Bryan Danielson’s run in AEW so far has been perfect. His matches are reminding people that The American Dragon is different from the ultimate WWE underdog. There are several factors that will convince you on why The American Dragon is better than The Underdog.
Before his run in WWE, Bryan Danielson was all over the world wrestling and was considered by many as the best wrestler in the world. The American Dragon was all about kicking your head off and destroying you with submissions and technical wrestling. The WWE Underdog had some of those aspects, but toned down.
Bryan Danielson adapted his killer style to fit better into WWE’s in-house style, only very few wrestlers can do that and remain one of the 10 best wrestlers in the world. The story of “Daniel Bryan” road to the main event of WrestleMania and becoming WWE Champion was great story. But let’s not forget those were not WWE’s plans. Fans made it happen and WWE had to budge into adding him into the main event.
The problem with the Ultimate Underdog is that WWE never really went all in with him, even after they put the WWE Championship on him. “Daniel Bryan” doesn’t have the look Vince McMahon wants in pro-wrestlers or should I say, sports entertainers.
Bryan Danielson doesn’t care about size, he all cares about pro wrestling and beating you with it. He is a completely different wrestler than the one we saw in WWE for many years. In ROH, his matches with McGuinness or Morishima are the perfect example of what the American Dragon was before joining New York.
Danielson’s matches in AEW are so different to the ones he had in WWE. We are seeing the American Dragon wrestle like he never left, he has more freedom. Danielson is allowed to be himself in the ring, something he wasn’t allowed to be 100% in WWE. The American Dragon is more stiff and aggressive and uses submissions he couldn’t use in WWE like the cattle mutilation.
He recently mentioned his favorite match is against Omega in the Arthur Ashe Stadium. He could’ve picked so many of his matches in ROH or even matches against Kofi. Even his coronation at WrestleMania. But it’s simple, the match against Kofi was more about the elevation of Kofi to the a main eventer, than it was about himself. The coronation was a great moment, but the build was all about WWE higher-ups calling him a B+ player.
The Omega match however, was about two all-time greats facing each other for the first time. If you exclude their PWG comedy match, Omega and Bryan were stars on the same level in that match and Bryan didn’t need to elevate someone or prove the higher-ups wrong. It was about who is the best in the world. That’s why he loves the match more than previous ones.
Daniel Bryan’s run in WWE was good and for a long time, it overshadowed the legacy of The American Dragon pre-WWE. But with his return in AEW, people are remembering how good The American Dragon really was.