The main event is set for SummerSlam as Daniel Bryan will face John Cena for the WWE Championship. The Champ hand-picked his opponent because he considers Daniel Bryan to be the best and worthy of a championship opportunity. However, the new RAW general manager Brad Maddox–proxy to Vince McMahon–pointed out Bryan’s size and looks not being fit for a WWE champion and that Bryan needed to prove himself.
It’s obvious that the WWE Universe is firmly behind “The World’s Toughest Vegan”, and why wouldn’t they?
Daniel Bryan is charismatic, he has a catchy battle cry, and he has brought a new level of intensity and god-given ability that fuels an arena. What more does Bryan have to prove?
As per order of Brad Maddox, Daniel Bryan was forced to compete in multiple matches, or gauntlet match, in RAW’s main event. The first match was against the former-World Heavyweight champion, and one-half of The Real Americans, Jack Swagger. Daniel Bryan, a student of the art of submission wrestling, forced the much taller Jack Swagger to tap out with the No Lock. Then Bryan, with little time to rest, was scheduled to take on the second member of The Real Americans, Antonio Cesaro.
Bryan and Cesaro are no strangers to one another as they both have extensive backgrounds in the independent circuit wrestling around the world. The Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, was hooked to the action as Bryan and Cesaro showcased intense striking offense, submission chain wrestling, and a major test of endurance.
At one point the referee stood awe-struck as Antonio Cesaro delivered upper cut after upper cut to Daniel Bryan in rapid succession before flipping him in a total 360 with a devastating clothesline. The match ran well into the double digits and had the most spectacular finish as Bryan countered Cesaro’s European upper cut and rolled him over into a small package.
One of Bryan’s moniker on the independent circuit was “Master of the Small Package”, now the WWE Universe knows why.
Clearly these two Ring of Honor alums also proved that they belong on top in the WWE.
Bryan’s final opponent was Ryback. As a strategist, Bryan focused on Ryback’s previously injured legs, hoping to cut down the genetic mutant down to size. Although, Bryan has taken Ryback to the limit on a number of occasions, we didn’t get to see the same level of WrestleMania quality match up as we had with Cesaro. As for Bryan, he did earn a victory over Ryback, but it was via disqualification after being put through a table.
Three matches, three opponents in one night. Daniel Bryan defied the odds and sure as hell proven himself ten-fold with the WWE Universe and the WWE locker room. But Vince McMahon still isn’t satisfied and until SummerSlam, Bryan will continually have to prove himself.
The biggest factor going for Daniel Bryan is the fans respect for him as a competitor, and “Respect for the Beard”. Recall when Daniel Bryan was fired from the WWE following a non-PG spot on the night The Nexus debuted? Fans chanted at every event and brought signs voicing their demands that they wanted Daniel Bryan back.
Since being rehired and returning to SummerSlam 2010 as part of Team WWE, Daniel Bryan has proven himself and climbed the ranks from WWE United States Champion, to Mr. Money in the Bank, to capturing the WWE World Heavyweight championship.
But even when he was cast down to the mid-card ranks after his world title stint, he reinvented himself as part of Team Hell No and one-half of the WWE Tag Team champions. He went further with his transformation by removing himself from Kane’s side and went on his own to have a series of spectacular matches against a former multi-time WWE World champion in Randy Orton.
Answer the Question: Has Daniel Bryan proven himself worthy of contending for the WWE championship?
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[Watch the much talked-about Daniel Bryan vs Antonio Cesaro from RAW – courtesy of WWE’s Official YouTube Page]