There’s many words you can use to describe someone like Daniel Bryan. Humble, respectful, driven, phenomenal, grateful. Qualities that not very many wrestler’s of today have.
So it’s safe to say that WWE is losing s major player in their already weaken’d arsenal. One could argue that Bryan has been out so long that it doesn’t really change anything now that he’s officially bowing out. But people are forgetting that while Bryan may have been off TV for an extended period of time, there was always the hope that he would return. Return to his former glory, to the roaring crowds chanting “YES! YES! YES!” while he heads to the ring. That hope is now gone, & it’s going to take a lot to try & fill that gap Bryan leaves behind. Is it even possible?
WWE, as opposed to many other years in the company, has many unique & interested talent under contract. With the recent signings of AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, & Austin Aries, & with the addition of guys like Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, & Samoa Joe already leaving their marks, WWE is in a very good position to push one of them as a top fan favorite. It was because of Daniel Bryan that WWE started to even glance at these types of performers who have already had many years under their belts before stepping foot in WWE. So there’s no denying that WWE has many options on their plate to choose from.
But the thing is, none of them will be as naturally over with the crowd as Bryan was. Bryan had a very special connection with the crowd that nobody can really duplicate or replicate. There’s just something about him that is so likable & relatable that you just can’t help but get behind him. It was that connection that led to the quite possibly the biggest moment in Wrestlemania history with him overcoming adversity & capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 30, & leading a 70,000+ person Yes chant with fireworks going ff behind him. There have been a few that come close to matching it like CM Punk in 2011 or currently Dean Ambrose whose overness (is that a word?) is just clear & evident every time their music hits. I personally feel that there will never be someone as over with the crowd as Daniel Bryan was for a long time to come. His accomplishments throughout his career not only make him a respected legend in the business, but make him a shoe in for any wrestling Hall of Fame in existence. As a wrestling fan, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are grateful to have had a wrestler like Bryan Danielson grace a wrestling ring.- Jeremy G.