My biggest worry with him was his mic work. While he could be funny with his sense of humor, and he didn’t have a horrible voice, he wasn’t the best mic worker on the Indy scene. In fact, the day he got hired, it was also reported that Nigel McGuiness was hired too.
Hilariously, people were happier for McGuiness coming in than Bryan. Go ahead, go back and check the forums and mills. You’d be surprised now. I of course wanted to see both people, like everyone. But I too was really excited to see Nigel and Bryan didn’t seem like the number one guy to keep an eye on.
His size was something many worried over. Mainly because Vinny Mac doesn't push the small guy much. The land of giants was quickly downsizing…literally. As a result of this, Bryan coming in was a good shot in the arm. It was going to bring great matches and terrific possibilities were on the horizon. He went to FCW to train up. He then went to NXT within just a number of months after that.
People thought he was going to be used quite a lot and used well. His first match was against Chris Jericho and there were several great spots in the match. It was good and many were in favor of seeing more Bryan on TV. Then the bottom fell.
WWE made The Miz Daniel’s NXT mentor, and the running joke backstage was that Miz should be mentored by Bryan. However incredibly Miz looked great on NXT and came off as a star. His work with Bryan helped to elevate not only him, but Bryan. It made NXT must see.
The problem was that we didn’t see the Bryan we all loved. Finally however, the competition ended. Barrett won the whole thing but then decided to start a revolution with rogue rookies. They called themselves
The Nexus. It was a great group made up of all NXT rookies. Bryan was one of them.
This once again hurt Bryan. Despite how great he looked, he choked Justin Roberts by his tie. This led to Bryan being fired by WWE. This was all during the Linda McMahon campaign move…the first one. Bryan went to the Indys for a while. He did this for a few months. WWE always kept in contact with Bryan and he knew he would be rehired by the company as he only did what he was told. Maybe not to every extent, but it was surely better than what they had for him if what he did was not it.
Hilariously, that is what is most remembered from the first Nexus attack. And Bryan was only in Nexus for one night.
The issue was that WWE didn’t like how it came off and let Bryan go while the issue cooled down. He was rehired and helped Team WWE against Nexus at Summerslam of the same year. He had an incredible showing. This began the rise of Daniel Bryan.
After Summerslam, Miz was being pushed a lot. He had to drop the US Title and cash in his MITB case. Both of which he had to do soon. He dropped the US Title to Bryan in a great rivalry, then cashed in his briefcase a little while later to win his first and only WWE Championship.
Miz would hold the title until Extreme Rules.
Bryan however had ups and downs after this. He was having good matches, but story wise, he was going nowhere.
In 2011 the world was shocked to see what went down. 2010 was not the best of years for Daniel Bryan, but far better than what he expected it would be in 2009 I assume.
WWE was having a lot of success with Money in the Bank. The cash ins were huge and stars were being made each time. All dating back to the first MITB winner, Edge. WWE had to do one last MITB Ladder match at Wrestlemania. So they did, having Jack Swagger win it and cash it in within the same week.
The Money in the Bank PPV came about and the wrestling world could only talk about one person, CM Punk. This was the period when he did his infamous pipebomb promo.
He was going to leave WWE and everyone wanted to know if he’d win or lose in his hometown of Chicago....