Monday, March 21, 2016

One Man, Two Moments: Daniel Bryan

Years ago I was doing some posts called "One Man, Two Moments" where I looked at a given wrestler and gave what I thought were his defining moments.  In honor of Norko's post on A1 about this series getting bumped up, I decided to bring it back for at least one more edition.

The first guy that came to mind was Daniel Bryan.  The first disclaimer I am going to give here is that I am only looking at his WWE run as Daniel Bryan. Obviously, I had heard of him long before he entered WWE, but I did not follow his career on the independents. I do not watch Ring of Honor either so none of his defining moments would come from his pre-WWE time anyway. At least they wouldn't from my perspective.

Here are Daniel Bryan's two defining moments in my humble opinion.
  • Winning the WWE World Title at WrestleMania XXX

  • Retiring on Raw
Unless you are heavily invested in his pre-WWE run I do not personally see how you cannot include that Mania moment. To me, that is THE defining moment for Daniel Bryan without question. When that show was over the only question for me was, "Did they put him over too strongly?" It was a cathartic moment for most of the WWE Universe and it just had a magical feel to it. That was one of those moments that was the best of pro-wrestling.

The second entry was far more difficult as I strongly considered two others. Ultimately, the emotional connection that Daniel Bryan had to the WWE Universe was illustrated in his retirement speech. The nature and timing of his retirement played a part of course, but he had something special going on with that crowd in Seattle that night as well as the viewers at home. It is hard to leave this one off.

The honorable mentions here would have to be him choking Justin Roberts with his tie during that Nexus attack angle. This led to his firing from WWE which was highly disappointing for many folks, but ultimately we know how it worked out.

Another situation that I considered was his loss of the World Title to Sheamus at WrestleMania 28. This was the moment that launched the Yes! Movement and deserved some consideration.

Not considered or considered and quickly rejected would be the goofy angle where the fans took over the ring on Raw that night. Never cared for it, thought it kind of silly. The only reason it worked on any level was Bryan's unique charisma and connection with the fans.

Theres my defining moments. I would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on his two defining moments. I would especially like to hear them if you've followed him before becoming Daniel Bryan in WWE.