Daniel Bryan is more aware than most that he is nearer the end of his career than the beginning, but a series of sterling performances culminating in an epic duel with Roman Reigns at Fastlane has earned the 39-year-old superstar one more shot at greatness.
Daniel Bryan’s Professional Wrestling CV
Byran has a long and storied career in professional wrestling and not just in American or for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He has wrestled extensively in Japan, winning multiple titles on the Asian pro wrestling scene. In WWE, he has been an Intercontinental Champion, a Tag Team Champion, and a World Heavyweight Champion, to name a few. In fact, between his time with Ring of Honor, Japanese wrestling and the WWE, he has held 12 major titles and is a 10-time world champion.
However, his career, though successful, has not been as straightforward as the above might suggest. He has gone through his fair share of injury concerns, including multiple concussions that led to severe medical issues (such as seizures and a brain lesion) that forced him to retire from professional wrestling in 2016.
He made his return two years later in 2018 and regained the WWE Championship for the first time in four years in November that year but his star began to steadily wane as he was not as prominent of a superstar as he had once been. Despite that, though, he has remained a crowd favourite and will often be followed into the ring by chants of “Yes! Yes! Yes!” from the now digital WWE crowds.
That being said, his new-found rivalry with Reigns has been a true return to form for Bryan, and it is little surprise because the two fighters have shown plenty of chemistry before this year and have always put on a good show in the ring. To bring Bryan back into the spotlight, he was handed a title fight for the Universal Championship at Fastlane in March.
Match Of The Year
The fight was stellar, a true WWE Match of the Year contender. Bryan and Reigns wailed on each other for nearly an hour. Reigns even submitted defeat to a Bryan submission move but the referee was knocked out so the match continued. The big story was Edge’s appearance as a guest referee and knocking them both out with a chair.
Bryan eventually lost the match, but the crowds’ appetites had been whetted. The masses were baying for him to be included in the title fight between Edge and Reigns at WrestleMania 37. And, as if it wasn’t the plan all along, the decision-makers at WWE have made it happen. Bryan is now the third member of a triple-threat bout for the Universal Championship.
After the theatrics Bryan and Reigns put on at Fastlane, the addition of Edge has made it one of the most hotly-anticipated fights of the whole event. Some of the best betting sites in Australia and other big betting markets, such as Unibet, have it as the odds-on favourite to be the longest fight of the entire pay-per-view occasion at +150 while bet365 has Edge as a favourite to win the match (+150) over both Roman Reigns (+200) and Daniel Bryan (+300), who is the underdog.
For his part, Bryan is not taking anything for granted and just enjoying the ride for what, by his admission, could be his final appearance at a WrestleMania event.
“All that’s to say, I don’t think Edge and Roman need Daniel Bryan involved in the story. What I do think is exciting for the fans is that now there is a lot of doubt about the match you’re going to see at WrestleMania,” he said after learning about his inclusion in the title fight. “The more passion you drum up for this, the better it is for everybody.”