Bryan Lloyd Danielson is a 40-year-old wrestler from Aberdeen, Washington, who wrestles for the WWE. He performs on SmackDown under the ring name, Daniel Bryan.
Since he was a child, Danielson dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler and in high school, he decided to pursue his dream and set his sights on training at Dean Malenko’s wrestling school in Florida. Unfortunately by the time he went to sign up, the school had closed. Instead, he began training at Texas Wrestling Academy in 1999 under the tutelage of Rudy Gonzalez and Shawn Michaels.
Danielson made his wrestling debut in December 1999 and then began touring in Japan with Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling. Danielson won the TWA Tag Team Championship with Spanky (Brian Kendrick) in March 2000 but they lost the titles a couple weeks later.
Danielson’s WWF Developmental Contract
While touring the US independent circuit in 2000, Danielson signed a developmental contract with WWF and was assigned to their developmental territory, Memphis Championship Wrestling. During his time with MCW, he won the MCW Light Heavyweight Championship and the MCW Tag Team Championship with Spanky. But after 18 months with the company, he was released from his WWF contract in July 2001.
Bryan began wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling until 2004 and then joined Ring of Honor. In 2009, Bryan returned to WWE as a member of the Nexus faction but his second return to WWE was short-lived. In 2010, Daniel Bryan was fired for being too violent after he strangled ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own necktie.
Bryan returned to the independent circuit briefly but was was re-signed again with the WWE. He made his third return to the WWE at the 2010 SummerSlam when he was named the seventh member of TEAM WWE against the Nexus faction.
Daniel Bryan’s Yes Movement
In 2013, Daniel Bryan became famous for his “Yes Movement” which he started at Summerslam 2013 after defeating John Cena for the WWE Championship. Immediately following that match, Randy Orton cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the title. Daniel Bryan regained the title at Night of Champions but was stripped of it after Triple H declared the count as being too fast. This battle for the belt continued until WrestleMania 30 when Daniel Bryan beat Randy Orton and Batista in the main event of WrestleMania 30 to win the WWE Championship.
In February 2016, Daniel Bryan retired from wrestling due to serious medical concerns. It was revealed that Bryan had suffered numerous concussions and tests revealed he had lesions on his brain. In 2016, Daniel Bryan returned to WWE as the general manager of SmackDown Live and in 2018, he was was medically cleared to compete again.
Daniel Bryan’s Return to In-Ring Action
At WrestleMania 34, Daniel Bryan made his return to in-ring action in a tag team match with Shane McMahon versus Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Bryan and McMahon won the match. At the Greatest Royal Rumble event, Bryan entered as contestant number one and lasted 76 minutes before being eliminated by The Big Show.
On the November 13 episode of SmackDown, Bryan defeated A.J. Styles to win the WWE Championship for the fourth time. Bryan defended his title successfully for 145 days before losing the title to Kofi Kingston at WrestleMania 35. In May 2019, Bryan teamed with Rowan and won the vacant SmackDown Tag Team Championship. They lost the titles in July at Extreme Rules to The New Day.
2020 – Present
After the 2020 Royal Rumble, Bryan began a rivalry with Drew Gulak that ended after Bryan defeated Gulak at Elimination Chamber. On the March 13th episode of SmackDown, Bryan formed an alliance with Gulak, who then managed Bryan during his match against Cesaro. Both Gulak and Bryan were attacked by Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn. On the March 27th episode of SmackDown, after Gulak defeated Nakamura, Bryan earned an Intercontinental Championship match against Zayn at WrestleMania 36 but was defeated.
Bryan then defeated Cesaro to qualify for the 2020 Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. At the Money in the Bank event, Bryan was unsuccessful as the match was won by Otis. On the May 15th episode of SmackDown, Bryan defeated Drew Gulak in the quarter finals of a tournament for the vacant Intercontinental Championship. He defeated Sheamus in the semi-finals who replaced Bryan’s scheduled opponent Jeff Hardy, who was arrested for crashing his car into Elias and who had won a battle royal to face Bryan. Bryan ultimately lost to A.J. Styles in the finals on the June 12th episode of SmackDown.
Bryan Returns to SmackDown
After a brief hiatus, Daniel Bryan returned to SmackDown on October 16th. In December, Bryan teamed with Big E, Chad Gable and Otis to defeat Sami Zayn, King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro in an eight-man tag team match.
Bryan participated in the 2021 Royal Rumble match on January 31, but was eliminated by Seth Rollins. The next month, he competed in an Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event where the winner would receive a match for the Universal Championship immediately. Bryan won the match, but was quickly defeated by Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
At Fastlane in March, Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns had a rematch for the title. Edge, who was the special guest enforcer, attacked both men with a steel chair which caused Bryan to lose to Reigns. Afterwards, it was announced that Bryan would again challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 37, in a triple threat match that will also include Edge.
Birth name: Bryan Lloyd Danielson
Born: May 22, 1981, Aberdeen, Washington, USA
Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Spouse: Brie Bella
Ring Name(s): American Dragon, Bryan Danielson, Daniel Bryan, Dynamic Dragon
Current Roster: WWE SmackDown
Finishing Move(s): LeBell Lock, Yes Lock, Running Knee
Daniel Bryan’s Social Media:
Career Championships and Accomplishments
- All Pro Wrestling
- APW Worldwide Internet Championship (1 time)
- King of the Indies (2001)
- All Star Wrestling
- ASW World Mid-Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- ASW World Mid-Heavyweight Title Tournament (2003)
- Connecticut Wrestling Entertainment
- CTWE Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- East Coast Wrestling Association
- ECWA Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Match of the Year (2010)
- Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling
- NWA Canadian Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Full Impact Pro
- FIP Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- International Catch Wrestling Alliance
- Expo 2008 Tournament
- International Wrestling Association
- IWA Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Memphis Championship Wrestling
- MCW Southern Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- MCW Southern Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- NWA Mid-South
- NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Best of the American Super Juniors (2004)
- Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
- PWG World Championship (2 times)
- Pro Wrestling Noah
- GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Ring of Honor
- ROH Pure Championship (1 time)
- ROH World Championship (1 time)
- Survival of the Fittest (2004)
- Texas Wrestling Alliance
- TWA Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Texas Wrestling Entertainment
- TWE Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Westside Xtreme Wrestling
- wXw World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Ambition 1 (2010)
- World Series Wrestling
- WSW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
- World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- WWE Championship (4 times)
- Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
- WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- United States Championship (WWE) (1 time)
- Money in the Bank (1 time)
- Match of the Year (2019)
- Twenty-sixth Triple Crown Champion
- Sixth Grand Slam Champion
- Slammy Award (12 times)