|“||Yes! Yes! Yes!||„|
|~ Daniel Bryan|
Daniel Bryan is a professional wrestler signed with WWE. He is a three time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, having won the title from Randy Orton at WrestleMania XXX, only to be stripped of it two months later due to a neck injury. He is also a former United States and World Heavyweight Champion, having won the world title after cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Big Show. He is also has the fifth longest reign as WWE Tag Team Champion in history, sharing a 245 day reign with his former friend Kane. Bryan is currently emoroiled in an ongoing feud with the Authority, first tangling with Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista, and now focusing on Stephanie McMahon and Kane.
In June 2010, Daniel Bryan was a rookie on the show NXT, with the Miz being his mentor, and would later debut on the main roster along side Wade Barrett as a part of the original Nexus, although he was released from his contract not even a week later because his actions were deemed too violent for the WWE's PG programming. The specific action he was fired for was choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie.
Return and World Heavyweight Championship
Bryan returned later that year as a face at SummerSlam as a surprise team mate of Team WWE, defeating the Nexus in a fourteen man tag team match. The next month he would win the United States Championship from his old mentor, the Miz, and would defend the title all the way till WrestleMania 27, where he would lose it to Sheamus. Later in 2011, he won the SmackDown Money in the Bank contract, promising him a World Heavyweight Championship match at the time and place of his choosing. While he originally promised fans he would cash in at WrestleMania 28, he ended up cashing it in at Tables, Ladders and Chairs on a prone Big Show, breaking his promise.
He would turn heel over the months by developing a smug personality and endangering his girlfriend AJ Lee to gain leverage over his opponents. He also developed a tendancy to yell "Yes!" repeatedly on his way to the ring, and after victories. At WrestleMania 28, after kissing AJ for good luck, he was blindsided by his opponent, Sheamus, and lost the world title in 18 seconds. He would blame AJ for the loss, and broke up with her. The next month at Extreme Rules, he lost his subsequent rematch to Sheamus in a hard fought Two Out of Three Falls match.
WWE Championship pursuits
Still strong even in defeat, he challenged CM Punk for his WWE Championship after winning a Beat the Clock Challenge on Raw, earning him a title shot at Over the Limit. In the weeks leading up to the event, both Punk and Bryan would interfere with each other's matches with Kane, leading to a feud between all three men. While Bryan was defeated by Punk at Over the Limit, all three men would face off in a Triple Threat Match at No Way Out. Punk would retain after AJ provided a distraction on his behalf. This lead to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan having their final match against each other at Money in the Bank, with AJ as special guest referee.
In the weeks prior to the match, Bryan would try to sway AJ in to favoring him by claiming to forgive her for costing him his match at WrestleMania, and even professed to love her. Despite Bryan's efforts, she remained impartial in the match, favoring neither man. Bryan would lose the match, and his feud with CM Punk ended. However, his dealings with AJ had not yet come to a close. In a moment of lucidity, Bryan admitted to AJ he was wrong for the way he had treated her, and proposed to her. She accepted, and the two had their wedding on Raw 1000. However, when she proclaimed "Yes" at the wedding, she was actually accepting Vince McMahon's offer to become the GM of Raw, leaving Bryan at the alter.
Face Turn and "Yes!" Movement
After being jilted by AJ, Bryan developed the habit of yelling "No!" on his way to the ring, only to be mocked by the audience, who would condescendingly yell "Yes!" to bother him. With her new authority, AJ would seek to taunt Bryan as payback for their relationship by placing him in anger management classes with Kane, who he absolutely despised. Their councillor, Dr. Shelby, made the two compete as a tag team to learn to trust each other and overcome their anger together. Initially the two were highly dysfunctional, but would win the WWE Tag Team Championships at Night of Champions 2012. During this time, Bryan and Kane would win the turn face, even going so far as to hug each other in response to "Hug it out!" chants from the crowd. After losing the titles at Extreme Rules 2013 to The Shield, the two split up.
The night after Money in the Bank, Cena chose Bryan to be the number one contender to his WWE Championship due to his popularity and his work ethic, with Triple H making himself the special guest referee. At SummerSlam, Bryan cleanly defeated Cena to win his first WWE Championship, but was attacked after the match by Triple H, allowing Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and win his eighth WWE title. The next month Bryan would win the title for a second time in a rematch against Orton, but was stripped of the title the next night due to Triple H claiming the referee was partial to Bryan. The two would face off again at Battleground, but the match ended in a No Contest when both men were knocked out by Big Show. Finally the two had a Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Micheals as special guest referee to end their feud, but in the end Bryan was once again betrayed, as Micheals would superkick him during the match, allowing Orton to once again pick up the scraps.
Bryan was then sidetracked by the new faction known as the Wyatt Family. Their leader known as Bray Wyatt wanted Bryan to join their fold, claiming that no matter how hard he worked and no matter how much the fans loved him, Triple H would never let him win, and that together they could destroy the machine. In time, Bryan broke and joined the family, but the fans continued to chant his name and boo any face that he fought. After a steel cage tag team match with the Usos, Bryan was left alone with Wyatt in the cage, and would use this moment to revolt against him and attack him, leading the entire arena in "Yes!" chants to end the show. Bryan would face Wyatt at the 2014 edition of the Royal Rumble in a losing effort to end their feud.
By this time Bryan was so popular that the fans hijacked the main event between John Cena and Randy Orton with "Daniel Bryan!" and "Yes!" chants, as well as other malicious chants like "We want Divas!" and "This is awful!" to spite WWE for not having Bryan in the main event. When Rey Mysterio entered at number thirty in the Royal Rumble match and it was clear Bryan had no chance of being in it, the entire crowd booed Mysterio despite him being a face for his entire WWE career, and cheered when he was eliminated. When it became apparent that the newly returned Batista would win the Rumble match and headline WrestleMania, the crowd defiantly chanted for Roman Reigns despite him being a villain, and viciously booed Batista out of the building when he eventually won.
The next night Bryan informed Triple H and Stephanie McMahon that a "Yes!" Movement was taking place, and that they were stubbornly remaining blind to it. They ignored him, and in the following weeks Bryan was harassed by their subordinate Kane, who had been apponted the "Director of Operations" by them. At the Elimination Chamber event, Bryan failed to win the WWE Championship yet again thanks to interference from Kane. Earlier in the event during Batista's match with Alberto Del Rio, the fans continued to voice their resentment over Batista headlining WrestleMania, chanting "Daniel Bryan!" and "Boo-Tista!" to mock him and chanting "Si!" in support of Del Rio, despite the Mexican star being a heel. The next night, Daniel Bryan challenged Triple H to a match at WrestleMania, which was refused. Bryan would eventually force Triple H to accept his challenge by having the fans hop the barricade and "occupy" Raw, with the added stipulation that the winner of their match would advance to the main event between Orton and Batista for the WWE Championship. At WrestleMania XXX, Bryan would defeat Triple H in their preliminary match and go on to capture the WWE Championship when he made Batista tap out to the "Yes!" Lock.
The next night, Daniel Bryan was set to defend the WWE Championship against Triple H when Orton, Kane and Batista attacked him. He was saved by the Shield, cementing the group's face turn. As Triple H, Orton and Batista, as Evolution, turned their attention to the Shield, Stephanie McMahon continued the Authority's crusade against Bryan by pitting him against Kane at Extreme Rules. During his encounters with Kane, Daniel suffered a neck injury, leaving him unable to defend the championship at Payback. Stephanie gave Bryan the option to either forfeit the title willingly or have it stripped from him, in addition to his wife Brie being fired. In response to this ultimatum, Brie begrudgingly quit in order to preserve Bryan's status as the champion. Despite this, Bryan was still stripped of the championship when it became clear he would be unable to compete at the Money in the Bank event. It is unknown when he will return from injury.
Championships and Accomplishments
World Wrestling Entertainment
- WWE Championship (3 Times)
- World Heavyweight Championship (1 Time)
- United States Championship (1 Time)
- WWE Tag Team Championship (1 Time)
- SmackDown! Money in the Bank Contract (2011)
Ring of Honor
- ROH World Championship (1 Time)
- ROH Pure Championship (1 Time)
- Survival of the Fittest (2004)
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Most Outstanding Wrestler (2006-2010)
- Best Technical Wrestler (2005-2013)
- Match of the Year (2007) (Bryan Danielson vs Takeshi Morushima, August 25)