Daniel Bryan is coming back to the WWE. Of course, Bryan will never wrestle again due to his numerous concussion issues, but Fox Sports reported that Daniel has signed to be a color commentator at the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. SmackDown commentator Mauro Ranallo will be the main announcer for what promises to be a great event with some of the best cruiserweight wrestlers from around the world, including many who are not under a WWE talent contract.
On top of his work as a commentator for the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, Bryan showed up at the WWE Performance Center and met with a number of the cruiserweight wrestlers who will be competing in this tournament. The WWE even released a video of Bryan meeting up with TJ Perkins, Zack Sabre Jr., Shinsuke Nakamura, and Finn Balor.
There was also a moment at the end of that video that included Daniel Bryan, Triple H, and Brian Kendrick talking about the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. It was almost surreal to see since fans who watch WWE television are used to hearing stories of Triple H holding Daniel Bryan down because of his smaller size, and here was Triple H talking about finding all these amazing cruiserweights from all over the world who are amazing and how exciting it is to show them off.
That scene from the video is also interesting because Wrestling Inc. reported that Daniel Bryan has listed his pick to win the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. Bryan didn’t choose top up and comers like Zack Sabre Jr., who Bryan wrestled in the past. Instead, he said he would like to see Brian Kendrick win the WWE Cruiserweight Classic.
“The guy who I want to win the whole thing, because he’s my friend and I had my very first match against him, is Brian Kendrick. We came up together. I’ve wrestled him or been in tag matches with him in hundreds of matches. It’s really cool seeing these guys getting this kind of chance.”
Those matches between Daniel Bryan and Brian Kendrick stretch back to the start of their career, and they were both stars when Ring of Honor Wrestling first started their promotion back in 2002. Both Daniel Bryan (then wrestling as Bryan Danielson) and Brian Kendrick (then wrestling as Spanky) were on the first ever ROH card, The Era of Honor Begins. Kendrick won an ROH contract and Bryan was in the main event, a triple threat match with Christopher Daniels and Low Ki.
As a matter of fact, the very first Ring of Honor tournament to crown an ROH Champion saw Low Ki beat Kendrick, Doug Williams, and Christopher Daniels for the title. However, the year before Ring of Honor started operations, Daniel Bryan wrestled Brian Kendrick in the 2001 King of the Indies Tournament. Bryan went on to become one of Ring of Honor’s most successful wrestlers.
Both Daniel Bryan and Brian Kendrick were a success in the WWE as well. Daniel Bryan, of course, became one of the biggest stars in the WWE, a very popular competitor who went on to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Batista at WrestleMania in 2015. Kendrick was also successful in the WWE as he teamed with his close friend and fellow Ring of Honor alumni Paul London to hold the tag team titles longer than anyone in WWE history.
Of course, Brian Kendrick is a long shot in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, despite Daniel Bryan’s enthusiasm. Other big-time indie talent competing in the tournament includes names like Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Zack Sabre Jr., TJ Perkins, Drew Gulak, Tyson Dux, Tony Nese, Rich Swan, and more. The WWE Cruiserweight Classic starts airing on the WWE Network on July 13 and the finale will take place on September 14.
[Image via WWE]