These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
This rap song, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" is equally awesome.
Broken Base: On the basic level — There are those who appreciate his wrestling pedigree and his fight against The Authority and are dismayed at his injuries; and there are those who see him as too physically puny to be a legitimate champion who shouldn't have been pushed because of that limitation.
Bryan seems to draw comparisons to Chris Benoit. This mostly comes from both being good technical wrestlers that are known as submission specialists. In addition, the diving headbutt tends to show up in their matches (though Bryan does not connect often with the move, perhaps to avoid or minimize head injuries) as well as suplexes. They also have overcome the stigma of being "short" wrestlers in WWE. To be fair, both men tend to differ after these similarities. Benoit was typically described as an intense wrestler devoted to the sport. Bryan is lauded as a tactician in the ring and comes off as a relatable person or everyman in his persona.
He's also drawn comparisons to Kurt Angle in that they're both supremely technically gifted and are both freaking hilarious. Many times, a wrestler can be either one or the other, but these two can wrestle a flawless match, and then deliver a ridiculously hammy and funny promo.
It's a stretch, but his career so far can be seen as a parallel to Hulk Hogan up to his AWA run. Both became popular outside the company (Hogan in Japan, Bryan in the indies) and after joining the company they quickly captured the audience's interest, but were passed over by the promoter for older stars despite fan demand that they be given a title shot. Both did receive a title shot and were screwed out of the belt. The comparisons admittedly break down there, and Bryan's unlikely to cameo in a Sylvester Stallone movie anytime soon, so we'll see where things go.
Crosses the Line Twice: A big part of why his heel character was so popular. He had little to no redeeming qualities. He was a misogynistic douchebag, a preachy vegan extremist, cheated and connived his way through most of his matches leading to totally bogus finishes. To summarize, he was just a shameless douche in general. And yet... he was not loved by his fans in spite of this all, but partly because of it. It was such a radical departure from the average cocky pretty boy heel, and his over the top promos culminating with that magical three letter word just made it hard to hate him for too long; you can just tell he was having fun. And of course, the fact that he's an amazing wrestler doesn't hurt at all.
As to "The Final Countdown", here's how awesome it was. At ROH's "The Chicago Spectacular" in 2006, as a heel, he was scheduled to defend his world title against Homicide later that month. Homicide had a match against Brent Albright on that particular night, which ended when Albright locked a crowbar submission hold onto Homicide and would not release it even after Homicide grabbed the ropes. Albright was obviously not interested in winning the match so much as he was in injuring Homicide, but why? The reason was revealed very quickly: as Albright was walking to the back, Bryan walked out to meet him and, with a smug grin on his face, gave Albright a big handful of cash. This garnered him tremendous heat from an crowd that was already hostile to him, starting up a loud "FUCK YOU DRAGON!" chant. With that match over, the show moved on, until it was time for the main event: a steel cage match in which Bryan would defend his title against Homicide's friend Samoa Joe. As much as this crowd wanted to see Joe destroy him, as firmly against him as they were, they still sang along with "The Final Countdown" during his entrance.
He's using "Ride of The Valkyries" again...but now it's FUCKING METAL.
It seems like every time WWE tried to make him look like a joke, he gets more popular. Fire him for being too violent? Next PPV is bookended by chants of his name. Make him an undeserving champion? He gets a popular catchphrase. Make him lose in 18 seconds at Wrestlemania? He becomes the most beloved star of the following Raw, more so than hometown hero The Rock and a returning Brock Lesnar.
Really, if WWE was trying to get fans to hate him by turning him into an Arrogant Kung-Fu GuyManipulative Bastard Heel, then it backfired spectacularly as it had only made him even more popular than he already was. Casual fans preferred his Heel persona due to disliking the squeaky clean babyface persona from before, and Smarks preferred his Heel persona due to his in-ring talent and a reminiscence of his Heel run in Ring of Honor. It really all came down to the fact that Danielson simply made a fantastic heel.
During the anger management skits with Daniel Bryan and Kane, their fellow classmate Harold ended up getting quite the fanbase, especially when it was revealed that Harold was in fact indy wrestler Scorpio Sky.
He puts HBK in the Yes Lock, the crowd is Completely on his side.
It seemed to have happened again. After Daniel Bryan was knocked down to the midcard to team with CM Punk to feud with the Wyatt family, audiences have been chanting either his Catchphrase or his name even when he is not in the ring.
In Royal Rumble 2014, when the crowd realized Daniel Bryan wasn't in the rumble, all the excitement of the match fading was audible, which then culminated into outright booing and chanting for Daniel Bryan at any opportunity. Poor Sheamus's attempt at a Brogue chant was replaced with NOs. Batista's eventual victory got booed or replaced with the "NO!" chants. Hell Rey Mysterio of all people was booed for being number 30 and people cheered when he got eliminated. That should tell you something.
Because of his name in the WWE (it's easier to market people when their names have fewer syllables), many people had started calling him Daniel Bryan Danielson, or "DBD," to avoid confusion.
When he was first signed in WWE, speculation on what his WWE ring name would be led to to the creation of "Dirk Dickbutt".
D Bryan Danielson
During the short time in the independent circuit after being fired from WWE in 2010, he teased going to TNA and competing by the name of "Lloyd Boner". After the mere mention of TNA got quite a few boos from the crowd, he simply asked "What? You guys wouldn't want to see a match between Desmond Wolfe and Lloyd Boner?" The crowd responded with "Boner! Boner! Boner!" chants.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Bryan/Brie? Bryan/Nikki? Bryan/Gail? Bryan/AJ? Forget all of those, the OTP is Daniel Bryan/Derrick Bateman.
Was the fans embracing Bryan following his 18-second Mania loss part of the WWE's plan all along?
Judging from the fact that Smackdown tapings have been edited to eliminate his cheers and he had only become even more of a douche since then to counteract cheers, probably not.
After the 18 second loss, Bryan made better connections to the audience and gained more support and demand from them. Sheamus, on the other hand, just seemed to be there in comparison with his importance to the overall story-lines, despite receiving more support from booking and management. Given the above fridge brilliance, Bryan's storyline with Orton and HHH over the WWE title seemed to be creative making an almost meta storyline out of how popular Daniel Bryan is with the audience despite management attempting to push an "ideal" champ instead.
Nearly a half year using the move (and a lot of uses of the move) and Daniel Bryan's running knee still doesn't have a name yet. You would normally chalk it up to They Just Didn't Care... but this almost never happens. Nearly all unique finishers have names - even the ones that belong to Jobbers that you have to dig to find. That means it's probably very purposeful. Here are two possible reasons:
In storyline, WWE hasn't bothered assigning a name to Bryan's running knee as a subtle Take That and in trying to let him know that they don't feel like he belongs there.
Bryan hasn't picked a name for it himself as a way to make a point. The move itself is the definition of Simple But Practical and a microcosm of Bryan's entire bearing. Bryan doesn't care about flash - he chooses moves that get the job done. And a knee forcefully applied to an opponent's skull, will usually get the job done. As of 3/10/14, he's finally given the move a name, "Knee +" which was based on Stephanie grading him as a "B+" though.
Fridge Logic: Shouting "NO! NO! NO!" after a victory doesn't quite sound right somehow.
On the one hand, he only got to hold the WWE Championship for a few minutes before it was ripped away from him by Triple H Pedigreeing him and Orton cashing in. On the other hand, the preceding match vs. John Cena was itself entirely clean without interference or distractions. The last guy to beat Cena that way? The Rock.
What was Bryan's first word when debuting on NXT? Why it's "Yes.". The Miz even tells him to "have a good catchphrase" in the same segment.
In January 2012 he was presented with an award from PETA for being the "Most Animal Friendly Athlete" for his veganism. Within weeks, his on-screen character started throwing his veganism around in a smug manner during promos. In September 2012 he gave up veganism due to troubles finding food on the road. Another noteworthy fact is that he used to go fishing and hunting with his father before converting to a vegan diet.
All those memes saying "The Wyatt Family? Hell yeah, more beards"? Downright hilarious with them feuding now... But may or may not cross into "Funny Aneurysm" Moment now that Bryan has joined the Wyatts. Made hilarious again because of the events of January 13th 2014.
Hollywood Homely: DBD may not have the super defined bodies of a lot of his peers, but put him in any other circumstance and he'd be quite studly.
He sometimes has legimate Hype Backlash. He is constantly referred to by the IWC as being the greatest at everything in Wrestling that can be done. While he is legitimately one of the most talented wrestlers around, the constant praise makes it simply impossible to live up the hype.
Love to Hate: It remained to be seen how an Ensemble Darkhorse like Bryan could get over as a Heel, but man, oh man, had his character turned into a bastard since his time as World Heavyweight Champion.
After Danielson was fired from the 'E for choking Justin Roberts with his tie, he supposedly gained a reputation for heinous tie-related violence◊. Made all the worse by WWE.com advertising ties for Father's Day shortly thereafter. Fans at his later indie appearances threw ties into the ring and asked him to autograph their ties, too.
White Swan of SUBMISSION
From his Ring of Honor days: "You're gonna get your fucking head kicked in!" (Chanted to the tune of what is known in Australia as the "You're going home in the back of a divvy van!" chant)
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! Stemming from his run as World Heavyweight Champion.
This could be headed for Ascended Meme status, as WWE crowds are starting to adopt this as a chant not only in support for Bryan, but for EVERYTHING.
WWE also has officially made a "YES! YES! YES!" shirt.
Mexicans Hate Bryan Danielson: Despite managing to get over nearly everywhere in the world, Danielson had particular trouble getting a reaction in Mexico, even after working with Konnan, who is to Mexico what Hulk Hogan is to Danielson's native land.
Misblamed: It's par for the course when it comes to the WWE. Nevertheless, he received some major criticism during his post-WM 30 championship run. Everything from the storylines to his injuries were apparently all his own doing.
He is a Large Ham with some truly epic Narm Charm moments, such as declaring himself a "ONE MAN RIOT SQUAD!" in the build up to Final Battle 2006 (seen here at 1:59).
His dancing with the Raw divas.
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! Even as a heel, Danielson is Narm Charm incarnate.
Never Live It Down: Danielson was always a good wrestler, but from 2002-2005 his promo and speaking ability were...well, "lacking" is generous. He improved quite a lot as ROH Champion and afterward, but he seems incapable of escaping the label of "talented in the ring, but no personality," no matter how much he has hammed it up since then. NXT tried its best to alter that perception. His feud with The Miz was helping too, especially since the Miz is awesome at promos. These days, however, no one questions his ability to cut a good promo or get a good reaction entirely on his charisma. Becoming an extremely Large Ham following his World Heavyweight Championship victory might have had something to do with it.
Older Than They Think: The crowd alternating chants goes back at least to ECW's "The Shah" Hack Myers, since fans would chant "Shah" when he hit a move and "Shit" when his opponent retaliated.
One of Us: Oh yeah, this is just a small sample of how nerdy Daniel Bryan truly is.
One-Scene Wonder: Danielson's WWE Pay Per View experiences had been like this when he had just redebuted; he wrestled in the first or second match on the card, but those matches usually winded up match of the night. Examples include Miz/Morrison/DBD at Hell in a Cell, Di Biase at Survivor Series, or DBD/Ziggler at Bragging Rights.
Given his former status in the mid-card, pretty much every wrestler he's fought since Night of Champions (Miz, Ziggler, etc) has had their "best match ever" in many people's eyes with Danielson.
Bryan beating up Michael Cole was awesome not just because of the angle, but because there is significant overlap among WWE fans who hate Michael Cole and WWE fans who like Bryan Danielson. For that exact same reason, Cole goes over the top in heeling it up whenever he's announcing a Danielson match.
The same is true, to a somewhat lesser extent, with his feud with The Miz. Smarks actually tend to like Miz (as a rule, they're fans of charismatic heels)... but they didn't like the much less experienced Miz being made the NXT mentor for the man whom many consider the best wrestler in North America.
And of course, the build-up to his Summerslam 2013 match against John Cena ran on this, complete with him declaring about his new shirt to Cena: "This shirt is a parody of you, because I think that you are a parody of wrestling."
Schedule Slip: Justified. His Youtube channel and website have not been updated very much, but Bryan is too busy being in the main event.
Tear Jerker: His ROH farewell speech. Especially when he tells the sound guys to cue up his "favorite song" one more time.
The death of his father barely hours before the 4/21/14 broadcast of RAW. This prompted an abrupt rewrite of a segment so that Bryan could take the night off to mourn his father.
The beginning of Bryan's WHC run. Yes, he is now a heel that has a high opinion of himself. Yes, that was a dick move using AJ to take a hard bump from The Big Show in a title match. However, it was a little hard to not root for him. Putting aside his admirable past work for a moment, his feud going into the 2012 Royal Rumble alone was "David v. 2 Goliaths" of Mark Henry and The Big Show (who were also booked to No Sell most of Bryan's offense). In addition, he defended the title three times before the Rumble, coming out with somewhat clever methods to walk out with the title against the odds (though again, using A.J. to help in one of those matches was questionable at best).
There's also the fact that Michael Cole, an unambiguous heel commentator (and ridiculously annoying one at that) still hated his guts.
For that matter, even the other commentators other than Josh seemed to flop back and forth as to whether they support him or are against him. Josh for his part remained the face and while he doesn't outright question Bryan, he will often call the others out for their conflicting statements.
His Wrestlemania match against Sheamus. Despite everything which had happened up to then, entering into Wrestlemania as champion as he had wanted, only to lose the title in 18 seconds after Sheamus takes advantage of distraction from his pre-match good luck kiss left a bad taste in the entire show.
This was taken to an entirely different level on the 4/2/12 RAW, where the Miami crowd, filled with leftover fans from the previous night's Wrestlemania, took over the show and spent the entire night chanting variations of "YES!" and "DANIEL BRYAN!"