AEW’s Bryan Danielson has reflected on the early days of his career after reaching a significant milestone in his exemplary pro wrestling career.
Danielson stunned the world at All Out in September when he debuted for All Elite Wrestling, closing the book on his WWE career and time as Daniel Bryan. Since joining the company, Danielson has aimed for the top and fought AEW World Champion in a critically acclaimed match as AEW Grand Slam with the two combatants slugging out a thirty-minute draw.
But Bryan Danielson’s story in wrestling stretches all the way back to the late nineties and The American Dragon took to social media to reflect on a significant milestone:
“October 4, 1999 was my first ever professional wrestling match, a 10 minute draw against Bryan Kendrick at Far West Rodeo in San Antonio, TX. It’s been an amazing 22 years, but it still feels like the best is yet to come”
October 4, 1999 was my first ever professional wrestling match, a 10 minute draw against Bryan Kendrick at Far West Rodeo in San Antonio, TX. It’s been an amazing 22 years, but it still feels like the best is yet to come 👊
— Bryan Danielson (@bryandanielson) October 4, 2021
Danielson built up a reputation as one of the world’s best on the independent scene and in Ring Of Honor where he is considered a ‘Founding Father’ during the 2000s. He captured the ROH World Championship in 2005 from James Gibson before going on to unify the belt with the ROH Pure Championship in 2006.
In 2010 Danielson made his debut for WWE and was soon a part of the original season of NXT as Daniel Bryan. Despite not winning the series, Danielson was a part of the original Nexus although he was infamously fired by WWE when the group debuted after choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with his tie.
Danielson was brought back shortly after, joining Team WWE at SummerSlam 2010 against his former group. From there Bryan Danielson went on to capture the WWE United States Championship but bigger things were yet to come.
A WrestleMania 28 Daniel Bryan defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Sheamus. At the beginning of the match, Bryan gave his on-screen girlfriend AJ Lee before turning into a Brogue Kick from the Irishman and losing his gold in 18 seconds. An embarrassing defeat was to be turned into something very different due to the reaction of the crowd.
The Yes Movement as it became known supported Bryan in his endeavours, including through his successful odd-couple pairing with Kane that saw the men known as Team Hell No capture the WWE Tag Team Championship.
By 2013 WWE crowds were fully behind Daniel Bryan, so much so that John Cena chose Bryan to face for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam that year. Bryan defeated Cena, winning his first WWE Championship but the joy was to be short-lived as Triple H attacked Bryan allowing Randy Orton to cash in Money In The Bank and rob Bryan of his newly won gold.
This led to a winter of struggles for Daniel Bryan until he – with the help of an invading Yes Movement on Raw – earned the chance to main event WrestleMania 30 when he captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event, defeating Randy Orton and Batista.
After a forced retirement due to injuries and an astonishing comeback that saw Daniel Bryan capture the WWE Championship again, fans of AEW will be hoping that there are many more years to come to enjoy Bryan Danielson in a wrestling ring.