Recently, the WWE has released a list of top 5 superstars that they want to see Daniel Bryan compete against in the ring now that he’s medically cleared but we here at the Squared Circle didn’t agree with some of that list so we thought we would break their list down and give our own thoughts on such matches and if we would really like to see such match-ups.
Their first pick is that of Finn Bálor and here’s what they say about such a match…
Similar styles? Check. Bryan and Finn Bálor could go kick-for-kick for 20 minutes and nobody would complain. Similar looks? Check. Both are lithe, hybrid competitors who are as lethal in the air as they are on the mat. Similar stories? Double-check. Both scratched and clawed to become World Champions, only to abdicate their titles due to injuries. Similar demonic alter-ego? Kind of. Bryan might not be able to transform in the literal sense like Bálor does, but nobody who’s seen him get that wild-eyed look right before he caves in a dude’s sternum — that’s the one right there — can argue that something doesn’t snap in his affable, environmentally-conscious psyche. Anyway, the point is: Sign us up, please and thank you.
Now, while we here in the office would agree that such a match would be great one, to get any type of momentum and hype behind it, you need a long storyline rivalry, anything falling in the short category just isn’t going to cut it.
We’re not talking six months here, we’re talking a yearlong back and forth slog but no one on one match till the finale showdown, get this as a once in a lifetime kind of thing – they buggered that up with the Rock and Cena so maybe they might get it right with these two.
Their second pick is that of Shinsuke Nakamura, here’s what the WWE had to say…
The idea of this one actually caused a bit of a stir last fall when Bryan served as a Special Guest Referee during Shinsuke Nakamura’s match at WWE Clash of Champions, with The King of Strong Style remarking his disbelief over sharing the ring with The Beard. Of course, that was with Bryan in an authority figure capacity. But with Bryan back in the ring and still a SmackDown LIVE Superstar, that disbelief may turn into a whole new kind of reality sooner rather than later … something The King of Strong Style wasted no time acknowledging when news of Bryan’s return broke.
Now, this one had the office abuzz and was one that we all would like to see, this one doesn’t even need a long storyline, as even a number one contender match-up would work, hell – have them eliminate each other in a rumble match would do.
We ended up having a three-hour debate on which style would win over the other, three damn hours – with many having valid points on “The King of Strong Style” clinching a win over the “Yes” movement.
Their third pick was that of Kurt Angle with the WWE reporting the following…
In a similar vein, this is a match that’s long been bandied about as a pie-in-the-sky contest for sports-entertainment aficionados who wanted to see a clash between the pre-eminent grapplers of their respective generations. Bryan and Angle even talked about it in an interview before WrestleMania 33 last year when neither man had been cleared to return to the ring. It didn’t take long for Angle to clear that hurdle. Now, Bryan has, too. And much like Nakamura, Angle is already planning ahead. We’re right there with him.
Now, this one we wouldn’t mind seeing either and this one could be claimed under the brand supremacy warfare kind of deal Raw GM vs SmackDown Live GM and this could happen either at a WrestleMania or even as soon as Survivor Series.
Angle has already had five star matches with Shane McMahon and we see no different outcome if it was Daniel Bryan on the other side of the ring instead.
Their fourth pick is that of AJ Styles and here’s what the WWE has to say…
Oh yes, we want some. The Phenomenal AJ Styles has, in many ways, followed the path that Bryan helped blaze, streaking up the ladder to WWE Championship status despite carrying just about every stigma that pundits said would disqualify him from even making it to WWE. Fun fact: These two actually tussled in Ring of Honor once upon a time, but that was many, many moons ago, before AJ was a phenomenon and Bryan was a world-beater who’d defied every obstacle — medical or otherwise — placed in his path. With both Superstars at the peak of their powers, it’s time to see this one on a much grander stage.
They say yes, well – we say no, we don’t want some and in no way shape or form can you or the WWE say that “both Superstars are at the peak of their powers”, for sanity’s sake Bryan has just been cleared to return, he was out and in retirement.
Forced to retire with injury means they ain’t at a “peak” of anything, that an injury forces the doctors to tell you to hang up the job is some serious shit, too come back from such an injury is a modern day miracle in itself as many don’t get a second chance.
However, if a feud between these two was given the go ahead, we have very few here at the office that would tune in to witness, myself included.
Their last pick is that of Brock Lesnar, WWE had the following to say…
We don’t think we’re going too inside-baseball by saying that Brock Lesnar is the opponent that Daniel Bryan always wanted. He wanted it when he was champion, he wanted it during his short-lived comeback (Roman Reigns ended up beating him for it), and he’s been talking about it ever since. He even has a plan as to how he’d beat The Beast Incarnate, which he teased to — no lie — Sami Zayn on an episode of Total Bellas. Paul Heyman once said that Bryan boasted nothing less than a direct pipeline to God, as he’d managed to pull out more unbelievable wins than he or Brock had ever seen. Maybe it’s time to see, finally, if that line still works
And we say no thank you – we don’t want to see this, Brock Lesnar is portrayed as a powerhouse (with an ego the size of his bank balance) and you want to stick him in the ring with Daniel Bryan, sure if you want Bryan injured and back in retirement – this is the match.
Can you imagine, you wake up one morning, go on social media and read “Daniel Bryan defeats Brock Lesnar”, if fans are going to have trouble swallowing that for a realistic storyline, how the hell can you sell such a win if he wins cleanly.
Look, we don’t like Lesnar anymore than any of you but if they have stacked this guy up as a fucking bulldozer, that’s defeated the likes of the Undertaker, who’s run riot in matches against the Big Show, had completely shitty matches against Goldberg and who’s had a complete squash match against Reigns, who it has to be said is being pushed to replace Cena as the “face of the company”.
In short…If you have such a “bulldozer”, kindly explain what the hell is someone like Daniel Bryan going to do to not only get a win convincingly but a clean win at that and then sell that win realistically in any type of storyline.
We’ve said it before; we’ll say it again…no thank you!
So that was their list and that was what we thought on their picks, while we can think of others that we would want to see Daniel Bryan step into the ring with, that is an entirely different list… maybe next time.