Didn’t matter if he was leading a returning to lead the YES! Movement or declaring it dead, whether he was regular old Daniel Bryan or the New Daniel Bryan. 2018 was DB’s year on SmackDown, at least according to the list of the blue brand’s ten best moments of the year.
There’s two other names you’d probably expect to see all over this list, and they’re both there. But in the case of Becky Lynch, her rise didn’t really start until around SummerSlam, so it only accounts for about half the year. Bryan came out of retirement in March (and was involved in storylines as General Manager before that) and has been featured in a major program almost non-stop since then. Plus, The Man came around and took the #1 spot on Raw’s list already.
The other name you’d expect to see more of is the man who held the WWE title through most of 2018. You know, the guy who says SmackDown LIVE is the house he built? And AJ Styles is represented, but only two times (to Bryan’s four), and both are for matches he lost.
10. Brie Bella returns to join Daniel Bryan and challenge Miz & Maryse for Hell in a Cell (Aug. 21)
9. John Cena def. AJ Styles to get into the Fastlane WWE title Six Pack challenge, keeping his WrestleMania dream alive (Feb. 27)
8. The New Day def. Bludgeon Brothers in a No DQ match to win their fifth tag titles (Aug. 21)
7. Kane & Daniel Bryan hug it out to reunite as Team Hell No (June 26)
6. Becky Lynch destroys Charlotte Flair at Lynch’s championship coronation (Sept. 18)
5. Rey Mysterio returns to SmackDown (Oct. 16)
4. Daniel Bryan wins the WWE title & turns heel (Nov. 13)
3. Carmella cashes in Money in the Bank to win the Women’s title (April 10)
2. Batista uses the Evolution reunion to taunt Triple H (Oct. 16)
1. Daniel Bryan announces he’s medically cleared to return to wrestling (Mar. 20)
Surprised AJ, or Becky, isn’t on this list more? How was WWE’s Top 10 of SmackDown moments in 2018 match up to yours?