B. Dangerous, Brian Damage and Lowlife Louie Ramos
This week’s Top Five, let’s try to come up with a top five on Daniel Bryan who looks like his WWE career may be coming to an end next week. Rumors have it, his contract is up and may go wrestle elsewhere. Could be matches or moments that really stood out in WWE or anywhere else that he has competed.
Daniel Bryan just seems like a good dude and in just a few years has done a ton of great things in the WWE, including retiring and making a triumphant comeback from a career-ending injury. Perhaps he’s done with the WWE, but I’m hard-pressed to believe that he’s done with wrestling entirely. With Kenny Omega’s defeat of Rich Swann to become the IMPACT Unified Heavyweight Champion (as well as the AEW World Heavyweight Champion and AAA Mega Champion), I can’t make myself believe that Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson would refuse us at least one dream match with Omega. Plus… a match with Okada in Japan? That needs to happen.
Anyway, here’s my Top 5 Daniel Bryan Moments:
5- Bryan Danielson defeats James Gibson at Glory By Honor lV (ROH)
Many people here the name James Gibson and immediately just look puzzled. Then, when they find out that he’s better known as Jamie Noble they cease to take him seriously as he’s remembered most as one of Seth Rollins’ lackeys. However, James Gibson in ROH was no joke.
In this match he and Danielson went to war and in the end we witnessed the beginning of Bryan Danielson’s incredible 462 day reign as ROH World Heavyweight Champion!
4- Daniel Bryan announces his retirement on RAW in 2016 (WWE)
It was the moment that none of us wanted, but it was necessary at the time and it’s impossible to make a comeback from a career-ending injury if you haven’t first been forced into retirement.
Plus, he was a really good General Manager of Smackdown immediately thereafter.
3- Daniel Bryan defeats John Cena at SummerSlam 2013 (WWE)
During Cena’s years as the WWE’s marquee performer he was not exactly known for being pinned cleanly, especially by smaller opponents who made their name in the indies. By all accounts John Cena was a company man and drank the Kool-aid of Vince McMahon that indicated that no good thing was ever formed outside of the auspices of the WWE. As such, for Bryan to not only defeat the face of the WWE cleanly, but also for the WWE Championship was a pretty big deal. It stated pretty clearly that someone in Connecticut believed in Bryan’s talent.
2- Bryan Danielson defeats Nigel McGuinness at Glory By Honor Vlll (ROH)
This match provided one of the most emotional moments in ROH history when Danielson led the Ring of Honor faithful in an “ROH!” chant on his last night with the company following an incredibly hard-hitting match.
1- Daniel Bryan leads a revolt and commandeers RAW in 2014 (WWE)
In what would eventually have us see Daniel Bryan standing victorious at Wrestlemania XXX with two Heavyweight Championship belts held high over his head in celebration, having overcome the odds on numerous occasions, it was this moment which forced the WWE to do an about-face and take notice that the fans very, very clearly wanted Bryan in the main event on the “Grandest Stage of Them All”. This was not only THE defining moment in Daniel Bryan’s career, but also the day the “YES! Movement” was born… and one of the last times in history that a Superstar connected with the fans so powerfully that it forced the WWE’s hand.
5- Team Hell No
Normally, I really hate mashed up tag teams made of singles wrestlers. The duo of Daniel Bryan and Kane as ‘Team Hell No’ was no different initially. After a while, however, the team really made me change my thinking. A series of comedic segments with Dr. Shelby showcased that both Bryan and Kane could handle comedy and brought out their personalities. I truly enjoyed their brief run as a tag team.
4-Daniel Bryan Announces He is Cleared to Wrestle Again
When it seemed the wrestling career of Daniel Bryan was all but done….Bryan announces on Smackdown that he has been cleared to return to in ring action. What an emotional moment and one that got fans into a frenzy. After a two year hiatus, Daniel Bryan was given the green light to make a comeback and it was a true highlight of his career for me.
3- The Eco Heel Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan proved he could work as both a babyface and a heel during his great career. I think one of my favorite heel runs was when he became this psychotic eco friendly heel complete with a hemp made world title belt. WWE could have done a bit more with this gimmick, but regardless…was great while it lasted.
2-Bryan Danielson/Nigel McGuinness Rivalry
When fans talk about some of the greatest feuds and rivalries in pro wrestling….people immediately talk about Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat, Tully Blanchard vs Magnum TA, The Freebirds vs the Von Erichs etc. All are great in different ways, but one feud under the radar was the battles between Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuiness in 2006 for Ring of Honor. The two wrestling technicians gave a clinic on grappling, as well as brawling and everything in between.
The entire build up to and payoff of the main event of Wrestlemania 30 was fantastic. While this wasn’t Bryan’s first world title victory….it certainly was his most important. A wrestler fired twice by WWE in the past and never considered a superstar by management because of his size…forced the hands of Vince McMahon because of his overwhelming popularity.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.
3 thoughts on “Top Five Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson Moments or Matches”
I haven’t seen much of Danielson’s work in the indies and ROH but he has made a lot of great moments in WWE.
1. WrestleMania 30
2. Going off on Michael Cole
3. The Yes Occupy Movement
4. Beating John Cena at SummerSlam ’13
5. Team Hell No
6. I AM NOT THE WEAKEST LINK! (when he beats up the Shield by himself)
7. WrestleMania 35 (his match with Kofi I think is a classic)
8. Eco Hell Bryan
9. Love Triangle w/ AJ and CM Punk
10. Match with Brock Lensar in Survivor Series
I hope he does leave Meekmahan-land as there’s nothing for him to do there. I hope he goes to Japan and have a run there. Have matches with some of the best and then end his career in AEW having more great matches.
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The very moment where all the WWE World & Universal Champions were in the ring to promote the Orton vs Cena unification title match. The audience didn’t cared, they were all chanting “YES YES YES” for Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan himself told that it was one of his greatest moments ever.
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Shame no one remembers his awesome match against Regal in England.
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