Daniel Bryan is back!
I don’t even need to recap it. There’s no emoticon for what I’m feeling right now.
So now that he’s back it’s time to pour over the WWE roster and start giggling with anticipation over all the four star matches he has in front of him. Here’s my list (in no particular order).
Fair warning, there will be exclamation points.
SHANE McMAHON IN A STREET FIGHT
Just kidding. Please don’t do that.
For multiple levels of reasons, for a tiramisu of reasons, please don’t do that. Along the same line, the other ship that has sailed is any match featuring Brock Lesnar. It would have been great in 2014—David and Goliath and all—but now?
10. AJ STYLES!
Top of the list, the easy money. This match has everything you could want. It’s not just two great workers, it’s two guys who are great workers and that fans—both hardcore and casual—have connected to and turned into superstars. This match has SummerSlam written all over it and the only reason I don’t say “WrestleMania 35” is because...who wants to wait till WrestleMania?
09. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA!
You don’t need me to get you excited about this match. Let the man himself do it.
This is great news. No one needs to wish anymore. They can see it with their eyes. #NakamuravsBryan— Shinsuke Nakamura (@ShinsukeN) March 20, 2018
08. SAMOA JOE!
These guys had wars before they came to WWE, and since we were deprived a CM Punk vs SmoJo match in WWE, this is our chance to get that box checked on our Big Stage Bucket List. Joe brings all the intensity and physical intimidation that a match with Lesnar would bring, while also having the motivation to make it more than a (very dangerous) suplex-fest.
If you had asked me to name a top two list of guys I wanted to see Daniel Bryan feud with coming out of WrestleMania 30, Cesaro would have made the cut. He’s lost a lot of steam over the past four years, and right now is just kind of farting around as one half of a perfectly cromulent tag team, but if given, say, twenty minutes and nothing more than pride on the line...yeah: bananas could happen.
06. SAMI ZAYN!
Speaking of “twenty minutes with Cesaro = Bananas,” I just have this hunch that a Zayn vs Bryan match would be another Zayn vs Cesaro, or Zayn vs Nakamura. Fast paced, great psychology, breathtaking nearfalls and a “please don’t stop” feeling from the crowd. Make it happen.
05. SETH ROLLINS!
He may not be the same post-knee injury but he’s still great and is starting to find his old groove again, There’s no better guy like Daniel Bryan to make someone like Seth Rollins get back to his old form and look like a
million billion bucks again. Rollins is one of those guys who, with the wrong opponent looks like a glorified cruiserweight, but when he stands against someone like Daniel Bryan, it really gets over how well he carries every bit of his 6’1 frame. He’s not the tallest, but he carries himself like someone who is taller than he is, if that makes sense. Like Zayn, Rollins is a guy who does best when the pace of a match is fast and Bryan is one of the very best at working at breakneck (no pun no pun no pun) speed.
04. KURT ANGLE!
Hey speaking of breakneck (okay, pun): How much does the Olympian have left in the tank? I want to believe the answer is “a lot” but I’ll reserve judgment until after Mania. Angle is my favorite of all favorites so I’m biased here, but considering how Bryan is going to have to rework his moveset (fewer—as in “no more”—diving headbutts, top rope dropkicks and suicide dives) to a more matbased style there’s no better mat based guy to work with than the guy who won the gold in mat based awesomeness. If Angle is up for it, a match with Bryan could call back to his great contests against smaller guys like Benoit and Guerrero.
03. ADAM COLE!
Don’t forget NXT. I’d love for Cole to be called up in the next year or so but even if he’s not, I’d settle for Bryan doing a one-off Takeover special against one of the best in-ring workers on the Yellow Show. You could easily swap Cole out for Roderick Strong. Or hey, let’s just call it Christmas and make it a triple threat.
Just keep him away from Tomasso Ciampa, the bastard.
02. JOHNNY GARGANO!
I mean, he’s basically “the new Daniel Bryan” isn’t he? He’s a sympathetic babyface who wrestles at warp speed, has technical precision and a likable connection to the audience. Imagine putting them in the same ring.
01. JINDER MAHAPFFFTJUST KIDDING
01. THE MIZ!
This is the one, right? Admit it, when the news came out that Bryan was “back” one of the first things you thought was “We get the Miz match.”
It won’t be the flashiest, it won’t be the craziest, it won’t be the most technical, but you can bet your last cent that the build up to the actual match will be so hot, with Miz and Bryan spitting so much worked-shoot fire, that the crowd will be hotter than the surface of the sun for it. And if you’ve ever watched any wrestling you know what a hot crowd can do for an average match.
And you know Miz will win, because LOLWWE.
There’s my list, and I didn’t even include Rey Mysterio.
What’s your Daniel Bryan dream opponent? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.