Match of the Week: Daniel Bryan vs Jack Swagger/Cesaro/Ryback (WWE RAW 7/22/13)
Last week Daniel Bryan announced his retirement as years of in-ring punishment finally caught up to him. I was fortunate to watch him live in person few times. One of the times was this live RAW I attended. This was build to Summerslam which then champion John Cena handpicked Bryan as his opponent. On this night they had contract signing and Daniel Bryan got booked in a gauntlet match against three wrestlers to showcase he truly belong on WWE PPV main event. I called this RAW moment "30 Minutes with Daniel Bryan" because he wrestled 30 minutes or more on main event of RAW. Think about it and put this in mind. They put Daniel Bryan to wrestle on RAW main event for more than 30 minutes minutes. Before this match the last time I remember RAW given lot of time to wrestler(s) in a match was Shawn Michaels and John Cena in near hour battle.
This entry feature the photos I took of this match. His first match was against Jack Swagger who vanquished him in three minutes with a Yes Lock. His second opponent is Swagger's partner Antonio Cesaro as they had hard-hitting back and forth match with Bryan winning after countering Cesaro's Swiss Miss into inside cradle. TV timing have it for almost 15 minutes. Match was good on TV, but far superior live in person. Being there live I can tell this match of the year candidate while the two commercial breaks took it away. His last opponent was Ryback who bullied and dominated a tired Bryan in the match. Bryan made small comeback only get knocked back down. Ryback set up a table outside the ring only get met with flying Daniel Bryan. It started another comeback ending with Bryan putting Yes Lock on Ryback which he used the ropes to break it. He went for one too many high risk move as Ryback catches and counter with powerbomb on the floor. He powerbombed him again this time through a table resulting DQ and victory to Daniel Bryan. The match reached around 10 minutes. In the post match John Cena saved Daniel Bryan beating Ryback up. At the end of the gauntlet Daniel Bryan lasted more than 30 minutes.
You think that was end of this? Wrong! This post RAW dark match featured John Cena taking Mark Henry. The Shield came out attacking both wrestlers with Daniel Bryan making the save. The match turn into six men tag with John Cena, Mark Henry, and Daniel Bryan taking on The Shield which ended in a DQ. On that night he wrestled in four matches in likely total of 40-45 minutes.
There are moments you have to be there. This is one of those moments. Thank you Daniel Bryan!