When you heard Daniel Bryan would be cleared by WWE to come out of retirement and wrestle again, this probably wasn’t what you imagined. But there was a method to the booker’s madness.
The star of WrestleMania 30 opened the pay-per-view (PPV) portion of Money in the Bank on Sun. June 17 in Allstate Arena, facing off against Big Cass. It was a rematch of Backlash match dominated by Bryan, which has been followed by more a feud dominated by Bryan. He even owned the seven footer verbally - again - on the Kickoff:
LEGS. LUNGS. HEART.— WWE (@WWE) June 17, 2018
"He can't outwork me; he can't outpace me, and he doesn't have the heart that I have." - @WWEDanielBryan on his advantages over @BigCassWWE tonight at #MITB pic.twitter.com/2UMQQn8zC1
It looked like more of the same in Rosemont, Illinois tonight with DB looking to use his speed and technical skill to lock in a submission early. But when Cass blasted Bryan off the apron into the barricade, the tables turned:
Maybe there IS something to this BIG MAN thing after all...#MITB @BigCassWWE pic.twitter.com/LPWNGk15jK— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) June 17, 2018
The pace slowed from there, as Cass looked to inflict punishment on the smaller man. He targeted Bryan’s midsection as he sought to make it difficult for the former WWE Champ to breathe:
My goodness... Daniel Bryan, of all people, caught in a DAZZLING bear hug.— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 17, 2018
➡️ https://t.co/ePt5TzD6sU pic.twitter.com/tDS6tHmj1n
The ultimate underdog fired back, of course. After a few failed comebacks, he was able to take control and inflict punishment of his own on Cass’ knee.
In order to take down a GIANT, you have to take their legs OUT of the equation! Watch the master, @WWEDanielBryan, at work... #MITB @BigCassWWE pic.twitter.com/fXjQomazuu— WWE (@WWE) June 17, 2018
But when his opponent reached the ropes on a YES Lock and withstood a diving chop on the floor, Bryan went high-risk again paid for it. After getting racked, Cass followed with a massive fallaway slam.
Large.— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) June 17, 2018
➡️ https://t.co/ePt5TzD6sU pic.twitter.com/qd5E3Nk8Id
When Cass missed a boot and got hung up in the ropes, Bryan went back to work on the knee. The seesaw battle wasn’t over, though, and as they battled on, the Chicagoland crowd got louder and louder. The seven footer countered one attempt at a running knee, but DB wrangled out of follow-up torture rack. After connecting with the knee that beat John Cena, he wrapped up the leg and Cass was forced to tap.
As 10,000+ chanted YES, Money in the Bank was off to a great start.
Get complete Money in the Bank results and coverage of the entire card here.