How Tall Is Daniel Bryan?:
In a business so famous for twisting the truth and exaggerating reality, it can difficult for fans to determine the true size
of a professional wrestler. That is the case with Daniel Bryan, who despite being billed at 5'10" by WWE, is often towered
by Stephanie McMahon in their face-to-face confrontations.
The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion revealed in an August 2013 interview with DirecTV that he is actually 5'8".
"I always wanted to be a wrestler, but I didn't think I could be because I'm relatively small," Bryan said in regards to
his start in the professional wrestling industry. I'm 5'8" and weigh 195 pounds. When I started I was a lot smaller. But when
I was probably 15 or 16 years old, WCW started bringing in these cruiserweights like Rey Mysterio who was 5'3" and 150
pounds. That gave me no reason not to at least try and follow my dream."
After competing all over the globe in cramped high school gyms and armories out of love for the professional wrestling industry, Bryan Danielson agreed in principle to a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in August 2009. He made his first WWE appearance while under contract to the organization on January 4, 2010 in Dayton, Ohio, in a dark match prior to Raw. He beat Chavo Guerrero in a singles match. After feeling "rusty" in the bout, Danielson requested that he train at Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental branch at the time, to accustom himself to the organization's style of wrestling. Competing under his real name, the former ROH World Champion made his Florida Championship Wrestling debut on January 14, 2010—he lost to Kaval. On February 11, 2010, Danielson was introduced as Daniel Bryan. Luckily for Danielson, he was not branded Buddy Peacock or Lloyd Bonaire—Lloyd is his middle name. He was given a list of ten ring names to choose from, and those names, as well as Daniel Bryan, were among his options. With that being said, was there any discussion of the Aberdeen, Washington native competing under his real name.
"WWE never gave me this option. They gave me a list of ten names and it's William Regal who came up with [Daniel Bryan]," Danielson explained to SLAM! Wrestling in a March 2012 interview.
On February 23, 2010, WWE launched NXT on Syfy, a seasonal program which was presented as a hybrid between reality television and the sports-entertainment organization's scripted live events. Select talent contracted to WWE's developmental branch, Florida Championship Wrestling, participated in a competition to become the company's next "breakout star" with assistance from the Superstars of Raw and SmackDown. With The Miz portraying his mentor, Bryan competed on the show's inaugural episode against WWE World Heavyweight Championship Chris Jericho. After losing the contest, Bryan was attacked by The Miz for disrespecting him earlier in the episode. As the weeks ensued, Bryan failed to win a single contest, but despite a possessing win-loss record of 0–5, he was ranked first in the inaugural WWE Pros' Poll on the March 30, 2010 episode of WWE NXT. After losing five additional matches on WWE NXT, Bryan scored his first victory in WWE on the May 10, 2010 episode of Raw in a 4-on-8 Raw Superstars vs. NXT Rookies Tag Match, pinning Santino Marella. The following evening on WWE NXT, Bryan was eliminated from the show, as was Michael Tarver. According to host Matt Striker, the reason given for their respective eliminations is because "WWE Management" felt neither wrestler had confidence in themselves to win the competition. Despite being eliminated from the contest, Bryan appeared on subsequent episodes of WWE NXT. He was interviewed by Matt Striker on May 18, 2010 and attacked both The Miz and play-by-by commentator Michael Cole.
On the May 31, 2010 episode of Raw, Bryan was granted a match against The Miz by actor and producer Ashton Kutcher, who was appearing as the guest host. Bryan defeated his former mentor and shoved him into Cole after the contest. On June 11, 2010, WWE announced that it had come to terms on the release of Bryan. On the previous episode of Raw, Wade Barrett led Bryan and the other Rookies of the first season of WWE NXT in an attack on John Cena, CM Punk, Luke Gallows, Jerry "The King" Lawler, Matt Striker, Justin Roberts and other WWE personnel stationed around the ring. WWE officials, however, felt appeared too violent in the segment by spitting in Cena's face and choking Roberts with the ring announcer's own necktie, which led to his termination.
During the assault, Bryan strangled Roberts with the ring announcer's necktie and also spat on Cena's face, which WWE officials felt was too violent for their brand of TV-PG programming.
"WWE is very serious about adhering to their PG guidelines, and apparently my actions during the NXT attack on John Cena, namely choking announcer Justin Roberts with his tie and spitting in Cena's face, crossed the boundaries of what is considered 'PG,'" Bryan stated in an online post on June 30, 2010. "Perhaps the choking was too violent or perhaps the spit was too demeaning. I apologized for both immediately following the incident; but I would be a hypocrite if I apologized for putting everything I have into the attack. I would much rather have gone too far than to come up too short."
Bryan reiterated his explanation during an interview with SLAM! Wrestling in August 2013.
"One of the reasons that I got fired in 2010 was for spitting in John's face; it was two things that got me fired—it was choking Justin Roberts with a tie and spitting in Cena's face right before I kicked him in the head," Bryan said. "It was those two things."
Days after Bryan's termination from WWE, Cena addressed the subject during an interview with Busted Open.
"It stands where it is," said Cena. "I believe Bryan was given his release, and this is just my belief, it's complete speculation so basically you're going off my secondhand knowledge, it's something to do with violating our PG content agreement which is very serious… It was tough for us to get that [TV-PG] logo in the beginning. For us to violate that content agreement, we get in trouble with our TV providers, we get in trouble with our sponsors, it pretty much is not good business. I think that is the reason upon the Bryan Danielson release but on the same token, for a young man such as him to make an impact on the WWE Universe in that short a time, it says something about who he is as a person and where he belongs amongst our group."
Bryan revealed to The Baltimore Sun in an April 2012 interview that WWE apologized to him for his release with the explanation that they "had sponsors they had to deal with." To explain his departure from The Nexus, Barrett stated on the June 14, 2010 episode of Raw that Bryan was kicked out of the group for feeling remorse for his actions.
Daniel Bryan announces his entry into the Royal Rumble
Shaheen, co-host of The Hot Tag Podcast, issued an on-site report from the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.
Situated near the backstage area, Shaheen and his friends called to Daniel Bryan as he walked by them after being eliminated from the Royal Rumble Match and he said Bryan clearly heard them but did not interact with any of the fans in their general vicinity.
"Not exactly sure what happened, but we were near backstage and he walked right by all of us," Shaeen said. "We said hello and he paused, looked at us with a blank stare and then walked off. He looked super pissed and completely ignored all of is. It was very awkward to say the least."
"It was really weird," he added. "I know people will want to believe that he was just 'selling' it, but it was strange. I'd like to think that I have a pretty good understanding of kayfabe and this seemed legit. He wasn't selling anything. There were 10 of us there and he really came off like an a—hole, which is really unusual for Bryan."
He discusses the incident a bit further in this video.
Shaheen added that the Philly crowd was "beyond pissed" at how the Rumble unfolded, noting that the "We want refunds!" chants really picked up after Dolph Ziggler's elimination.