Daniel Bryan – Say Yes to the Indys!

By James Bernard

The Yes Movement is still very much alive; and as is evident from this weeks edition of Smackdown Live, Daniel Bryan is still one of the most popular figures in the WWE Universe. Amazingly Bryan, who retired for professional wrestling last February at just 34, still gets the kind of reception that Roman Reigns can only dream of; undoubtably leaving Mr. McMahon scratching his head, wondering how this 5ft 10, 200lb former wrestler can still resonate with WWE fans.

For me, Daniel Bryan captivated my imagination as a wrestling fan more so than anybody had done since Bret; and that was when I was 8 years old! Here was a guy half the size of John Cena stepping in to the ring with the Big Show, a guy who was putting on the best match of the night, every night and a guy who when stood in the ring with CM Punk, Hunter, Cena and HBK was the only name the fans chanted.

What I liked about Bryan in the ring was his ability to tell and sell a story. Just look at his tag team run with Kane or his matches with Orton; Bryan was the best in the business at re-invigorating the careers of wrestlers who may have otherwise looked past their sell by date.

And then there was that RAW. The RAW where the Yes Movement took over; where Vince and Hunter must have finally realised that a star had been born. It was at that RAW, watching Bryan sit atop the steel cage that my admiration for The American Dragon grew exponentially. This bearded, scruffy, average build, normal, 30-something wrestler had grabbed that brass ring and was turning it into gold. That is the reason that I couldn’t help but get a lump in my throat when Danielson announced his retirement from the WWE in February of last year.

Inevitably, this begs the question: Is Daniel Bryan destined for the indy wrestling scene?

The Yes Movement is still very much alive; and as is evident from this weeks edition of Smackdown Live, Daniel Bryan is still one of the most popular figures in the WWE Universe. Amazingly Bryan, who retired for professional wrestling last February at just 34, still gets the kind of reception that Roman Reigns can only dream of; undoubtably leaving Mr. McMahon scratching his head, wondering how this 5ft 10, 200lb former wrestler can still resonate with WWE fans.

For me, Daniel Bryan captivated my imagination as a wrestling fan more so than anybody had done since Bret; and that was when I was 8 years old! Here was a guy half the size of John Cena stepping in to the ring with the Big Show, a guy who was putting on the best match of the night, every night and a guy who when stood in the ring with CM Punk, Hunter, Cena and HBK was the only name the fans chanted.

What I liked about Bryan in the ring was his ability to tell and sell a story. Just look at his tag team run with Kane or his matches with Orton; Bryan was the best in the business at re-invigorating the careers of wrestlers who may have otherwise looked past their sell by date.

And then there was that RAW. The RAW where the Yes Movement took over; where Vince and Hunter must have finally realised that a star had been born. It was at that RAW, watching Bryan sit atop the steel cage that my admiration for The American Dragon grew exponentially. This bearded, scruffy, average build, normal, 30-something wrestler had grabbed that brass ring and was turning it into gold. That is the reason that I couldn’t help but get a lump in my throat when Danielson announced his retirement from the WWE in February of last year.

Inevitably, this begs the question: Is Daniel Bryan destined for the indy wrestling scene?

It’s not such a strange thing to ask, with Bryan himself claiming that he is ready to wrestle, only for the WWE Hierarchy to reiterate that he has not been cleared due to ongoing concussion concerns. Bryan’s wife, Nikki Bella (or Danielson, depending on who you ask) also stated in a recent interview with Inside The Ropes that Bryan ‘wants to compete’ and that ‘he eats, breathes and lives wrestling’. With a huge concussion lawsuit hanging over WWE, Bryan will likely never wrestle on WWE programming again, but where would he best suit if he decided to leave the company?

NJPW is most peoples destination of choice for the American Dragon, but the strong style in Japan may prove to be a little much for Bryan’s already battle-hardened body. However, matches with Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada leave fans drooling in expectation.

GFW could do with star power, but with or without Cornette’s influence backstage, GFW is still a mess behind the scenes. Bryan is likely to turn down any potential offers from the Nashville based company who have recently been making noises about giving home grown talent a chance…something that will need to be seen, to be believed.

The most likely destination for The Beard would be Ring of Honor, where Bryan could conceivably rebuild his wrestling career slowly with a less intense schedule; facing superstars such as Christopher Daniels, Jay Lethal and Cody Rhodes. The latter of which Bryan has been making noises about facing in 2018; see Tweet: ‘if you hold the @ringofhonor title 462 days I may have to come after you, which would be 9/28/18. Be forewarned!’

However you wrap it up, Daniel Bryan is not prepared to sit on the sidelines and act as GM of Smackdown Live for the rest of his career. HBK came out or retirement after almost 5 years on the shelf to put on some of the greatest matches of all time and Bryan could follow suit. With a talent to connect with fans that transcends the squared circle and all the talent in the World within it, the WWE would be crazy to let Bryan go. However, perhaps it’s out of their control and it’s Bryan who might say ‘No’ to the WWE and ‘YES’ to the indy’s.

I certainly hope so.

James. Out.

 

 

(Editor’s note: James Bernard is a talented singer/writer currently residing in the L.A. Area but based out of the U.K.  We welcome James to the Indy Wrestling Life Family!)