“The New” Daniel Bryan had two goals coming into his WWE Title defense against AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble event: to retain his championship and to destroy the WWE Universe’s image of their “hero,” Styles. When the dust settled, Bryan was still clearly fighting for his dreams — just now by any means necessary.

The Phenomenal One was not looking to fade quietly into a night filled with Bryan’s slander and rhetoric, though, as he took the fight to the WWE Champion in the early goings. Bryan didn’t stay down for long, responding by targeting Styles’ arm and wearing it down in methodical fashion to gain control.

AJ Styles drives Daniel Bryan into the arena floor with a punishing reverse DDT: Royal Rumble 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

AJ Styles leaves WWE Champion Daniel Bryan reeling after a brutal offensive assault: Courtesy of WWE Network.

Despite Bryan refusing to relent, Styles rallied back with a wide array of offense that both accelerated the pace and slowed it down in an attempt to wear out Bryan. The momentum swung back and forth between the two, courtesy of stiff strikes and smothering submissions.

When both Superstars went down, Rowan shockingly arrived to ominously watch the contest from ringside. After the referee was inadvertently knocked down, Rowan finally acted, rushing into the ring to smash Styles to bits with a menacing chokeslam. Bryan then picked up the pieces like a vulture, pinning Styles as the referee recovered for the three-count.

After the contest, Bryan instructed Rowan to pick Styles up so that the WWE Champion could drop him with his patented Running Knee for good measure. The menacing giant then raised Bryan’s hand, leaving the WWE Universe to wonder what brought these two together.

“The New” Daniel Bryan had two goals coming into his WWE Title defense against AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble event: to retain his championship and to destroy the WWE Universe’s image of their “hero,” Styles. When the dust settled, Bryan was still clearly fighting for his dreams — just now by any means necessary.

The Phenomenal One was not looking to fade quietly into a night filled with Bryan’s slander and rhetoric, though, as he took the fight to the WWE Champion in the early goings. Bryan didn’t stay down for long, responding by targeting Styles’ arm and wearing it down in methodical fashion to gain control.

AJ Styles drives Daniel Bryan into the arena floor with a punishing reverse DDT: Royal Rumble 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

AJ Styles leaves WWE Champion Daniel Bryan reeling after a brutal offensive assault: Courtesy of WWE Network.

Despite Bryan refusing to relent, Styles rallied back with a wide array of offense that both accelerated the pace and slowed it down in an attempt to wear out Bryan. The momentum swung back and forth between the two, courtesy of stiff strikes and smothering submissions.

When both Superstars went down, Rowan shockingly arrived to ominously watch the contest from ringside. After the referee was inadvertently knocked down, Rowan finally acted, rushing into the ring to smash Styles to bits with a menacing chokeslam. Bryan then picked up the pieces like a vulture, pinning Styles as the referee recovered for the three-count.

After the contest, Bryan instructed Rowan to pick Styles up so that the WWE Champion could drop him with his patented Running Knee for good measure. The menacing giant then raised Bryan’s hand, leaving the WWE Universe to wonder what brought these two together.