Think this is maybe the pinnacle of US ‘indie’ wrestling. A phenomenal and physical epic.
Also he had 2 torn muscles in shoulder in this match, so he did 2 of the best US matches of the past 20 years injured.
Love the apparent story of him wanting to have the 2/3 falls match with Austin Aries in 2004 go just under 3 hours long! Madman! Think the idea was to have the 1st and 2nd falls be 1 hour draws and then a winner in the 3rd.
was a little busy once I finished this yesterday so gonna come up with a handpicked best of now…
did CM Punk nick the GTS from thaf lad, then?
yeah, and bryan got his flying knee finisher off him as well
So, other than C.M Punk, Daniel Bryan is my favourite wrestler of the decade and it was because of those two I got back into wrestling in 2011/12. Amusingly, the first match I ever watched of D Bry was him getting jobbed out in 18 seconds by Sheamus at Wrestlemania 28, which I tuned into largely for HHH vs Taker Hell in a Cell, and I was like “who the fuck is this jobber?!” but that turned out to be quite a key turning point in Bryan’s career, and actually in the long run, maybe helped his career? As it’s from that moment that he begins his 2-year path to the top at Mania XXX
For instance, literally, a month later they had the match they intended to have had it not been cut for time (they were actually given a 2-out-of-3 as an apology) and for a kind of limited guy like Sheamus they put on a barn-stormer
then there’s his inevitable feud with C.M Punk, which, while had a load of unnecessary bollix added in with Kane and Punk’s future wife/Bryan’s former on-screen partner/manager A.J Lee, still managed to have a fantastic trilogy, though the original match before all the stupid gimmicks is the best:
Then There’s Team Hell No, which while didn’t provide many classic matches, it did give us an extremely entertaining odd couple gimmick. Oh and then there’s their fantastic match with The Shield for their debut in the WWE (just ignore Ryback)
After eventually losing the tag titles to The Shield, we begin Bryan’s run to the top in earnest, even if he was only meant to be a holdover challenger (which is hilarious to think they gave him this amount of attention and big matches with Cena and Orton and yet didn’t intend to actually put the belt on him at any point - unless of course, this was the feeling out process). Either way, he revitalised Cena’s career and reputation, after Punk’s feud with him started it at least, with this match (even if it took a year or so).
When it seemed Bryan was out of the title picture, and faced with YET ANOTHER CENA/ORTON feud the (admittedly “hometown” Seattle fans) hijacked their big RAW go-home segment to show they weren’t giving up on Bryan just yet
This of course leads to the hilarious Royal Rumble 2014 (& 15) where fans actually turned on Batista, then The Rock, because Bryan wasn’t getting the push he deserved, covered pretty brilliantly by this Botchamania video
And so, the powers that be realised, maybe they need to get Bryan away from The Wyatt Family bollix (even though he’s one of the few guys who actually got great matches out of Bray) and give him another chance at Elimination Chamber where they very quickly realised he had to be entered into the title picture for Wrestlemania or people were actually actively not going to watch Batista vs Orton for the millionth time
The stage was set then, the momentum was there, the fans were onboard, and WWE concede maybe the “B+ Player” was their guy:
His matches at Wrestlemania are probably the most gripping WWE has been… ever? Other than Punk vs Cena at Money in the Bank 2011? They speak for themselves, but the fact Bryan got maybe Triple H’s best match ever when he was semi-retired is… quite something
The main event is more about the climax than the match itself but it still has the entire Superdome, who just witnesed The Undertaker lose his undefeated streak, no less, on absolute tenderhooks
Sadly, this would be the peak of Bryan’s career, but at least he had that moment, announcing his apparent retirement two years later after constant health problems (the ladder match at WM31 notwithstanding), there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when it was confirmed:
but then, he fought his way back, and even if his return has been ok at best, he did amazing work as the heel enviromentalist champion, making a vegan hemp version of the WWE belt, and letting his story go full circle by passing on the torch to Kofi Kingston, making him the first African-American WWE Champion, bar The Rock’s mixed heritage, in an absolutely incredible role-reversing match
as I said before, if this guy isn’t a 5, I don’t know who is. Hope this helps!
couple of extra bits, here’s his debut on the inaugural episode of NXT where he takes on then-champion Chris Jericho in a full little debut that tells quite a bit of story. The whole episode is on Youtube which I watched the over night and it’s fun to see Bryan clearly freaking out that he’s on this massive stage:
and an underrated banger from his first year in the company with a still, at that point, aspirational Dolph Ziggler:
he didn’t do a lot in 2011 other than his very good Money in the Bank win, and here’s the moment he cashed it in that shows he has the promise from the fans even that early on:
very excited for his Moxley match
do wonder when it’ll happen though, and where even
cinematic match in L.A?
It’s a 5
A true standout and all-rounder. His title win is one of the few times I’ve been emotionally invested in wrestling outside of my childhood
Look forward to working my way through this post
woo what a week! Closing this soon and I need a new topic! Quick bump to say scoring closing soon and will have a new poll up shortly
Right, going to pull from the last three threads and none of them had polls due to the three-way tie so 5 choices available, 40 to choose from:
- Christopher Daniels
- Samoa Joe
- Nigel McGuinness
- Austin Aries
- Tyler Black/Seth Rollins
- The Miz
- Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose
- Dolph Ziggler
- Cody Rhodes
- The Big Show
- Kofi Kingston
- Roman Reigns
- Randy Orton
- Bray Wyatt/The Fiend
- Kevin Owens
- A.J Styles
- Jeff Hardy
- Adam Cole
- Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig
- Kevin Nash
- Scott Hall
- Sid Vicious
- The Rock
- Johnny B. Badd/Marc Mero
- Lex Luger
- Rowdy Roddy Piper
- Jeff Jarrett
- Former WCW World Champion David Arquette
- Mike Awesome
- The Dudley Boys
- Sean Waltman
- The New Age Outlaws
- Dustin Rhodes
gonna have a watch through!
Honestly think you’ll get on with him Acorn. He seems a good lad away from the ring as well. If you’ve got the network then the WWE24 around his return is well worth a watch too.
D Bry scores a well deserved 4.38, placing him 4th!
tight one this, poor Jeff has just missed out in so many of these already, you’re time will come, kid!
But for now: