Is Daniel Bryan a Lock for the WWE Hall of Fame?


Daniel Bryan announced his retirement from the ring this past Monday.  Now that he is retired is a sure bet to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame?

Hall of Fames always lead to debates on who should be in and who should not be in them. The WWE Hall of Fame is no different and now a huge WWE Superstar has retired.  With Daniel Bryan’s retirement the question now becomes will he be joining the Hall and if so when?

Every Hall of Fame has its own standards.  Some, like Baseball Hall of Fame’s in Cooperstown, have very strict standards to the point where only one or two new members are inducted each year.  Others, like most professional team Hall of Fames, have much lower standards.  The WWE Hall of Fame runs on a completely different set of rules as even a few mid card guys are in there like Koko B. Ware or Drew Carey.  So where does this leave Daniel Bryan?

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The argument against Daniel Bryan being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is that he wasn’t in the WWE that long.  His modern day run with the WWE began in 2010 as part of the original NXT show in 2010.  However, as Jim Ross pointed out in his Fox Sports article, Daniel Bryan’s career actually began in the WWE in 2000 as a developmental talent signed to start a cruiserweight division similar to WWE. Also, there is a number of WWE Hall of Famers who spent very little of their career in WWE, including this year’s only announced inductee thus far, Sting.  I don’t think the lack of longevity should disqualify Daniel Bryan from consideration, even with the  multiple injuries.

What Daniel Bryan lacked in longevity he more than made up for in impact.  Simply from a championship standpoint in the WWE alone he has the credentials to be a Hall of Famer as he held every active WWE Championship during his era.  Even without the championships, Daniel Bryan did one thing that very few Super Stars are able to do, he completely connected with the audience.

The Yes! Movement was one of the coolest things to happen in professional wrestling since the Attitude Era and Monday Night Wars.  Unlike a number of other catchphrases and storylines, this particular one started from the fans and grew to the writers whereas most catch phrases seemingly start by the creative team and then are sold to the fans.  It was purely organic and led by a star who’s entire career was creating a bond between his character and the audience.

Daniel Bryan should clearly be in the WWE Hall of Fame.  The question is when?  One option would be to go ahead and add him to this year’s class.  The good thing about going ahead and inducting him this year is the WWE could take advantage of the media coverage already surrounding his retirement.  Also, the fans would blow the roof off of the venue in Dallas for this year’s ceremony if he were inducted.  The negative about doing it this year is would it take away from Sting’s induction?

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To me I think it would be best to wait at least a year before inducting him and add a potential surprise to next year’s WrestleMania season.  However, if they do decide to induct him this year, it would complete what so far this week has been a bittersweet story with a happy ending.