All the way back in 2014, after he had been forced to undergo neck surgery, Daniel Bryan revealed he was coming back to WWE so he could do his damnedest to get a match against Brock Lesnar:
“Brock Lesnar is, right now, out of all the WWE superstars currently active, Brock Lesnar is the one that I want. That’s the match that I want. I think that match would be something different than the WWE Universe has ever seen. So, yeah, that’s the match that I’m gunning for.”
He finally returned just in time for the 2015 Royal Rumble and while promoting it, he again mentioned his desire to wrestle Lesnar:
“Literally, my ideal scenario for Sunday would be I win the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar wins his WWE World Heavyweight championship match and then we wrestle in the main event of WrestleMania. That’s what I hope happens. It’ll be interesting to see what actually does happen.”
Bryan didn’t win the Royal Rumble, of course, as that was the year Roman Reigns was being pushed into the main event scene for his own big showdown with Lesnar. Bryan moved on to other things, winning the Intercontinental championship at WrestleMania that year. It wasn’t long after, though, that he was injured again and by Feb. 2016 he was officially retired, unable to get clearance from WWE doctors to return.
Eventually, though, he did return, at WrestleMania 34 earlier this year. But he returned as a SmackDown star while Lesnar was tearing it up over on Raw, still tormenting Reigns. That kept them apart, and was going to continue keeping them apart, until Reigns was forced to relinquish the Universal championship due to his leukemia returning and Brock won it back at Crown Jewel. That set up a match against AJ Styles at Survivor Series, what with WWE doing the brand vs. brand gimmick for this year’s event.
Then, just days before it was to happen, Bryan turned heel, beating Styles for the title and officially booking the match he’s wanted for so long.
Buckle up, folks, this is going to be good.