It’s very possible that there is no one who is more beloved in today’s WWE than Daniel Bryan. He’s the ultimate underdog, and, outside of the ring, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
Daniel Bryan’s “YES!” movement started back in 2012 at WrestleMania 28, where he lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Sheamus in just 18 seconds, which was supposed to start Sheamus’ title reign off with a bang, but it backfired instead, and the next night, Daniel Bryan was the most popular wrestler in the company. Two years later, Bryan single-handedly saved WrestleMania 30 when he wrestled twice in the same night and ended the night as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. But, it wasn’t always supposed to be that way.
It’s pretty well-known by now that Bryan was originally supposed to face Sheamus at WrestleMania 30, which would have been the third time the two had crossed paths at WrestleMania, and in the sneak preview for Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes!, Bryan talks about meeting with Vince McMahon to talk about his opponent for WrestleMania 30, and how disappointed he was when McMahon told him that he would be wrestling Sheamus, due to the fact that he wanted to wrestle either Triple H or Shawn Michaels.
There were rumors of Shawn Michaels possibly coming out of retirement to face Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 30, but, when Michaels was a guest on Talk is Jericho, he said that he never was approached, nor did have any plans of coming out of retirement at the time. Michaels — who trained Bryan — also felt that the teacher vs. student angle would have been lame because it’s been done so many times, which is another reason why he didn’t feel the need to come out of retirement to face Bryan.
Triple H — who Bryan ended up facing — was originally supposed to wrestle CM Punk before Punk quit the company. In fact, Bryan has said that he wouldn’t have ended up winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30 if it hadn’t been for CM Punk quitting the company.
Sadly, Bryan was forced to forfeit the WWE World Heavyweight Championship shortly after winning it due to a neck injury. But, it’s not like WWE had plans for Bryan to be a John Cena-like champion because they didn’t believe in him. Their plans were to have his title reign be like Rey Mysterio’s was in 2006, where Mysterio constantly lost on television and was made to look inferior to the other “real top guys.” Bryan was also going to be the one who was crushed by Brock Lesnar at last year’s SummerSlam, but, due to him being injured, John Cena ended up facing Lesnar instead.
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