Fly, American Dragon: Daniel Bryan to Achieve His Dream?

RiZESenior Writer IJuly 23, 2011

Bryan Danielson...

The Best Wrestler in the world today has always had his critics. Before joining the WWE, multiple promotions proclaimed Danielson the best in the world. Naturally, WWE Superstars responded with awkward humor.

Simply put, most claimed that Bryan had yet to reach the big leagues.

The American Dragon silenced his detractors by signing with the WWE in 2009. Bryan’s debut would come in early 2010.

The Internet Darling was the show's main attraction. Despite losing every match, he participated in, Bryan was voted the No. 1 rookie in the first pros poll.

Personally, I found Bryan’s placement awkward, considering his 0-5 match record. Nonetheless, I was interested in the overall direction of the show and Bryan’s character.

The odd pairing of Bryan and The Miz played a substantial role in this. It’s no secret that The Miz isn’t the best in-ring worker.

When placing two complete opposites together, fireworks were expected.

It’s difficult to count the number of times the rookie and his belittled pro clashed. In the end, it made for must see TV.

After Bryan’s elimination due to comments made by the Dragon himself, my interest in the show dropped considerably.

I’d be lying if I said I discontinued my viewership.

While I’m currently indifferent towards Michael Cole and his markish antics, his nefarious comments toward Bryan provided an awkward sigh of relief.

Simply put, it’s every fan's dream to witness the heel receive their comeuppance.

The moment would come on May 18, 2010.

Daniel Bryan made his return to WWE NXT. In what can be described as a uneventful shoot, Bryan exposed WWE’s infamous booking ways and the Vince McMahon superstar.

Bryan continued his rant, calling out Michael Cole and former NXT Pro, The Miz. In the process, Bryan stated what fans knew all along.

He is better than The Miz.

Personally, I was overcome with laughter at the sight of William Regal and CM Punk's approval. The feeling of comeuppance was fulfilled as Bryan laid waste to Cole and Miz physically. If anything, the segment assured the WWE Universe one thing.

We hadn’t seen the last of Daniel Bryan.

August 15, 2010.

SummerSlam 2010. At this point, Nexus was the event’s main attraction. Bryan’s former NXT Colleagues sparked a revolution. Initially, Bryan was a member of the destructive faction.

The events of tie-gate eventually led to Bryan’s abrupt removal from the WWE. The decision sparked outrage among fans across the globe. In his small tenure, Bryan gained an exceptionally large fan base.

Apparently, the WWE hadn’t anticipated this. The roar of Bryan’s name at numerous WWE events finally fulfilled their purpose. The American Dragon returned to aid Team WWE in their battle against his former cohorts, Nexus.

An Uneveventful Path

After a feud that spanned two pay-per-view events, Daniel Bryan was a victim of the RAW mix. While the show's primary focus remained on John Cena, Randy Orton and Nexus, Bryan remained in WWE’s midcard. At this point, numerous fans questioned the future of Bryan.

Naturally, the IWC blamed Bryan’s second-tier status on his lackluster promo ability. In my opinion, Bryan was passable on the stick. He wasn’t The Rock, but the American Dragon wasn’t Khali either.

The fact that Bryan was practically a stranger to the mic adds to my notion. At some point, each WWE Superstar must cut a promo. Without the proper opportunity, I was unable to judge Bryan’s promo ability.

Nonetheless, the IWC preceded with its prediction. Daniel Bryan will be World Champion towards the end of his career. Simply put, the general prediction was that Bryan would receive the Benoit treatment.

Personally, I realized that we’re living in a new day and age. The current WWE roster pales in comparison to the one Chris Benoit had been a part of.  Opportunity for performers that possessed the qualities of Chris Benoit was rare. This was the WWE in the early 2000s.

The WWE has changed since then.

Besides, the only quality that Chris Benoit and Daniel Bryan share is the use of the technical wrestling genre.

Despite this, Daniel Bryan closed out 2010 in midcard obscurity. After losing the United States Championship, Bryan found himself on the blue brand.

Because of SmackDown being the wrestling show, wrestling diehards felt Bryan would flourish on the show.

Not what we had in mind.
Not what we had in mind.

While the beginning was uneventful, Bryan returned to prominence after a win over Cody Rhodes. At the time, Rhodes was considered the next big thing on SmackDown. The feud was plagued by poor booking and incorporated Sin Cara and Ted DiBiase.

When Money in the bank approached, predictions were Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett or Sheamus would grasp the blur briefcase. Unsurprisingly, the SmackDown MITB opened the WWE pay-per-view.

The passion, excitement, and malicious intent was apparent throughout the matchup. From the thrill-seeking spots of Justin Gabriel, the destruction of Sin Cara by Sheamus and the gang warfare against Kane made for a memorable MITB match.

In the end, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes were the only combatants reaching for the briefcase. A modified guillotine choke removed Cody Rhodes from the confrontation.

Barrett and Bryan battled valiantly on the ladder. Bryan gained the upper hand after numerous strikes followed by a stiff kick in the head.

Daniel Bryan etched his name in history books when he grasped the blue briefcase. In the process, shocking the IWC and silencing his critics.

Heath Slater was the first victim of Mr. Money in the Bank, Daniel Bryan!
Heath Slater was the first victim of Mr. Money in the Bank, Daniel Bryan!

Miami: Bryan’s dreams come true?

Mr. Money in the bank has set the date for his ascension to the top card. WrestleMania 28 is less than a year away but is slowly becoming one of the most anticipated events in history. Question is, is it wise of Bryan to wait a year? Was it wise to relinquish the element of surprise?

The last MITB winner to proclaim WrestleMania as the place for cash-in ultimately lost the briefcase.

Mr. Kennedy suffered an injury that eventually led to Edge goading Kennedy into a match. The Rated R Superstar attacked Kennedy before the match, easily winning after Ken requested the bout to begin.

Because of this, a number of fans believe Bryan will eventually lose the cause to a Wade Barrett or a Sheamus. The other theory revolves around Bryan being the first to lose MITB cash in.

Simply put, the IWC is never satisfied.

Personally, I believe fans should await Bryan’s cash in. The best way to retain the entertainment value of this angle is to end speculation.

Last year, fans impatiently anticipated the cash in of The Miz. When Mizanin ultimately cashed in, it didn’t sit well with many because of timing.

Fans wrapped themselves around this angle, and when the time came, they were disappointed.

In the end, we should worship MITB and its profound effect on the WWE Universe. It brings out the excitement, shock and feeling of accomplishment the WWE has lacked for some time now.

Daniel Bryan personifies those three words every time he steps in the squared circle. The American Dragon has shocked the world and will continue his hot streak until WrestleMania 28.


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