The odds were certainly against Daniel Bryan from the beginning of his career on but there was something that clicked and he became the real people’s champion.
A little birdy said that title belongs to The Rock but Daniel Bryan is the true essence of a people’s champion because he was just like the people. He wasn’t a motivational less musclehead robot that can’t connect with the crowd like the one they’re pushing now. Daniel Bryan is (and typed was at first) a human being who connected with the wrestling fan because he was exactly that, a human. Sure a catchphrase and a goat looking face helped but, that’s not why we as wrestling fans rooted for him. The clearest example we have of Daniel Bryan being a human is a documentary called The Wrestling Road Diaries.
Even then the odds were against him to make it in the WWE.
I implore all of you to see this film as it chronicles Bryan’s last days on the independent circuit and the beginning of the process of him getting signed to the WWE. There are many scenes in the movie that are powerful including the decision to go vegan, whether to go or not, and the house chemistry and friendships he had with the boys. To me that film made me want to root for him even more and drew me to him from day 1 when he stepped into the old NXT.
The human element gets lost in the YES chant, the beard and his size but that’s what connected him to the masses. He was one of us and there is a chance that there will never be a wrestler like him ever again.
We can chronicle workrate or charisma or promo ability but none of it matters as Daniel Bryan was a great human being as well as a great pro wrestler and that’s what I will remember about him the most.