Deadly Dream Matches Part 2: Chris Benoit vs. Daniel Bryan
It's been two months since my last edition of Deadly Dream Matches, and now it returns once more for a comparison that I, and among many others, have been resembling in for months, if not longer.
Last edition, I compared WWE Superstar Ezekiel Jackson to Strikeforce Fighter Bobby Lashley, which garnered much criticism. This time, I advise you, do not write comments on your dislike for either or both of the wrestlers, that's not what this is for.
At the end of the presentation, I want you to be the judge: Is Daniel Bryan following in the controversial steps of the late and great Chris Benoit?
Daniel Bryan on NXT
This factor of comparison is not involved in why it's a dream match, but it still plays a part in their resemblance.
Both have that unattractive look that is criticized by the commentators on television; being called "ugly" on occasion. This may be just from my opinion, but if I knew nothing of the two men, I would assume that Benoit was Bryan's father.
The reason I bring up their looks is that since wrestlers are commonly known for being big, handsome, and muscular men. Neither Benoit nor Bryan fit this description, as both are classified in the Cruiserweight Division and aren't the most dashing people in the world.
But when you look at their ability, their looks mean nothing to what they can accomplish in the ring.
"Cattle Crippler" Theme Mashup
A small similarity, but another thing in common nonetheless.
If you take a very close look at the video attached, you can see a huge similarity between Chris Benoit's last entrance theme and Daniel Bryan's generic rock music.
It's ironically interesting. And despite it being jobber music, I enjoyed that music more than Wilhelm Richard Wagner's classical music piece "Ride of the Valkyries" Bryan has now.
Bryan Danielson as ROH Champion
This may be the same for a lot of wrestlers, but this still counts as a similarity between Benoit and Bryan.
Chris Benoit first became a well-known wrestler when he started working for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1992 to 1993, and again in 1995 to 2000. In between these two tenures, he also shortly worked for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) where he was booked to win the ECW Championship, but never came to be due to not having his contract renewed.
The "Rabid Wolverine" had his many tastes of gold while working in WCW by winning the WCW United States Championship, World Television Championship, World Tag Team Championship, and even the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. These many accolades helped him when he jumped ship to WWF in 2000.
As for Daniel Bryan, he worked in Ring of Honor (ROH) as "Bryan Danielson" from 2002 to 2009. He became a household name in the industry as one of the best in the world, and went on to win the ROH World Championship while there.
United States Championship
Bringing Back Prestige to the US Title
While in WWE, both Benoit and Bryan have succeeded in winning the United States Championship. It doesn't sound that grand with the prestige the title has lost over the years, but it was still a big step in both of their careers.
After losing the World Heavyweight Championship in August 2004, Benoit was largely misused. He moved to SmackDown a short time later, and was put in the midcard.
There, Benoit was moved to midcard and won the United States Championship on three separate occasions. In the process, the "Rabid Wolverine" held the title in his last reign for seven months, and put over numerous wrestlers such as Finlay, Mr. Kennedy, and MVP.
After returning to WWE at SummerSlam this past year, Daniel Bryan resumed his feud with US Champion The Miz. After much build-up and hype, Daniel Bryan finally defeated The Miz at Night of Champions in a Match of the Night to finally win the United States Championship.
Bryan still holds the title today, bringing back prestige to the title and having awesome matches with Ted Dibiase, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, and John Morrison.
Top 20 Moves of Daniel Bryan
I may not have been a wrestling fan long enough to see Chris Benoit wrestle, but I am very aware of his style and how it largely relates to Daniel Bryan.
As I said before, both are not the typical large men that Vinny Mac likes, but their size plays a huge advantage in pulling off amazing aerial maneuvers and unique submission moves. These two submission specialists always have great solid matches and are successful in putting over less-talented wrestlers in the ring (see The Miz and Ted Dibiase).
For the most part, their styles are mashed and have chemistry with every opponent they step in the ring with and granting us a five-star contest. However, if it wasn't for management, both men would have won many World titles long ago.
Finisher: The Crossface
Kings of The Crossface
Their unique styles bring me to their similar finishers: the Crossface.
Not matter what the name, either "Crippler" Crossface or LaBelle Lock, the move is done exactly the same. The move is altered in many different ways (Regal Stretch for example), but it's ironic that both Benoit and Bryan exact it perfectly.
As submission specialists, these two use this finisher to their advantage, and always bring us a suspenseful finish. Don't believe me? It took two minutes for Triple H to tap out to the "Crippler" Crossface at WrestleMania 20, even when The Game tried to reverse it.
Please, do not even try to compare this to the load-of-crap of a move we call the "STF" by John Cena. At least these two are actually good wrestlers.
Chris Benoit wins his first WWE World Championship
There is one thing, however, these two do not have in common: A World Champion win in WWE.
Chris Benoit accomplished that very goal in the main event of WrestleMania 20, by defeating Triple H and Shawn Michaels to win the World Heavyweight Championship. He went on to hold the title for another five months.
Is Daniel Bryan on the verge of this very same goal? With the push and popularity he's been receiving recently, I wouldn't be surprised. With Bryan's goal of making it to the main event of WrestleMania, only time will tell.
Despite his personal life, Benoit was and will be remembered as a tremendous wrestler. I'd pay anything to see this two compete against one another in a Submission Match at WrestleMania. RIP Benoit.
Please feel free to leave your feedback on the potential this match would have. But do not leave comments on the tragedy of the Benoit family, as this focuses on their wrestling careers and not personal life.
Stay tuned in the following weeks for my next edition of Deadly Dream Matches Part 3: Sheamus vs. Brock Lesnar.