The WWE has more up-and-coming talent on its roster now than it has in quite some time, so there is no shortage of top-level performers. Everyone in the company brings something to the table, but there is nobody who is more complete than Daniel Bryan.
It used to be the wrestlers could get away with obvious deficiencies and still be pushed as top stars. That isn't the case anymore, with the exception of a guy like Ryback.
For the most part, current superstars are required to be good in the ring, great on the mic and to have compelling characters that the fans can get behind.
A small handful of superstars have that in the WWE right now and Bryan is most definitely one of them. It was obvious from the start that he was a premier technical wrestler and that much was already well-known from his time in Ring of Honor and Japan.
What wasn't so apparent, though, was the personality that Bryan brought to the table.
Bryan got over with the fans immediately as a face and a lot of people were happy to see him with the United States Championship, but there was some concern about whether or not he could take the next step. Bryan eventually went on to win the Money in the Bank contract in 2011 and he cashed it in on Big Show to become the World Heavyweight champion.
It was incredible to see an "indy guy" like Bryan reach the pinnacle of sports entertainment, but there was still no telling if he had the staying power to become an established star in the WWE. It wasn't long after Bryan won the title that he began to answer those questions with a resounding "Yes!"
Bryan soon turned heel and took on A.J. as his girlfriend. Bryan played the role of a pesky, annoying heel and he regularly degraded A.J. in a way similar to what "Macho Man" Randy Savage used to do to Elizabeth. It was a big change of pace for Bryan from a character standpoint, and while not everyone bought into it at first, it was obvious that he was starting to catch on to the WWE way of doing things.
Bryan's true coming-out party happened at WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami. The crowd at Sun Life Stadium was great all night and clearly had an appreciation for guys who worked their way up the ladder like Bryan.
Although Bryan's match only lasted 18 seconds, as he dropped the World Heavyweight Championship to Sheamus in shocking fashion, the fans responded and he was catapulted to new heights.
The Miami faithful made the "Yes!" chant famous, so Bryan incorporated it even more into his entrance and his matches. That eventually turned into the "No!" chant and it only served to get Bryan even more over. Despite the fact that he was a heel, Bryan's popularity was ballooning at a rate that the creative team couldn't ignore.
Because of that, the writers made the decision to pair him with Kane. They had been feuding due to their past relationships with A.J., but both were put in anger management classes. Their anger management skits were among the funniest things in wrestling last year and they showed the incredible range that Bryan possessed as a character.
It was once thought by many that Bryan was one-dimensional in that he was a great in-ring worker, but couldn't do much else. Bryan was put in a position to succeed, though, and he proved that wasn't the case.
Not only is he arguably the best wrestler in the WWE, but he is funnier and more entertaining than most as well.
One guy who Bryan is often compared to is CM Punk, and while Punk is clearly one of the best all-around superstars in the WWE as well, Bryan beats him out. Punk is great in every aspect and has proven capable of being both a heel and a face like Bryan, but D-Bry is more of a utilitarian guy who can be used all over the card.
At this point, Punk is an established main-eventer and there is no going back.
Bryan proved that he could be a main-eventer as well, but he was knocked back down to mid-card status. It wasn't because he failed as a top guy. It was just a case of the WWE wanting to push Sheamus and needing somewhere to put Bryan.
He and Kane have also revitalized a tag team division that was previously dead in the water. They have been great as champions and managed to make tag team wrestling an important part of the WWE once again.
No matter what Bryan has been asked to do, he has done it and it has been in spectacular fashion.
In the grand scheme of things, it's a safe bet that Bryan will be world champion once again in the future, but he is so good in his current role that it will be tough for the WWE to move him.
Whatever the case, Bryan can truly do it all and he will prove to be an incredibly valuable commodity for the company moving forward.
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