BRYAN DANIELSON FKA DANIEL BRYAN
Bryan Danielson is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), where he performs under his real name and is a member of the Blackpool Combat Club. He rose to fame for his time in WWE, where he performed under the ring name Daniel Bryan from 2009 to 2021. Noted for his technical wrestling style, ability to transform his on-screen character with ease, and popularity with fans, he is widely considered one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.
Danielson began his professional wrestling career in 1999 on the independent circuit, and signed an 18-month contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in 2000; he later went on to make uncontracted appearances in WWE until 2003. He joined Ring of Honor (ROH) in 2002, wrestling in the main event of the promotion’s first event; considered a mainstay of ROH, he stayed with the company until 2009, winning the ROH World Championship and ROH Pure Championship once each. He unified the championships at one point and was also the inaugural winner of the annual Survival of the Fittest tournament. In 2022, he was named as part of the inaugural class of the ROH Hall of Fame. He also wrestled extensively in Japan, winning the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship in Pro Wrestling Noah and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He won numerous titles on the independent circuit, including two PWG World Championships and the FIP Heavyweight Championship and the wXw World Heavyweight Championship once each.
Danielson again signed with WWE in 2009, but was fired for three months after an incident in 2010. Upon his return, he went on to win the WWE Championship four times, the World Heavyweight Championship once, and the United States and Intercontinental Championships once each. He also won the WWE Tag Team Championship (as part of Team Hell No with Kane) and the SmackDown Tag Team Championship (with Erick Rowan), becoming WWE’s 26th Triple Crown Champion and 15th Grand Slam Champion. He also won the 2011 Money in the Bank ladder match and the “Superstar of the Year” award at the 2013 Slammy Awards, and headlined several major WWE events, including the 2014 and 2021 editions of their flagship event WrestleMania.
Danielson retired from wrestling in 2016 due to injuries arising from multiple concussions, which led to seizures and a brain lesion. He then took on a non-wrestling role for WWE as the on-screen General Manager of SmackDown and remained in the role until 2018, when he was unexpectedly cleared by doctors to return to in-ring competition. His WWE contract expired in May 2021, and he made his AEW debut four months later.