Best Wrestlers of 2013: Daniel Bryan

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What can I write about Daniel Bryan that has not already been written?

Simply put, 2013 was his breakout year in professional wrestling. When Bryan debuted on WWE television in 2010 I never would have imagined he would wind up as one of the biggest stars in the company some three years later. While there has never been question about his in-ring ability, Bryan has transcended that reputation (though he is still the best technical worker in the company). In doing so, he has become WWE’s most unlikely major star since CM Punk.

Like Bryan, Punk is a guy management never envisioned as a legitimate top star. Sure he had a couple of world title reigns, but he was never booked to share the rarefied air of John Cena or Randy Orton, the two biggest stars of the past decade. Punk’s rise in 2011 came as the result of a once in a lifetime angle and an ability on the microphone that could not be overlooked. It also helped that he had an all-time classic match against Cena. Despite some bumps along the way Punk has remained a top guy ever since, even holding the WWE Championship for 434 consecutive days.

Bryan’s road to stardom had a lot of similarities. Like Punk, he cut his teeth on the independent circuit. He entered WWE with an established reputation as being one of the best wrestlers in the world. Like Punk, he also got his first serious catapult to stardom by winning a Money in the Bank ladder match. Like Punk, he was a victim of some questionable creative decisions that could have derailed his career. Like Punk, he forged a genuine connection with the audience that made him someone the company could not ignore.

Bryan is well on the verge of establishing a legacy for himself as one of the very best to ever compete in WWE. I have little doubt that Bryan’s name will one day be listed among the all-time greats like Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Rock, Triple H, Undertaker, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Bret Hart, Cena and Shawn Michaels.

2013 was the year that Bryan proved himself as the real deal. Whether it was dishing out comedy with Kane, challenging Cena for the WWE Championship or his recent battles against the Authority, you will be hard pressed to find any wrestler that fans care more about  year than him. The fans react to everything he does and that is what being a successful professional wrestler is all about.

I have written enough. Daniel Bryan is the Best Wrestler of 2013. End of discussion.

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