WWE Monday Night Raw Recap: Thank You Daniel Bryan

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Last night’s Raw was an emotional one, featuring the retirement of fan favorite Daniel Bryan due to injury. While the show itself featured some storyline development, all anyone noticed was Bryan’s show closing promo. Let’s take a look at what went down on the emotional show.

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Daniel Bryan Reminds Us All Why We Love Wrestling

Usually I’d use this space to recap the most important storyline development from Raw, but honestly nothing kayfabe from last night’s show really matters. The only thing anyone will be talking about, and they’ll be talking about it for years to come, is our favorite bearded wrestler leaving the squared circle for good.

Daniel Bryan retired from pro wrestling last night, and his speech was well, it was the greatest segment in pro wrestling history. It was raw, it was real, and if it didn’t bring some tears to your eyes you probably are a heartless, soulless monster.

Take a look at the video below in case you missed it.

Seriously, chills.

Daniel Bryan was an anomaly, a superstar so talented that he became the face of the company despite the company doing everything they could to hold him and his popularity down.

If I were a betting man, I would put money on the fact that you will never see another star become so popular, so organically. Bryan went from face to heel to face like most stars, but once WWE decided to give him an 18-second match at Wrestlemania 28, he became an overnight sensation with the WWE Universe.

That transitioned into Team Hell No, easily the funniest segments WWE has put on in a decade.

From there, the YES! movement that started with Triple H screwing him at SummerSlam 2013 and ended with Bryan winning the Undisputed WWE Title at Wrestlemania 30. It was a totally organic ride that felt so real to the fans they had no choice but to get behind Bryan.

And then just like that, it was gone.

Since his shining moment at ‘Mania 30, Bryan had been dealing with concussion issues that kept him out of the ring for the better part of two years. Last night, those issues finally culminated in his retirement in his home state of Washington.

Oh, and one hell of a YES! chant from the crowd.

While it was a sad night, we haven’t lost Daniel Bryan forever.

Look around WWE today and you’ll see remnants of what the Bearded One did throughout his career. AJ Styles, Finn Balor, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins. All of these stars were indy legends before WWE finally decided to give them a chance.

The man behind that decision? None other than indy darling turned face of the company Daniel Bryan. Bryan broke the barrier, and we have him to thank for the golden age of wrestling that is settling upon us in 2016.

So while we mourn the loss of one of WWE’s most popular stars in history, we can appreciate it him for years to come by enjoying the new class of indy stars ready to take Daniel Bryan’s place.

So thank you Daniel Bryan. Thank you for inspiring all of us. Thank you for bringing casual fans like myself back to wrestling. And thank you for helping usher us into this new golden age of wrestling.

Other Results – 

Wait, Are We Building to a Lesnar-Ambrose Program? – We kicked the show off with a contract signing for the FastLane main event. All three men hit the ring for the signing and stare each other down for a good minute.

Paul Heyman heels it up, telling Ambrose to ask Reigns how a authoritative beatdown from Lesnar is different than an Authority beatdown. Eventually Ambrose snaps and gets in Lesnar’s face, so Brock tosses him over the contract table at Roman Reigns before taking the table and hitting Reigns with it.

One F-5 to Ambrose later, Lesnar makes his exit and has a staredown with Triple H. Remember him?

Later, Ambrose comes back up and starts taunting Brock Lesnar, making erectile dysfunction jokes and the such. This of course brings out Lesnar who pretty much destroys Ambrose.

The Lunatic Fringe keeps getting up for more despite the abuse, and Lesnar hits another F-5. Ambrose keeps asking for more so Lesnar gets back in the ring but that brings out Roman Reigns. The distractions leads to a horrible fate for Lesnar.

Lesnar looks on super pissed as Ambrose staggers away.

Ziggy Upsets Owens Again – We’ve seen this match about six times in the last month, but Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens still delivered a damn good fight with some hard-hitting moves.

Ziggler picks up the surprise win by rolling Owens up, which leads to KO throwing a fit at ringside and throwing stuff at Michael Cole.

Charlotte Wins Another Tune-Up – Charlotte beat Alicia Fix in a- zzzzzzzzzz.

AJ Styles & Chris Jericho, Dream Feud? – MizTv somehow turns into the Highlight Reel and all this really leads to is Chris Jericho and AJ Styles tossing the Miz out of the ring and fighting before an intense staredown. Good first feud for Styles, but man I can’t wait for him to get involved with a full-time star.

Bray Wyatt Wastes More Time til ‘Mania – Bray Wyatt fought Ryback (in his brand-new Goldberg gear no less) in a whatever match that ended with a pretty vicious Sister Abigail.

It’s great that Wyatt keeps getting big feuds and is likely headed into a match with Brock Lesnar at ‘Mania, but man it’s worrisome that Creative can’t put him in an interesting feud with anyone who isn’t a big-name star.

And I’m Already Sick of the Social Outcasts – This had potential, but now I’m starting to remember how annoying Adam Rose is and I’m not really onboard anymore. Rose beats Titus O’Neil because who cares about logic.

Lucha Dragons Back – Sin Cara made his return for a tag match with Kalisto against Rusev and Alberto Del Rio. Unfortunately he brought bad luck as ADR picks up the win with a double stomp on Kalisto.

Becky & The Boss – Becky Lynch had a match with Tamina while Sasha Banks was on commentary. Banks got baited into a beatdown from Naomi, Lynch helped and then ate a Super Kick and an L for her troubles.

Dudleyz Bring Back the Attitude – The Usos and Dudleyz decide to team up in a tables match against the New Day, who recruit Mark Henry to even the odds. That leads to this glorious GIF.

Another eh match. Henry got mad at New Day and left, which leads to Big E getting a 3D through the table. The faces celebrate and then THE DUDLEY BOYZ ATTACK THEM.

Each Uso goes through a table and thank you WWE for remembering that we liked the Dudley Boyz because the destroyed everyone, not because they were a face team looking for fans.

H/T The Wrestling Giffer

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