Daniel Bryan: Climbing to glory

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July 22, 2011

Following Daniel Bryan’s incredible proclamation that he will cash in his newly captured Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania, WWE.com and Mr. Money in the Bank himself reflected on 11 monumental dates that have (or will have) changed the course of the tenacious Superstar’s tested career:

Bryan: “Prior to WWE NXT, I had been in this business 11 years. I was actually hired by WWE in 2000 when I was 18 and fired by age 20. I competed in Japan, Europe and all over North America. As a result of injuries, I can barely see out of my left eye and can barely hear out of my left ear. I’ve wrestled an hour with a separated shoulder. As the injuries kept building, I thought very seriously about quitting. It was my dad’s incredible support that kept me going.”

On Feb. 23, 2010 – Bryan took the first step towards WrestleMania when he became a Rookie on the WWE NXT season one, mentored by WWE Pro The Miz. (WATCH) But, his hard work and sacrifice began long before that.

On May 11, 2010 – After numerous losses on the groundbreaking show WWE NXT, Bryan stunned the WWE Universe by “eliminating himself.” (WATCH) Or did he?

Bryan: “Saying I eliminated myself is revisionist history. The truth is I was asked a question: ‘Who should be eliminated?’ I chose to be humble in answering it. Since I hadn’t won a match on WWE NXT, I had to answer the question, ‘Daniel Bryan.’ It wasn’t about me not believing in myself or wanting off the show. And I don’t think the WWE Universe saw it that way either. Regardless, when that happened, I thought my WWE career had ended before it began.”

June 7, 2010 – Despite the WWE Universe’s feelings on Bryan leaving WWE NXT, nothing would prepare them for his next move. In a stunning turn of events, he aligned with his fellow NXT Rookies to form The Nexus, launching a massive assault on Monday Night Raw. (WATCH)

Bryan: “I wouldn’t change a thing about what I did that night. I did what I thought was right at the time. Later, I thought differently”

June 14, 2010 – Despite his assertion that he was in the right, reports that Bryan had showed remorse for his part in the attack led the dangerous new faction to summarily fire him from The Nexus one week later. And yet again, it seemed like his WWE career had come to a sudden close when he was discharged from the group. (WATCH)

Bryan: “Yeah, that was tough. But, this business isn’t about what others do for you. It’s about what you earn yourself. It the end, that’s all that matters.”

Aug. 15, 2011 – As history would soon show, Daniel Bryan was just getting warmed up. At SummerSlam, he reemerged as the surprise member of Team WWE, taking on his former Nexus allies in an action-packed main event showdown – an experience he would never forget. (WATCH)

Bryan: “It was incredible. Not only to return at such a huge main event, but to share the ring with WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart. To be in the ring with an absolute legend like ‘The Hit Man’ was a tremendous moment in my career.”

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