Views from the Hawke's Nest: Daniel Bryan: Superstar Collection
Posted by TJ Hawke on 08.19.2013
Best in the world.
February 23, 2010
Daniel Bryan (w/ the Miz) vs. Chris Jericho (w/ Wade Barrett)
This was the first main event in NXT history. Jericho was the World Heavyweight Champion at the time of this match.
Bryan looks like a GEEK with this haircut. Bryan tried to follow the Code of Honor, but Jericho wasn’t having any of it. Jericho bullied him, but Bryan slapped him and hit a dropkick. Jericho quickly managed to cut him off, and he worked Bryan over for a bit. Bryan came back, and they fucked up a dragon screw. Cole started burying Bryan, the internet and THE DIRTSHEETS. Bryan got a nearfall with a running lariat. Bryan sent Jericho to the floor (sloppily), and he then hit a tope suicida. Bryan crashed hard into the commentation station (shaped like a table!). Bryan then went for a springboard, but Jericho caught him. He went for the Walls, but Bryan reversed it into a heel hook. Jericho made the ropes and then hit a Codebreaker. Jericho then locked in the Liontamer, and Bryan immediately tapped out.
The Miz attacked Bryan after the match.
This ten minutes of video perfectly shows why the first season of NXT was such a failure (at least in my eyes). Instead of trying to make a bunch of “rookies” look like future superstars, the show was about making them play “tackle football on concrete.” The match itself was okay, but there were a couple of real sloppy moments that bothered me when it originally happened and still take away from the match for me now. Match Rating: **3/4
The Miz started going after Bryan’s left arm, while Cole buried Bryan on commentary. Bryan eventually came back with a tope suicida and a missile dropkick. Bryan got a nearfall with a buzzsaw kick. Miz managed to crotch Bryan on the ropes and then gave him a Nigel diving lariat: 1…2…NO! Miz got an armbar, but Bryan made the ropes. Bryan almost got the LeBell Lock, but Riley jumped on the apron. Miz accidentally knocked him down, and Bryan got a roll-up: 1…2…NO! Great nearfall. Riley failed again. Miz got a nearfall with a small package. Bryan locked in the LeBell Lock…and Miz tapped out!!!
The Miz would go on to win the WWE Championship in a few months, while Bryan would languish in the midcard for the next sixteen months.
This was an excellent US Title match. They told a logical story, and they got the crowd into a frenzy. This has to be the best Miz match that I have ever seen. Match Rating: ***1/2
Money in the Bank
July 17, 2011
Daniel Bryan vs. Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Heath Slater vs. Kane [Money in the Bank Match]
I hate recapping these matches. There’s rarely a story to get over. I’ll let you know what spots stand out. There was an everyone dive to the floor sequence early on. Sin Cara didn’t even botch his contribution to the proceedings. Cara gave Bryan the One Man Spanish Fly. A ladder got bridged between the apron and the commentation station. Sheamus gave Cara a diving powerbomb through the ladder. Awesome. Cara got stretchered out. The climbing spots started. Best spot of the match: Kane and Sheamus gave Bryan the Doomsday Device. LOL. Kane gave everyone a chokeslam. There was this really awkward that ended with Slater almost dying. Sheamus gave everyone a Brogue Kick. Kane chokeslammed Sheamus off a ladder onto a bridged ladder. Ouch. Gabriel did a 450 off a bridged ladder onto Bryan. Barrett cleared house. Bryan and Barrett were on the ladder. Bryan delivered some elbows and a big kick. Bryan got the briefcase!!!
Bryan’s eyes welled up after the match.
This was an excellent match. WWE has a fantastic track record with longish ladder matches, and they put together some brilliant stuff in this one. I remember being shocked at the time that Bryan won. Retrospectively, this is a very significant match in his WWE career. Match Rating: ****1/4
November 4, 2011
Daniel Bryan (w/ The Big Show) vs. Mark Henry
The Hall of Pain was a great time.
This is the fourth different entrance theme that Bryan has had on this DVD. Henry overpowered Bryan early on. Bryan was eventually able to get Henry on his knees, and he then hit a buzzsaw kick for a nearfall. Bryan went for the guillotine, but Henry powered out of it. Henry dominated him again after that. The story was that Henry could win the match at any time, but he wanted to do more damage. Show had enough and knocked Henry out with one punch. The referee disqualified him.
Show revived Bryan, and he tried to get him to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Bryan jumped in the ring, but Henry gave him a World’s Strongest Slam. I think the story going on under the surface was that Show was trying to make Bryan champ, because Show couldn’t beat Henry. It's a fine storyline for a midcard title, which is pretty much what the World Heavyweight Championship is at this point.
This was television match designed to get over a storyline. With that in mind, it was fine. It does not belong on any DVD releases. Match Rating: **
Bryan was trying to escape the cage. Show and Henry were taking a more physical approach to winning this match. Bryan almost got out through the door, but Henry stopped him. Show dominated both men for a bit. Henry was then in control. Show got back in control. Bryan hit Show with a tornado DDT for a nearfall. Bryan then got the LeBell Lock, but Henry escaped. Show knocked Henry out with a punch. Bryan and Show climbed, and they were on the top. Show was holding onto Bryan, as he was falling off the cage. Eventually, Show’s grip loosened, and Bryan fell down. Bryan wins.
This was all story and very little fun action. It came across as a television main event instead of a PPV world title match. Match Rating: **3/4
The 411: While this collection doesn't convey how Daniel Bryan is one of (if not) the best wrestlers of the last thirty years, it does provide an entertaining two hours of content and a representative look of his first 20 months on the WWE roster. Bryan started as a "rookie geek" that apparently need to job as much as possible. His return to the company in the fall of 2010 lead to his first real push in the company. After cooling off in the first half of 2011, his Money in the Bank win lead to his initial run in the main event scene. One day, Daniel Bryan is going to have an amazing multi-disc set with loads of great matches. This is obviously not it, but if this DVD ends up on Netflix, I recommend that you watch it.