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Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson Appreciation.


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Fair warning, long post coming from a touch typist. I’ve wanted to create such a topic for a while.

I’ve been a fan of wrestling since a young boy and Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson is the greatest I’ve ever seen. Daniel Bryan can do it all from match quality (his biggest attribute, what a wrestler), promos, face or heel and comedy. 

I became a fan of Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan in 2004 via Ring of Honor Wrestling. My favourite time of his career? Bryan Danielson as Ring of Honor World Champion in 2006 declaring himself the “Best Wrestler in the World!”, getting the ring announcer to add an extra note about him and “I have till five!” The greatest Ring of Honor World Champion.

Bryan Danielson became Daniel Bryan when he joined WWE. There were setbacks for Bryan, he was let go by them for choking Justin Roberts with his tie, spitting on John Cena and brought back. After winning the World Heavyweight Championship in December 2011, Bryan started shouting “Yes!” and raising his arms upwards, this caught on big time and outside of wrestling with people doing that. As a baddie, Bryan would shout “No!” back at the “Yes!” chants. I had fun with Bryan and Kane's Team Hell No odd couple as WWE World Tag Team Champions and the funny Anger Management skits/Hug it Out match. Only Daniel Bryan could pull of the Hug it Out match.

I woke up to watch Daniel Bryan defeat John Cena cleanly for the WWE Championship in a classic match at SummerSlam 2013. Bryan went on to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion in the main event of WrestleMania XXX. Bryan vacated that due to injury and came back in January 2015. For my 30th birthday that year, my Little Sis’ bought tickets for me and Dad to go to WWE Live. My first time at any wrestling show. and Daniel Bryan was there making it even better! I’ll always remember that day. Two days later Bryan had a tag team match on Smackdown Live and was pulled off the European Tour, it would be his last match as he had to retire. However Daniel Bryan was cleared to in-ring competition in 2018!

Daniel Bryan regained the WWE Championship the week of Survivor Series 2018 hitting AJ Styles with a low blow followed up by the running knee. The New Daniel Bryan was more aggressive in the ring, stomping people in the face, killed the Yes! Movement and cutting great promos. The promos chastise people about the environment, consumerism and animal welfare. Daniel Bryan is the planet’s champion and on WWE SmackDown Live last night introduced an eco-friendly WWE Championship belt. This was one of my favourite incarnations of Daniel Bryan. Shame it didn't last longer but I liked the story that he slowly brought back the Yes Movement against The Fiend, Bray Wyatt.

All this is why I’m a big Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan fanboy!

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For me the most notable in ring moment from the original NXT was Bryan’s sprint with Jericho. I remember a lot of the goofy contests, bad promos, and ribs, but that’s the match that pops in my head when it’s brought up. He lucked out being matched in his debut with Jericho, who loves to work with fresh talent with buzz and knows how to put them over. 

I don’t know if a lot of guys in Bryan’s position could’ve handled all of his professional ups and downs with such dignity and perseverance. His career definitely reminds me of that parable where each new wrinkle, good or bad, ends with the Zen Master reacting by saying, “We’ll see.” 

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Been a fan of his since back in 2000, when he was just some kid wrestling on the west coast that everybody whispered about being the new Benoit back when that was a thing you actually wanted to be.  Him coming east to work the Super 8 in 2001 was like Flair coming to the WWF for sweaty indy nerds.

Anyway, here's one of his better early singles matches vs Low Ki with Rickie Steamboat as the guest ref.  I was hoping to find LowKi/Danielson vs SAT 2/3 falls but it doesn't appear to be online

 

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First time I saw him live was vs Chris Sabin in ROH's debut in Detroit. I had made a shirt that had him holding the title and it said I have til five on it. I think I have it hidden somewhere my house. Loved his feud with KENTA and Takeshi Morishima in ROH.

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My top 20 Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan matches when you can easily do a top 30 or 40 with the body of work by the American Dragon:

20. Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt, WWE Royal Rumble 2014.

19. Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns, WWE Fastlane 2015.

18. Team Hell No/The Undertaker vs. The Shield. WWE RAW, 22nd April 2013.

17. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H, WWE WrestleMania XXX.

16. Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness. ROH Unifed 2006.

15. Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles. WWE Smackdown Live, 13th November 2018.

14. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton. WWE RAW, 24th June 2013.

13. Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong. ROH Vendetta 2005.

12. Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar. WWE Survivor Series 2018.

11. Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Sin Cara. WWE Money in the Bank 2011.

10. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus. WWE Extreme Rules 2012.

9. Daniel Bryan vs. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jeff Hardy. WWE Elimination Chamber 2019.

8. Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro. WWE RAW, 22nd July 2013.

7. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista. WWE WrestleMania XXX. *****

6. Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA. ROH Glory by Honor V: Night Two, 2005. *****

5. The New Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles. WWE TLC 2019. *****

4. Team Hell No/Ryback vs. The Shield. WWE TLC 2012. *****

3. Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima. ROH Manhattan Mayhem II 2007. *****

2. Bryan Danielson/Samoa Joe/Adam Peace/BJ Whitmer/Homicide vs. Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli/Necro Butcher/Eddie Kingston/Nate Webb. ROH Death Before Dishonor IV. *****

1. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena. WWE SummerSlam 2013. *****

Edited by The Natural
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25 minutes ago, Six String Orchestra said:

Where do you rank vs Samoa Joe from Midnight Express Reunion and from Fight of the Century?

Good question. In the 25-30 bracket if i did a top 30, Fight of the Century is the match that went to the time limit draw, right? The amount of great matches by Daniel Bryan, hell of a back catalog. There's these as well in chronological order:

Bryan Danielson vs. Low-Ki vs. Christopher Daniels. ROH The Era of Honour Begins 2002.

Bryan Danielson vs. Low-Ki. ROH Round Robin Challenge 2002.

Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong. ROH This Means War 2005.

Bryan Danielson vs. Alex Shelley. ROH Arena Warfare 2006.

Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong. ROH Supercard of Honour 2006.

Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk. WWE Over the Limit 2012.

Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins. WWE RAW, 10th of June 2013.

Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Stardust vs. Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Bad News Barrett. WWE WrestleMania XXXI.

The New Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston. WWE WrestleMania XXXV.

Edited by The Natural
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1 hour ago, The Natural said:

My top 20 Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan matches when you can easily do a top 30 or 40 with the body of work by the American Dragon:

20. Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt, WWE Royal Rumble 2014.

19. Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns, WWE Fastlane 2015.

18. Team Hell No/The Undertaker vs. The Shield. WWE RAW, 22nd April 2013.

17. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H, WWE WrestleMania XXX.

16. Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness. ROH Unifed 2006.

15. Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles. WWE Smackdown Live, 13th November 2018.

14. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton. WWE RAW, 24th June 2013.

13. Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong. ROH Vendetta 2005.

12. Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar. WWE Survivor Series 2018.

11. Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Sin Cara. WWE Money in the Bank 2011.

10. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus. WWE Extreme Rules 2012.

9. Daniel Bryan vs. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jeff Hardy. WWE Elimination Chamber 2019.

8. Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro. WWE RAW, 22nd July 2013.

7. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista. WWE WrestleMania XXX. *****

6. Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA. ROH Glory by Honor V: Night Two, 2005. *****

5. The New Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles. WWE TLC 2019. *****

4. Team Hell No/Ryback vs. The Shield. WWE TLC 2012. *****

3. Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima. ROH Manhattan Mayhem II 2007. *****

2. Bryan Danielson/Samoa Joe/Adam Peace/BJ Whitmer/Homicide vs. Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli/Necro Butcher/Eddie Kingston/Nate Webb. ROH Death Before Dishonor IV. *****

1. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena. WWE SummerSlam 2013. *****

My only beef would be that the list is very WWE-centric, but considering that you're in Blighty, that's a reasonable thing. I was lucky enough to see the American Dragon as a more-or-less local boy in the Seattle market. He's actually from about 65 miles south of Seattle, but we tend to co-opt anything cool in the State, (see also: Nirvana)

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I also would like to list some non-ROH and WWE matches:

Bryan Danielson vs Tim Donst, Chikara,  Faded Scars and Lines, June 27th, 2010

Bryan Danielson vs Chris Hero, PWG, Guerre Sans Frontières, September 4th, 2009

Bryan Danielson/Roderick Strong vs Young Bucks PWG, DDT4 2009, May 22, 2009

Hero vs Danielson remains my favorite PWG match.

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Fuck, man, where does one begin?  His body of work covered damn near everything there was from indies to ROH to Japan and eventually WWE.  And it seemed practically everywhere he went he had something truly memorable.

I remember reading about him in the early 2000s in PWI as it featured him and Spanky (Kendrick) in an article about ones to watch.  They seemed so fascinating and I didn't even see them wrestle yet.  Then I get the first couple ROH DVDs and right away you knew the guy was truly special.  Fast forward to 2005 and I saw him against Spanky in Jersey (yes, the same show with the fucking Dragon Soldier B bullshit) and it was neat to see two guys I read about before ROH wrestle live in front of me.  I know in Philly there was another time I saw him but the show name escapes me (Morishima was in the main event I believe)  Nigel came out and did an open challenge and while everybody assumed it was Bryan when his music started we still all lost our goddamn minds.

Along that same time in '04 Benoit really became my guy and I was doing a bit of "Hero worship" where I was just so unashamedly invested in the guy.  But Daniel was a very close second.  So when the incident in '07 happened I not only felt oddly betrayed by what Chris did but also stopped doing any kind of "Hero worship" for quite some time even though I still thought the world of Daniel.  But then he came into NXT and as time went on maybe it was due to seeing him consistently but I just couldn't help but get back into that "Hero worship" mode and it was all due to him being the best.  As time went on the hesitation subsided and I was able to be invested in other guys like Punk and now things are fine.

So that leads to today.  Daniel is just the absolute best and to be able to adapt to any situation and excel in it is highly commendable.  I mean some of the comedic stuff they had him do in WWE were putrid ideas and he made them all work.  He might be my favorite wrestler of the modern era with him and Bret being neck and neck for my all-time favorite.  Sometimes it just depends on the day.  But if anybody deserves an appreciation thread aside from Bret it definitely is Daniel F'n Bryan.

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This entire comeback run has been icing on the cake, but I’m especially happy that he had an opportunity to go full circle and pay it forward by giving Kofi his big moment at Wrestlemania last year. 

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A couple more of my favorite older Danielson moments.  First, him vs Regal in Memphis during his first WWF development stint:

 

And second he and Paul London cutting the most blunted pro wrestling promo of all time

ETA: Also, we shouldn't let him forget this particular choice:

Count_Danielson.jpg

Edited by Zimbra
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18 minutes ago, nate said:

What were his matches during his brief hiatus from WWE, where he was let go for choking someone with their own tie?

I think this is all of it, with the stuff later in the year being bookings he took before WWE hired him back. Spoilered for size. Spoilers for match results from ten years ago.

Spoiler

55    01.10.2010    Northeast Wrestling    Bryan Danielson defeats Shelton Benjamin (15:12)
NEW 15 Year Anniversary Tour - Event @ Crosby High School in Waterbury, Connecticut, USA
56    26.09.2010    Dragon Gate USA    Bryan Danielson defeats Jon Moxley (14:56)
DGUSA Way Of The Ronin - Event @ The Miramar Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
57    25.09.2010    Dragon Gate USA    Bryan Danielson defeats YAMATO (23:23)
DGUSA Untouchable 2010 - Event @ The Congress Theater in Chicago, Illinois, USA

64    11.09.2010    EVOLVE Wrestling    Bryan Danielson defeats Munenori Sawa (13:53)
EVOLVE 5: Danielson vs. Sawa - Event @ Rahway Rec Center in Rahway, New Jersey, USA
65    11.09.2010    New York Wrestling Connection    Bryan Danielson & Tony Nese defeat Alex Reynolds & Dimitrios Papadon
NYWC Never Back Down - Event @ The Sports Arena in Saint James, New York, USA
66    10.09.2010    International Wrestling Association Puerto Rico    Savio Vega defeats Bryan Danielson
IWA Puerto Rico Golpe de Estado Tour - Event @ Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Coliseum in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, USA
67    10.09.2010    International Wrestling Association Puerto Rico    IWA Puerto Rico Title: Dennis Rivera defeats Bryan Danielson (c) - TITLE CHANGE !!!
IWA Puerto Rico Golpe de Estado Tour - Event @ Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Coliseum in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, USA

74    22.08.2010    Squared Circle Wrestling    Bryan Danielson defeats J. Freddie
2CW Live Or Let Die - Event @ Fairgrounds Arena in Watertown, New York, USA
75    21.08.2010    Insanity Pro Wrestling    Drake Younger defeats Bryan Danielson (28:26)
IPW Reign Of The Insane - 9th Anniversary Show - Event @ Salvation Army Community Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
76    20.08.2010    Heartland Wrestling Association    Bryan Danielson defeats Jon Moxley by referee's decision (20:03)
HWA Road To Destiny 2010 - Event @ Donald E. Prues Center in Norwood, Ohio, USA

79    08.08.2010    National Wrestling Alliance New BeginningsNational Wrestling Alliance    Bryan Danielson defeats Zack Salvation (17:54)
NWA Fanfest - Event @ Hilton Hotel University Place Ballroom in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
80    07.08.2010    National Wrestling Alliance New BeginningsNational Wrestling Alliance    NWA World Heavyweight Title: Adam Pearce (c) defeats Bryan Danielson
NWA Fanfest - Event @ Hilton Hotel University Place Ballroom in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
81    06.08.2010    Chicago Style Wrestling    Triple Threat: Austin Roberts defeats Bryan Danielson and Steve Boz
CSW Crowned - Event @ Guerin Prep High School in River Grove, Illinois, USA
82    31.07.2010    Rampage Pro Wrestling    Four Way Elimination: Bryan Danielson defeats J-Rod and Jimmy Rave and Kyle Matthews
RPW Sizzling Summer Bash - Event @ Johnny G's Fun Center in Warner Robins, Georgia, USA
83    30.07.2010    Pro Wrestling Guerrilla    Bryan Danielson defeats Roderick Strong (12:52)
PWG Seven - Event @ American Legion Post #308 in Reseda, California, USA
84    24.07.2010    Dragon Gate USA    Bryan Danielson defeats SHINGO (29:15)
DGUSA Enter The Dragon 2010 - Event @ The Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
85    23.07.2010    EVOLVE Wrestling    Bryan Danielson defeats Bobby Fish (20:39)
EVOLVE 4: Danielson vs. Fish - Event @ The ACE Arena in Union City, New Jersey, USA
86    17.07.2010    International Wrestling Association Puerto Rico    IWA Puerto Rico Title: Bryan Danielson defeats QT Marshall (c) - TITLE CHANGE !!!
IWA Puerto Rico Summer Attitude ~ 11th Anniversary Show - Event @ Pepin Cestero Arena in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, USA
87    10.07.2010    American Championship Entertainment    ACE Heavyweight Title Four Way: Dan Maff (c) defeats Bryan Danielson and Christopher Daniels and Mo Sexton
ACE Mercury Rising - Event @ ACE Arena in Union City, New Jersey, USA
88    04.07.2010    Westside Xtreme Wrestling    AMBITION 1 Tournament Final: Bryan Danielson defeats Johnny Moss (11:25)
AMBITION - Event @ Saint in Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland
89    04.07.2010    Westside Xtreme Wrestling    AMBITION 1 Tournament First Round: Bryan Danielson defeats Tommy End (7:03)
AMBITION - Event @ Saint in Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland
90    04.07.2010    Westside Xtreme Wrestling    AMBITION 1 Tournament Semi Final: Bryan Danielson defeats TJP (9:14)
AMBITION - Event @ Saint in Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland
91    03.07.2010    Westside Xtreme Wrestling    Round Robin Challenge Match #1: Bryan Danielson [1] defeats Wade Fitzgerald [0] (9:37)
wXw Broken Rulz X - Event @ Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland
92    03.07.2010    Westside Xtreme Wrestling    Round Robin Challenge Match #3: Bryan Danielson [2] defeats TJP [1] (16:25)
wXw Broken Rulz X - Event @ Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland
93    27.06.2010    CHIKARA    Bryan Danielson defeats Tim Donst (18:37)
CHIKARA Faded Scars And Lines - Event @ West Park Party Center in Cleveland, Ohio, USA
94    27.06.2010    Absolute Intense Wrestling    AIW Absolute Title: Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Bryan Danielson - Time Limit Draw (30:00)
AIW Absolution V - Event @ West Park Party Center in Cleveland, Ohio, USA
95    26.06.2010    CHIKARA    Bryan Danielson defeats Eddie Kingston (15:19)
CHIKARA We Must Eat Michigan's Brain - Event @ Taylortown Trade Center in Taylor, Michigan, USA

 

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1 minute ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

I would recommend the 2009 King of Trios for Bryan's non ROH & WWE work. He teamed with Claudio Castagnoli and Dave Taylor as Team Uppercut.

Yes!  Team Uppercut vs Skayde/Quack/Johnny Saint~! was awesome and you could tell he was thrilled to be doing weirdo matwork sequences with Saint.

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