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Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Daniel Bryan – Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! – Disc 3

July 21, 2015 | Posted by TJ Hawke
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Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Daniel Bryan – Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! – Disc 3  

July 22, 2013

Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, & The Ryback (w/ Zeb Colter)

This was (thankfully) a gauntlet match. Swagger proved to not be too much trouble fir Bryan, as he somewhat quickly dispatched of him with the Yes! Lock. Cesaro and Bryan then did about 18 minutes of television time for the second fall. Cesaro dominated most of it, but Bryan ended up reversing Swiss Death into a small package to eliminate Cesaro (that is actually a great callback to their Northern Navigation match). This was a bit long given the situation of Bryan basically needing to work 45-50 minutes in this gauntlet. They were clearly holding back and the action dragged. Ryback and Bryan then went on and did much more than I expected/remembered. These two always had strong chemistry, and this portion of the gauntlet was solid. Ryback could not put away Bryan and resorted to putting him through a table. John Cena made the save after the match. This was a fine gauntlet, and it proved that the WWE had a pretty solid amount of faith in Bryan to give him close to an hour of in-ring television time. (***)


August 18, 2013

John Cena(c) vs. Daniel Bryan [WWE Championship]

Triple H was the special guest referee. The chemistry these two have was just incredible. Despite rarely working matches together, they looked like they worked together as often as Cena with Orton or Bryan with Nigel. They actually were telling a pretty cool story too about Cena’s power and Bryan’s craftiness. Bryan was not having a tremendous amount of success early on, and he actually began to briefly target Cena’s padded arm to make it competitive. Then it basically just became a question on who was going to connect on a finisher first or apply their finishing submission in the middle of the ring. Bryan ended up winning with the Baisuke Knee, which he debuted on the show. A great match. (****1/4)

After the match, Triple H pedigreed Bryan so that Randy Orton could cash in on Bryan. Derpa derp.


March 17, 2014

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton [No DQ]

This was actually one of the few Bryan/Orton matches that I had never seen before. While this was not on the level of their Raw No DQ match in 2013, it was a solid-enough brawl. The finish left something to be desired as Batista ran in and speared Orton. Bryan kicked Batista out of the ring and then pinned Orton for the victory. There was no need for this match to be included. (***)


April 6, 2014

Randy Orton(c) vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan [WWE World Heavyweight Championship]

This was a great main event for Wrestlemania. WWE booked a lot of awful finishes in the preceding eight months to get to this point, but at least the payoff was spectacular. The backstage politics of how this match came to be are irrelevant in the bubble of WWE’s storylines. On the screen, Daniel Bryan got thrown every roadblock possible between Summerslam and Wrestlemania, and he overcame them all on the biggest professional wrestling event of the year to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event.

The fact that they overcame the dead crowd after Undertaker lost is truly impressive. All five performers (six, if you include Scott Armstrong) did a great job to get this match over and ensure that the finish was, in fact, a genuine “Wrestlemania moment” that I will treasure forever. Bryan surviving everything and making Big Dave tap out was just such a satisfying moment for long-time fans of his.

However, much like Cena fighting for “his legacy,” I have a bone to pick with the presentation of this story line. Cole kept talking about this being a miracle and that this was the night Daniel Bryan “arrived.” However, Bryan’s story over the last eight months is one of revenge. If he had a moment where he “arrived,” it was defeating John Cena clean as a sheet at Summerslam 2013 in the main event for the WWE Championship. The Authority stole that moment from him, and he was taking it back. Bryan was not an underdog for any reason other than outside factors. (***3/4)


Bryan talked about the mental struggles of facing a potentially career-ending injury. We then saw the television segment where he announced he was not retiring due to injury. In a really odd moment, Bryan talked about how much he wanted to work a Brock Lesnar match. Then they transitioned into his match against Roman Reigns where lost his chance to have a Brock match. This was all very depressing to watch given the current state of his career (July 2015).


February 22, 2015

Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns

After Roman Reigns got unceremoniously booed for winning the 2015 Royal Rumble, he put up his Wrestlemania title shot on the line against Daniel Bryan. They told interesting story of Bryan basically making Roman “earn” his spot by surviving a lengthy match with one of the best wrestlers of all time. That is not a bad story to tell in theory, but it rang false considering that the match was happening because the fanbase was largely annoyed that Roman was booked to face Brock instead of Bryan. Roman speared Bryan to win the match. Bryan shook his hand afterwards. A definitively good match. Pretty clearly short of great though. (***1/2)


Watch some Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson matches for free!

Bryan Danielson vs. Prince Devitt [Their only match.]

Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe

Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal

Bryan Danielson vs. Super Dragon

Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuiness

Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho

Bryan Danielson vs. AJ Styles

Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler

Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black

Bryan Danielson vs. Jushin Liger

Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries

Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Bryan Danielson vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw

Bryan Danielson vs. Drake Younger

Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger

Bryan Danielson vs. Tommy End

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The theme of Daniel Bryan's WWE career has been that he has succeeded despite not always being put in the best of circumstances. That is essentially the story of the DVD. The documentary is something that would (and did) make for a fine watch during the Wrestlemania 30 season, but it's not a centerpiece for a DVD set. Bryan is very charming though, and it's far from a chore to watch. Despite some downright time-wasters in the match selection, there were enough great matches to make you enjoy the experience. That kind of leaves this set in the awkward position of being good enough to watch and recommend, but it is hardly something you need. You easily could have filled up three discs that mixed Bryan's classic matches and hidden gems that he had on WWE's various television shows. This just felt like a half-assed attempt to "tell his story" through a poor documentary and his notable matches (whether they were special or not).  Despite the number of great matches here, I recommend you just watch those great matches on the Network and then buy his book to learn about his story. You can also wait a few years when it is five dollars on Amazon and pick it up then.