Busted Open show on SiriusXM Radio rightfully gave Triple H credit as well:
Although Triple H himself wasn't exactly thrilled after the match as ESPN's Dan Rafael points out:
Bryan has been scratching and clawing his way to the top of the company ever since SummerSlam. Bryan scored the biggest win of his career by beating John Cena for the WWE Championship, but he was promptly screwed by special guest referee Triple H, who helped Randy Orton successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract.
Ever since that point, Triple H has done everything in his power to hold Bryan down. He forced Bryan to vacate the title after beating Orton for it at Night of Champions, and Bryan has been unable to regain it.
By beating Triple H, he is now one step closer to accomplishing his ultimate goal. Regardless of whether or not he closes WrestleMania XXX as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, though, Bryan created a memorable WrestleMania moment.
The crowd couldn't have possibly been hotter for the Bryan vs. Triple H contest, and that is a testament to how well it was built up in the month leading up to WrestleMania. Some fans have argued that the creative team rushed Bryan back into a feud with Triple H after keeping them away from each other between Hell in a Cell and Royal Rumble, but the results were brilliant regardless.
Things truly turned the corner during the Occupy Raw segment that led to Triple H granting Bryan a match against him, as well as a potential title shot at WrestleMania.
Ever the vindictive heel, Triple H got his licks in as well. He eventually feigned respect for Bryan before having him handcuffed and beating him mercilessly.
The attack was so vicious that Bryan had to be taken off on a stretcher, as seen in this photo courtesy of WWE's Instagram account:
With fans up in arms over the brutal beating, Triple H effectively fed off the WWE Universe's paranoia. The Game has often been accused of "burying" talent over the years, and rather than ignoring that perception, he has embraced it in order to further his heel persona.
That included a video that featured many of the popular stars that Triple H defeated in big matches over the years.
Triple H also acknowledged the issue on Twitter by jokingly responding to a fan who referenced his "burials."
Even so, Bryan refused to be silenced. He got the better of Triple H on the go-home edition of Raw by jumping him at the announce table. He also took out both Orton and Batista and may have established himself as the favorite to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
WWE continued to make him look credible in the days leading up to WrestleMania by chronicling his preparation, including this Instagram video:
Bryan was supremely confident in his ability to beat Triple H and prove that he is more than a "B+ player," as evidenced by his comments courtesy of The Mirror's Rob Leigh.
How should the Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H match have played out?
"I have three main attributes: legs, lungs and heart," Bryan said. "I'll outlast him, and he won't be able to beat me. He'll quit before I do. I've worked too hard and too long for this."
Bryan's words proved to be prophetic, as he handed Triple H the 10th WrestleMania loss of his illustrious career. Triple H did a great job in terms of making fans believe that he would usurp the momentum of wrestling's hottest star, but Bryan's popularity simply couldn't be ignored any longer.
Whether or not that leads to the ultimate rub in terms of winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship remains to be seen. There is no question that Bryan deserves it, but WWE could prolong the hunt even longer by having Batista steal the victory or something similar.
That wouldn't go over well with the fans, but now that Bryan has a WrestleMania victory over Triple H, his positive momentum should continue no matter what happens in the main event.
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