Daniel Bryan will go down in the history books as one of the best pro wrestlers of his generation, and we'd be stunned if anyone felt differently. From his debut all the way up to his big triumph at WrestleMania 30, it's been one hell of a rollercoaster ride for Bryan.
Following his amazing return from injury many wondered whether or not he would remain a babyface for the remainder of his career, but as we saw last year, you can never count anything out as he went on quite the run as a heel.
Today, we're going to run through both alignments and see which is best for him.
10 HEEL - Faction Possibilities
While we wouldn’t exactly call the coalition with Erick Rowan a faction, it certainly gave us a glimpse into what we can expect if Bryan ever decided to run with an actual faction as a heel.
He has the ability to lead any group of men into battle, and as we saw with Rowan, it doesn’t exactly hurt to have someone like him rubbing off on you.
Daniel is the sort of star that knows exactly what it takes to bring others into the mix and get them some shine.
9 BABYFACE - Moveset
Everything about what Bryan does in between the ropes is so fast and high flying, contrary to the belief that he’s nothing more than a technician. Bryan has the ability to make some of the best and most exciting stars in the entire business look like amateurs, and that’s a shoot.
While he could always change things up to suit his demeanor, the fans shouldn’t have to go without such a phenomenal babyface in-ring wrestler. He pops every single crowd he visits, mainly because they know that they’re going to get an absolute barn burner of a match one way or the other.
8 HEEL - In-Ring Aggression
On the flip side, there’s a reason why people used to chant about The American Dragon literally killing people. The guy was capable of kicking your head and chest into next week, and you know what? He still is.
That sort of aggression, if utilized in the right manner, could completely negate the high-flying babyface action that we’ve just been talking about.
Bryan is on another level to most of these guys which is why he’s able to flip back and forth so seamlessly, and we absolutely love that about him.
7 BABYFACE - The Yes Movement
We quite literally all saw what happened with the Yes Movement: it took over the wrestling world.
While that has certainly calmed down in recent years, mainly due to his heel turn and injury, Daniel Bryan would be able to kickstart it all again in the blink of an eye and we all know that to be true.
The potential that storyline has, mainly because we never got to see a definitive conclusion to it, is outstanding. We’d give literally anything to see him make this push one last time.
6 HEEL - The Environmentalist
Being eco-friendly is pretty much universally considered to be a positive thing, but if you’re waving it around it everyone’s face like there’s no tomorrow, it can get a little bit tedious and annoying.
Case in point: Daniel Bryan’s new character and newly discovered attitude upon turning on AJ Styles during their WWE Championship feud.
He started wearing some funky attire, changed the title belt to make it more environmentally friendly, and just generally seemed to be oozing confidence that we hadn’t seen in so long. There’s money in that.
5 BABYFACE - Comeback Story
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Daniel Bryan decided to retire from professional wrestling three years ago, mainly because we all knew what a waste of talent it really was.
Alas, two years later, against all of the odds, Bryan was able to return to in-ring action in one of the most remarkable comeback stories WWE has ever seen.
To this day Bryan is still riding a notable wave of momentum from the night he made that vital announcement, and there’s still a lot of work that can be done with the story.
4 HEEL - Passionate Promos
He cuts fun promos as a babyface from time to time, especially when he’s cracking jokes he really shouldn’t be, but we still lean towards the passion that is shown in his heel promos when it comes to determining which our favorite is.
He delivers the lines with such emphasis that it’s sort of hard to believe he’s even acting. He makes you live through his pain right alongside him and while that sounds a little bit upsetting, it actually gets you really invested – whether you love him or you hate him.
3 BABYFACE - Ultimate Underdog
He’s small and he’s scrappy, which are two attributes that have pretty much always added up to someone being an outstanding underdog.
Being able to overcome the odds isn’t always going to resonate with fans worldwide, but Daniel Bryan always seems to make it work in one way or another.
He’s so plucky and he never seems to give up and that’s a style that just doesn’t go out of fashion. Maybe one day it will, but for now, we’re pretty sure Bryan can continue to live off of that.
2 HEEL - Genuine Ability To Gain Heat
Because of just how good Daniel Bryan is as a heel, he’s legitimately been able to get the fans to stop cheering for him and start booing during both of his runs as a bad guy in WWE – and prior to that, he did the same thing with Ring of Honor.
While a lot of the points about how he works as a babyface are valid, there’s simply no way of ignoring the heat he gets as a heel. We’d compare it to the work of CM Punk, who also had this in his locker, too.
1 BABYFACE – Marketability
From the merchandise to the beard and beyond, Daniel Bryan is more marketable as a babyface and that much is just obvious. There are certainly quite a few heels that are able to turn this on its head, but we aren’t going to pretend like Bryan falls into that category.
His popularity is at its highest when he is being cheered for on a week to week basis, and as such, everyone can make a whole lot more money from him that way.
As long as they give him a little bit more creative freedom, then everything will be fine.