Daniel Bryan, Bryan Danielson, The American Dragon, Mr. Small Package, D-bry, The Dazzler or Lloyd Boner
no matter what you call him he's widely regarded as the best wrestler in the world. Having trained with some of the best and toured around the world making a name for himself Daniel Bryan boasts on the best movesets in professional wrestling. His unique blend of rapid-fire strikes and obscure submission holds along with an undeniable charisma has Daniel Bryan on the road to being one of the G
Immediately following his high school graduation he went to train at Dean Malenko's wrestling school. In a fashion befitting one of the greatest technicians in the business training a future superstar the school closed right after and Malenko still owes Danielson like $400. Dejected but not deterred Danielson went to train with Shawn Michaels at the Texas Wrestling Academy. After a brief stint as a tag champion with Brian "Spanky" Kendrick Bryan was signed to a WWE developmental deal. Training with William Regal in Memphis Championship Wrestling the now "American Dragon" would adopt his signature red trunks in honor of Regal. WWE cut ties with MCW and thus its roster in 2001. Bryan Danielson was ready for the world but the world was not ready for him.
Spanky vs. American Dragon (TWA TV Title match)
American Dragon & Spanky vs. Love Machine & Buster Time
Bryan Danielson vs. William Regal
The Era of Honor
From 2002 to 2009 Danielson would take to the independents, wrestling in promotions all over the world. Danielson showed up in APW, ASW, ECWA, Evolve, ECCW, FIP, IWA, NWA Mid-South, New Japan Pro Wrestling, PWG
, wXw, and WSW. Bryan Danielson main evented the first show a fledgeling promotion named Ring of Honor against Low Ki and Christopher Daniels. Danielson spent his time in ROH having numerous matches with Austin Aries and Homocide and abroad winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with Curry Man on March 12th 2004. After a brief break he would return at Glory By Honor IV on September 15th 2005 to finally win the ROH World Title. As a fighting champion Danielson spent the rest of 2005 taking on all comers. 2006 was no different with Danielson leading a war against CZW, more specifically in matches with Chris Hero. After a sixty minute draw against Samoa Joe Danielson defended his title from the likes of ROH Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness (unifying the titles in the process), Colt Cabanna, and Pro Wrestling NOAH's KENTA before losing the title to Homocide at Final Battle 2006.
Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe
John Cena vs. American Dragon Bryan Danielson
CM Punk vs. Bryan Danielson
Bryan Danielson Vs Nigel McGuinness (World/Pure Title Unification)
The Final Countdown
Danielson returned to ROH the following May and continued his feud with Nigel McGuinness before starting a program with Morishima which lead to him suffering a detached retina. Danielson would spend the next couple years challenging Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black for the ROH tag titles with his respected rival Austin Aries, having a brief run as GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, and challenging for the ROH tag titles with respected rival Tyler Black. On August 23 2009 it was announced that The American Dragon Bryan Danielson had signed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment. Thus began The Final Countdown tour which ended on September 26 at Glory by Honor VIII: The Final Countdown with Danielson winning against his long time nemesis Nigel McGuinness
Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness (ROH World Title)
KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson (Pro Wrestling NOAH GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship)
ClaudioCastagnoli vs. Bryan Danielson
FCW and NXT
Despite making his debut in a WWE ring in a dark match against Chavo Guerrero Danielson himself requested that he train at Florida Championship Wrestling. He wasn't there long however, as it was shortly after his debut as Daniel Bryan that it was announced he would wrestle on the first season of NXT. He was paired up with The Miz as his "mentor" but after an impressive losing effort against World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho Daniel spent weeks losing challenges
and matches against much more inexperienced rookies. Even after elimination from the competition with only one win on his record he continued appearing on the program to take verbal abuse from The Miz and Michael Cole. The angle concluded on the May 31st episode of RAW where Daniel Bryan would wrestle against the Miz in a match made by Ashton Kutcher. No I'm not kidding. Daniel Bryan won and humiliated Cole post-match.
Bryan Danielson vs. Kaval
Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan vs. Batista
The following week's RAW main event of John Cena vs CM Punk took a turn for the unexpected when NXT winner Wade Barrett lead an invasion that wrecked both competitors, everybody at ringside and the ring area itself. Among the fray was Daniel Bryan who it would seem had one of the most iconic moments of the whole incident, spitting in John Cena's face and kicking his head in. In the fallout of the angle Matel and Linda McMahon's campaign put pressure on the WWE to fire Bryan Danielson for choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with his tie during the attack. The backlash was strong and the rest of the summer would see WWE shows getting constant "Daniel Bryan" chants as the man himself once again toured the world in hopes of bringing attention to independent wresting.
QT Marshall vs. Daniel Bryan (IWA Puerto Rican Heavyweight Championship)
Bryan Danielson vs. Shingo
Return of the Dragon
On August 15, 2010 Daniel Bryan returned to WWE at Summerslam as the seventh man in an elimination tag match against Nexus. Riding the momentum of his surprise return he managed to eliminate two members of the heel team before being taken out by a jealous Miz. This would lead to a feud with The Miz (and to a lesser extent his lackey Alex Riley) which culminated in Daniel Bryan's first WWE title when he won the United States title at Night of Champions. This lead to a string of great matches against the likes of Miz, Morrison, and Dolph Ziggler. As an unlikely part of his push he also showed tendencies of a ladies man being involved with both Bella twins, Gail Kim, and dancing with the entire Divas roster
. He also returned to NXT as the pro of Derrick Bateman where he would star in some of the show's funniest segments
. Bryan's momentum was eventually stopped when he lost the title to Sheamus on the March 14th 2011 episode of RAW and his Wrestlemania re-match was re-scheduled as a pre-show dark match battle royal.
Team WWE vs. Team Nexus
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz Vs John Morrison (US Title)
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (United States Championship)
Growing the Beard
On April 26th Daniel was drafted to Smackdown where he would be put into a program with Cody Rhodes. Eventually it would grow into a tag feud involving Sin Cara and Ted Dibiase. On July 17th D-bry won Smackdown's Money in the Bank briefcase, defeating Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Sin Cara, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane, and Sheamus. Bryan declared that he would hold onto his contract and cash in at Wrestlemania XXVIII. Not only that but he also began to grow a beard, because men have beards
, and he would keep that beard until he headlined Wrestlemania. This challenge lead to a series of matches and angles with the world's strongest man Mark Henry as he looked to prove Daniel Bryan was incapable of taking his World Heavyweight title. This culminated in an event where The Big Show knocked Henry out and encouraged Daniel to cash in. For a brief moment Bryan Danielson was the World Heavyweight Champion. Unfortunately the decision was nullified as Henry was declared unable to compete during the match. Bryan would have to wait until December 18th to hold the title in any official capacity.
Daniel Bryan vs. Ted Dibiase
2011 Smackdown Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Championship)
World Heavyweight Champion
After a brutal chairs match at Tables Ladders and Chairs between Big Show and Mark Henry Daniel Bryan cashed in...on Big Show. Bryan began to show signs of arrogance, excessively celebrating every win by shouting "YES!" over and over and generally treating his girlfriend AJ like shit. He would retain his title against Big Show by provoking Mark Henry into hitting him, cause a no-contest by tricking Big Show into shoulder tackling AJ, and get out of a lumberjack match against Mark Henry by goading the lumberjacks into attacking him for the DQ. The whole thing culminated in a triple threat cage match at the Royal Rumble where Bryan escaped both the cage and Big Show's grasp to retain. Danielson put on a clinic at the 2012 Elimination Chamber, retaining his title against Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Great Khali, Wade Barrett and runner-up Santino Marella. Daniel Bryan's public treatment of AJ started to worsen and the relationship would not be helped when AJ gave him a good luck kiss at the start of his Wrestlemania match against Sheamus, providing enough of a distraction for Sheamus to end the match in 18 seconds via Brogue kick.
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship)
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk
Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (World Heavyweight Championship Match)
Team Hell No
The fans were having none of it and revolted against Bryan's apparent de-push spending the majority of the following 48 hours chanting "Yes!" at every segment especially the one where Daniel Bryan dumped AJ. This new popularity propelled Daniel Bryan into a WWE title program against fellow ROH alumnus CM Punk, which grew to involve Kane and an increasingly unstable AJ. Daniel went over the edge at this point, yelling "NO!" at everything and everyone. On RAW's 1000th episode AJ would be named the new GM of the show and as a measure of revenge she had Daniel Bryan sent to anger management classes alongside Kane. The two were forced to team up and inadvertently become an effective team that would use each other as weaponry to end matches and hug it out after. This lead to them defeating Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the tag titles. The two could barely
stand each other yet overcame every team they were put up against for the next 245 days.
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Title)
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. The Prime Time Players
Team Hell No And The Undertaker vs. The Shield
Team Hell No vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns (Tag Team Championships)
Respect the Beard
After losing the titles to The Shield's Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins (the newly debuted Tyler Black) Team Hell No began to split. As part of the split Bryan worried he was perceived as the weak link and despite Kane's insistence that he wasn't he began to grow an inferiority complex. Bryan would try a tag run with Randy Orton against The Shield, which culminated in Bryan leading his teammates Kane and Orton to breaking The Shield's undefeated streak by forcing Rollins to submit. All good things must come to an end however, and with Orton and Bryan failing to capture the tag titles Team Hell No went their separate ways. The same night Bryan would have a singles match with Randy Orton which ended in referee stoppage when Danielson suffered a legitimate nerve injury
from a dive to the outside of the ring. Bryan was livid at having a match stopped and reportedly had a shouting match with Triple H backstage. After everything blew over and apologies were had all around it seems many in power backstage walked away with a new level of respect for Bryan's work ethic. Bryan would be put in a re-match against Orton, winning via an unsatisfying countout. The score was settled in a street fight, which saw Daniel Bryan gain a decisive victory by making Orton tap out. The momentum built with wins over Sheamus and Christian leading into RAW's 2012 Money in the Bank ladder match. Despite losing the match due to the interference of Curtis Axel Bryan had once again impressed fans and performers alike. The following night on RAW John Cena named Daniel Bryan as his opponent for the WWE Title at Summerslam to a massive pop from the crowd.
Team Hell No and Randy Orton vs. The Shield
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
2013 RAW Money In The Bank Ladder Match