The Underdog: Daniel Bryan
Bryan Lloyd Danielson is one of the most physically talented wrestlers I, or any fan of the WWE has ever had the pleasure of watching. On top of that, he’s got charisma oozing out of his pores. He has every ingredient needed to make a great Professional Wrestler, as he’s shown, time and time again. The departure of CM Punk has left him as the unmatched Best Professional Wrestler in the World right now. Does that sound just a bit fanboy-ish? Possibly, but look at the man’s career. He was so good that a large number of WWE fans knew who he was before he even arrived on the scene.
Do you know how much talent it takes to get a typical WWE fan to watch the Independent Promotions? I won’t lie: I’m guilty in that regard. I grew up in a world where Vince McMahon was the King of Professional Wrestling. The biggest exposure I had to the Independent Circuits was my mother taking me to High School gymnasiums down in South Jersey to see Vader wrestle in a steel cage, or Gangrel wrestle some dude I can’t remember. That’s what I thought of it. I knew nothing of CM Punk, El Generico, Kevin Steen, Kenta, Prince Devitt, or Bryan Danielson. Then one day my world was expanded, and all these talented guys were suddenly a part of it.
It’s great to now see these guys on the radars of the WWE Universe, but given last year’s WrestleMania, I would say Daniel Bryan, dubbed as so upon entering the E, has had the most success on the big stage. He’s won multiple Championships, including the World Heavyweight, The United States, The Tag Team, and the WWE World Heavyweight Championships. He’s been able to have chemistry with anyone Vince puts him with, from The Miz to The Big Red Monster, Kane.
Taking it back a few years, Bryan was born in Aberdeen, Washington on May 22nd, 1981, and raised by a father who was a logger and a mother who was a therapist. He competed in various sports throughout High School, including football, but wrestling was his passion. The night he graduated, Danielson got into his truck and drove to San Antonio, Texas to train with The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels in his recently opened wrestling school. This was during the four-year hiatus created by HBK’s debilitating back injury.
He couldn’t have picked a better person to train him. The biggest obstacle someone of Bryan Danielson’s size will face in the Professional Wrestling business is just that: size. The business is one typically dominated by gigantic, muscle-bound men, but HBK had already spit in the face of that and proved it a fallacy. Anyone with heart and determination can make it in this business, as long as actual talent, both verbal and physical, accompany them.
Daniel Bryan has shown he has both in spades, and as a result, has completely captured the support of the WWE Universe. On top of the support of fans, he also managed to capture the heart of one, Brie Bella. Good for him. As much as I want to compliment him for marrying someone so unbelievably attractive, I’ll focus more on the fact that he seems to be very happy with her. It’s always nice to see two people be happy together – Especially when such trying times arose not long after their wedding.
They were married on April 11th, 2014, five days after WrestleMania. Mere months later, Daniel Bryan would be sidelined by a potentially career-ending injury. At some point in time after he won the Main Event of 30, Bryan lost all strength in his right arm. This led to him announcing his need to undergo neck surgery. It meant he had to drop the title and sit on the sidelines for months on end.
The fans waited patiently for him to come back, pre-loading their “YES!” chants for his arrival. Thanks to a trip to Denver to work with the Muscle Activation Techniques program, the strength returned to his arm and things started to look like they were on the upswing. On the December 29th, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw, Daniel announced that he would be competing in the 2015 Royal Rumble Match. Then on the January 15th, 2015 episode of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan made his triumphant return to the ring, wrestling two matches in one night, and never missing a beat.
It’s great to see one of the hardest working men in the business back in a ring, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what program he ends up working, at WrestleMania 31.
I’m holding out for David vs. Goliath, Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan.