In 2011, Daniel Bryan won the Money in the Bank Ladder match and that guaranteed himself a World Title shot. Many believed that Bryan would be the first WWE Superstar to win the Money in the Bank briefcase and unsuccessfully cash in. He would prove everyone wrong when he cashed in his contract at TLC 2011 and defeated the Big Show to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.
During his World Heavyweight Championship reign Daniel Bryan evolved. After every win, he started an obnoxious Yes chant that fans got behind, despite him turning heel. When Bryan lost his title at WrestleMania XXVIII in 18 seconds to Sheamus, not only were fans upset, they spent the rest of the night filling Miami with Yes chants.
Daniel Bryan evolved to the WWE’s most popular Superstar in 2013. He defeated John Cena at SummerSlam and when Randy Orton cashed in his own Money in the Bank contract, joining Triple H and forming The Authority, his connection with the fans skyrocketed. The same way Stone Cold Steve Austin represented every workingman who wanted to beat up his boss during the Attitude Era was the same way Bryan did in 2013.
When Bryan was withheld from the 2014 Royal Rumble, fans completely highjacked the show. When Batista was crowned the winner, they booed continuously and even went on to start a petition to get Bryan in the main event at WrestleMania. WrestleMania XXX became known as YES-tleMania because it was the night Bryan overcame all adversity and won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after wrestling twice. Unfortunately for Bryan, he was forced to vacate the title after just two title defenses due to injury.
Bryan would return in time for the 2015 Royal Rumble. This time he would compete, but when he was thrown out early, fans would again highjack the event in frustration. He would fall short of the opportunity to main event WrestleMania again when he lost to Roman Reigns at Fastlane. He went on to win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 31, but was forced to vacate the title again due to injury.
Doctors discovered that Daniel Bryan had 10 documented concussions in his career and discovered a legion growing on his brain that would cause seizers. Therefore after 15 years, Daniel Bryan was forced to retire from professional wrestling. Bryan, at age 34, is leaving the business early. However, there remains a number of Superstars (past and present) who fans have loved to see him work with. Here are the top 15 Daniel Bryan matches we'll never get to see.
15 15. Shinsuke Nakamura
14 14. Baron Corbin
13 13. Tyler Breeze
12 12. The Rock
11 11. Apollo Crews
10 10. Xavier Woods
9 9. Finn Balor
8 8. Austin Aries
7 7. Kevin Owens
6 6. Sami Zayn
5 5. The Undertaker
4 4. A.J. Styles
3 3. Sting
2 2. Kurt Angle
1 1. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is the "Beast Incarnate"who did the unthinkable and defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania. When he arrives, he is not doing much talking; he is taking his opponents to Suplex City. While Lesnar was WWE World Heavyweight Champion and seemed unstoppable, Daniel Bryan wanted his shot at him. Unfortunately for Bryan, he did not earn that opportunity. In 1987, over 93,000 fans were on hand to witness Hulk Hogan defeat Andre the Giant. With WrestleMania 32 taking place at AT&T Stadium, Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar would have been the perfect main event to fill the stadium with more than 100,000 members of the WWE Universe.
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