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YMMV / Bryan Danielson

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  • Accidental Innuendo: Bryan once had a theme song called "Big Epic Thing." No wonder all the ladies loved him...
  • Author's Saving Throw: The 2014 Royal Rumble, and subsequently the rest of the "Road to WrestleMania". When Rey Mysterio came out at #30 and the fans realized Bryan wasn't in the Rumble, the crowd went postal and turned on the match completely. Rey, norminally being an incredibly popular face for his entire career in WWE, had every bit of his offense booed and his elimination cheered. To say nothing of what they did to the eventual winner, Batista (who had just returned from a four year hiatus as a face); for the first time ever, the Rumble ended with hisses and jeers from the audience. CM Punk legit quitting the company the day afterwards and the PR disaster from the ending of the PPV forced the company to change their plans. Bryan ended up being booked in Punk's place to face down Triple H and The Authority and, after Batista continued to be booed out of the building and forced to turn heel because of it, was inserted into the title match and won the title, just to ensure that the main event of the biggest show of the year didn't implode in on itself.
  • Awesome Music:
    • He went from Europe's "The Final Countdown" to a really generic hard rock riff... to Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries"!
    • And shortly after winning Money in the Bank, he had switched to Freefall by Two Steps from Hell.
    • This rap song, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" is equally awesome.
    • 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.
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    • He's using "Ride of The Valkyries" again...but now it's FUCKING METAL YES! YES! YES!.
  • 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.
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  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: His tendency to be screwed and/or injured out of title shots and/or reigns can make one see it hard, if not futile, to stay invested.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: To the point where Danielson could get loudly cheered and applauded for kicking the dog.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • 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 Guy Manipulative 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.
    • The Yes Movement pretty much sealed this trope in a can. Bryan went from being the runt of the WWE roster to getting a shot at the WWE World Heavyweoght Title, and winning.
    • He showed up in Royal Rumble 2015...and was eliminated in an anti-climax before the show was even halfway done. You could feel all the heat drain from Wells Fargo Center the moment he went over that top rope. His departure started an outburst of anger and disappointment that became uglier and uglier with the abrupt elimination of other darkhorses like Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, and eventually culminated in the crowd booing The Rock when he came to congratulate Roman Reigns on his victory. Of all people to boo during that event, the fans went ahead and booed. The. Rock.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • 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, D-Bry, or 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. Amusingly, in a 2012 interview, Bryan revealed that among a list of possible names he was given when starting in WWE, one of the names actually was "Lloyd Bonaire."
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Bryan/Brie? Bryan/Nikki? Bryan/Gail? Bryan/AJ? Forget all of those, the OTP is Daniel Bryan/Derrick Bateman.
  • Foe Yay: With Kane.
  • Fridge Logic: During his match with AJ Styles at IWA Mid-South An IWA Homecoming, September 16, 2004, he hit a suplex and told the crowd, "Clap for me my baboons." He didn't get a reaction, since he hadn't considered that Compliment Fishing and Take That, Audience! don't go well together.
  • Growing the Beard: Since his "18 Seconds" at WrestleMania 28, Bryan's gone on to have one of the longest tag team title reigns in recent memory, defeated The Shield, gave Ryback a run for his money, got the best of Randy Orton of all wrestlers in a street fight, and now he's main eventing SummerSlam facing John Cena for the WWE Championship and Bryan's beard has never looked fuller...Fridge Brilliance is a funnily awesome thing, isn't it?
    • 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Shortly after being injured in 2015, Bryan had an interview where he revealed that he had pitched a match against Shinsuke Nakamura as part of a WWE/NJPW cross-promotion, which never came to boot. In 2016, Bryan announced his retirement mere weeks before Nakamura formally signed his WWE contract.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • 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. Threatened to cross into "Funny Aneurysm" Moment with Bryan joining the Wyatts at the end of 2013, but was quickly made simply hilarious again after January 13, 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.
  • Ho Yay:
    • He and his manly... so manly...oh, so manly NXT rookie, Derrick Bateman. So, so much.
    • Also kind of with Kane, given their When Harry Met Sally... diner skit, when it sounded like they were having a simultaneous orgasm remembering beating up the other tag teams with chairs.
    • Had a bit of Foe Yay with Miz and A-Ry.
  • Love to Hate: It remained to be seen how an Ensemble Dark Horse like Bryan could get over as a heel, but man, oh man, had his character turned into a bastard during his time as World Heavyweight Champion.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The Final Countdown. It started as an ROH thing but has mutated into something far more. As late as 2014, Shane McLane making his U Know Pro debut with the Final Countdown as his entrance theme instantly got him boos and chants of "You're not Danielson!" (for reference, not only had Danielson not used Final Countdown in four years, McLane had been wrestling thirteen years before Danielson debuted anywhere, that's how strong the association had become)
    • 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 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)
    • Indirectly responsible for "Is Samoa Joe gonna have to choke a bitch?"
    • YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! Stemming from his run as World Heavyweight Champion.
    • "I AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!" was swiftly adopted by the WWE fans after Bryan and Kane took to yelling this at one another following their tag team championship win.
    • THE Ryback.
  • 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-WM30 championship run. Everything from the storylines to his injuries were apparently all his own doing.
  • Narm Charm:
    • 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.
    • More recently, Daniel Bryan has become strongly tied to his "YES!" catchphrase. Time will tell if he can shake that association off.
  • 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 movenote  and "Shit" when his opponent retaliated.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Danielson's WWE Pay Per View experiences had been like this when he had just re-debuted; 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, DBD/DiBiase 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.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • 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."
  • Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: After his injury in 2015 but before his retirement, many fans took cues from reports indicating that doctors outside of WWE were giving him a clean bill of health but the WWE medics weren't as a sign of a conspiracy to keep Bryan out of the ring. The retirement speech in Seattle on Raw and interviews immediately in the aftermath in February 2016 changed the minds of many of these fans, especially when he talked about the lesion in his brain, seemingly justifying WWE's reluctance. However, a few months since then he's made some claims in interviews that have called the medical necessity of his retirement right back into questionnote  and even remarked on the 8/23/16 edition of Talking Smack when questioned by The Miz that "if they would let me come back, I would come back," almost stating out of hand that he was forced out. Given the fact that WWE is extremely concerned with playing it safe in every way that doesn't involve reducing the talent's touring schedule and thus would not be in any hurry to have someone get back in the ring after multiple concussions, other injuries, and missing most of the last couple years, as well as the fact that Roman Reigns still struggles to be fully embraced by the wider fanbase after being clearly pushed to become "The Guy" over an increasing litany of seasoned talents including Bryan at the height of his popularity, they would have plenty of reason both altrustic and otherwise to hold Bryan back even if it was unnecessary.
  • Shocking Elimination: On NXT, especially after ending up in 1st place in the previous poll. He was removed from the competition due to him not being all in, as WWE management called it, along with Michael Tarver.
  • Signature Scene: Oh where do we start?
    • Choking Justin Robert with his tie that lead to his release before returning to Summerslam months later.
    • Him betraying the Wyatt Family on January 2014 on top of a Steel Cage.
    • His 18 second Wrestlemania 29 match against Sheamust that gave birth to the "YES!" chants.
    • His Wrestlemania XXX victory ending him with both Championship belts in his arms.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Daniel Bryan isn't the WWE's most cherished worker, but he had enough Popularity Power to force major rewrites after the PR disaster that was the 2014 Royal Rumble. Even now, the WWE and their fanbase don't seem to see eye-to-eye on just how much D-Bry is worth, though his neck injury now provides some justification for the WWE's reluctance to rely on him.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • 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!"


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