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Favorite Raw moment: Daniel Bryan breaks free from The Wyatt Family

After becoming a lapsed pro wrestling fan, CM Punk’s pipe bomb promo brought me back but Daniel Bryan kept me.

Monday Night Raw has been on TV for 25 consecutive years, which is both impressive and mind boggling. Where were you 25 years ago? Where were any of us?

I was a young wrestling fan well before Monday Night Raw debuted on Jan. 11, 1993. For the past 25 years my personal pro wrestling fandom bounced through many different phases.

As a kid I lived and breathed the WWF’s cartoon style of wrestling, and missed out on NWA/WCW prisms of the sport. During the Attitude Era, our home’s remote control always favored TNT and Monday Nitro over USA and Monday Night Raw.

When WCW died a slow, clumsy demise the WWF and Raw was there to pick up the pieces.

The beauty of pro wrestling, and for the past 25 years Monday Night Raw, is it’s always there for you. No matter how much your personal fandom has wavered, from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, Raw is there for you.

I feel like a lot of pro wrestling fans who left the sport were brought back by CM Punk sitting at the top of the entrance ramp and using his gift of gab to the fullest on June 27, 2011.

Once the Summer of Punk reaffirmed my love for pro wrestling, Daniel Bryan’s story arc from WrestleMania XXVIII and his 18 second defeat through WrestleMania XXX and the Yes Movement closing the show as WWE World Heavyweight Champion hooked me for every step of the journey.

The tale of Bryan working his way up, down and back up the card was far from perfect and filled with a few key missteps. Despite sometimes shooting themselves in the foot, the WWE gave Daniel Bryan a lot of cool moments on the way to his storybook ending at WM XXX.

A impossibly strange sidebar to Bryan’s underdog story was when he joined The Wyatt Family for a solid two weeks. For fourteen straight days the entire pro wrestling community agreed that Bryan inexplicably joining The Wyatt Family was a horribly dumb idea.

On Jan. 13, 2014, Daniel Bryan left The Wyatt Family after he teamed up with Bray Wyatt in a cage match versus The Usos. The match was great but the ending of Monday Night Raw gave the pro wrestling world the iconic image of Daniel Bryan perfectly syncing up his “Yes” chant with the live crowd.

Yes! This is why we watch pro wrestling.

Other Cageside Seats favorite Raw 25 moments:

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