With the announced return of Daniel Bryan to WWE matches, rumors of who he might face have been suggested. Most fans are already coming up with their own future dream matches for the former champion, although he’s yet to have his first official match back. The WWE has also stirred things up a bit by suggesting five matches that fans want to see, and very possibly could see, down the road as Daniel Bryan competes again. A lot of it could depend on the work schedule that WWE allows for Bryan, as well as how other storylines play out.
With Bryan’s return, the WWE website presented the five dream match opponents that fans might want to see him go up against. In good news for many fans out there, John Cena, Roman Reigns, and The Undertaker didn’t make the dream list. Fans have seen Bryan go at it with Cena several times in the past, even winning a championship from him. He’s battled Reigns a bit too, and been in the ring with Undertaker. Taker may be approaching his final match this year at WrestleMania, while Cena is passing the torch to Reigns. That said, those are three opponents that probably don’t excite too many fans right now for a Daniel Bryan match.
So which superstars does WWE list as possible opponents? Those superstars included current WWE Champion AJ Styles and his upcoming opponent at WrestleMania 34, Shinsuke Nakamura. Both of these would provide fantastic opponents for the returning Daniel Bryan, and based on the fact Nakamura could win the title at Mania, it sets up some interesting possibilities on SmackDown Live. Bryan is considered part of that roster at the moment, and could very well make his way back into the title picture in the future. That could provide those dream matches with the former and current WWE Champion.
Also listed by WWE is the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Bryan has yet to go face-to-face with “The Beast” in WWE and based on rumors suggesting Lesnar could drop his title to Reigns at Mania, it leaves that option open. However, AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and The Undertaker have all had their struggles against Brock. Would Daniel Bryan be booked to conquer “The Beast” before he walks away from WWE? Would Lesnar even be available for much of a program with Bryan?
Another option given is “The Demon” Finn Balor, who would provide an exciting matchup for Bryan, much like he did for AJ Styles when it was announced months ago. While Balor is part of Raw, it’s always possible for the brand split to cease to exist, or for the two to square off at Survivor Series, or even in a Royal Rumble. Still, fans would love to see this go down as a one-on-one battle somehow.
Ironically, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle rounds out the list of five matches that Bryan could have. Angle also was part of that TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2017 lineup which featured Balor vs. Styles. Kurt made his big return at the pay-per-view to wrestle again, due to Roman Reigns being unavailable. Angle is also scheduled for a big WrestleMania match where he’ll team with newcomer Ronda Rousey to battle Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.
WWE’s Five Dream Matches For Daniel Bryan
- AJ Styles
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Finn Balor
- Kurt Angle
- Brock Lesnar
With that said, a Kurt Angle vs. Daniel Bryan match could also be fantastic, as it would pit two wrestling legends against one another. Angle has the Olympic and collegiate wrestling background while Bryan is known for his climb through the independent scene to achieve his dreams. A clash between these two certainly falls into dream matches even if Kurt is considerably older. It’s hard to know how rusty Bryan is just yet, but based on his performance in the closing segment of SmackDown this past week, he’s ready.
Missing from the dream list possibly due to the fact they make the most sense are The Miz and Shane McMahon. In fairness, Bryan has competed against The Miz before, but this would be different, as Miz has taunted him and berated him over the past several years. Miz toyed with Bryan’s struggle of not being able to “punch” Miz in the face, but now that’s back on the table.
As far as Shane McMahon, WWE looked to be heading that way until the recent storyline shift. Now it appears that Daniel Bryan and Shane each have reason to team up against a common set of foes. The likely first match everyone will see is Bryan and Shane against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at WrestleMania 34. After that, the real fun begins as fans anticipate the next steps in Bryan’s return to wrestling.