It has been an up and down year for Daniel Bryan to say the least. The man who started the “Occupy Raw” movement back in March would use his leverage to defeat Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton all in one night at WrestleMania XXX to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, only to be forced to relinquish the title not long after due to injury.
But with news of Bryan’s return approaching, he got another major nod this week.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated has put Bryan atop its annual “PWI 500” list, ranking the top 500 wrestlers in the industry today. Being ranked as No. 1 is considered an honor in the business, one that Bryan will now take home.
The entire Top 10 shakes out as followed:
1. Daniel Bryan
2. Randy Orton
3. John Cena
4. AJ Styles
5. Kazuchika Okada
6. Bray Wyatt
7. Roman Reigns
9. Adam Cole
10. Bully Ray
The criteria notes the list was compiled based off the time period of July 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014. A wrestler must have at least one match in seven different months in that span, or 20 overall. During that span, Bryan broke out of the midcard scene into the main event in a lengthy program with The Authority, that as mentioned prior, culminated at WrestleMania.
The restrictions are also the reason WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar was not eligible for the list.
The entire list can be found in digital format here.
Is there anyone more deserving? Bryan not only had 20 matches in the year, but he may have done that in one night. Congratulations to him for the accomplishment.