Daniel Bryan Biography

Daniel Bryan, also known as Bryan Lloyd Danielson, is a former American wrestler who gained fame under the ring name ‘American Dragon’. With his deceptive play and technical finesse, Daniel earned numerous titles throughout his career, including three WWE Championships and one World Heavyweight Championship. Despite humble beginnings, he overcame financial limitations and received training at Shawn Michael’s Texas Wrestling Academy under the guidance of Rudy Gonzalez. While initially signed with WWE (then WWF) in 2000, Daniel’s wrestling style didn’t align with the environment, leading him to showcase his skills in other tournaments such as Ring of Honour. It was during his time in WWF that he acquired the moniker ‘American Dragon’, a name that has stuck with him ever since. Ring of Honour molded him into a ruthless wrestler, willing to do whatever it took to secure victory. Making a comeback to WWE in 2009, Daniel excelled and engaged in feuds with some of the biggest superstars in the industry. Unfortunately, due to medical complications, he retired from professional wrestling at the young age of 34. However, his connection to the ring remained strong, and in 2016 he was appointed as the General Manager of Smackdown when WWE’s brand extension made a comeback.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Bryan Lloyd Danielson
  • Age: 42 Years, 42 Year Old Males
  • Family: Spouse/Ex-: Brie Bella
  • Born Country: United States
  • WWE Wrestlers
  • American Men
  • Height: 5’10” (178 cm), 5’10” Males
  • Notable Alumni: Aberdeen High School
  • U.S. State: Washington
  • More Facts
  • Education: Aberdeen High School

Childhood & Early Life

Bryan Lloyd Danielson was born in Washington DC on 22nd May 1981 in a modest middle-class family. His father worked as a logger and his mother supported the household working as a therapist. Daniel has an older sister named Billie Sue.

Daniel’s parents divorced while he was still young and that scarred the young boy emotionally. However, he didn’t let it bring him down and he started moving towards athletics. By the time he was in school, he was a pretty good football player. Daniel said in an interview later that he couldn’t live his childhood to the fullest due to the separation of his parents and that changed his perspective on life forever, infusing a deep sense of discontentment inside him.


In 1999, Daniel moved to learn professional wrestling once out of school and joined Dean Malenko’s wrestling school, which was shut sometime later. He then moved on to Texas Wrestling Academy, maintained by the likes of Shawn Michaels, an affluent wrestler himself.

In 2000, WWF signed Daniel on for a developmental tour, and he was sent to Memphis Championship wrestling, where he was coached by superstar wrestler, William Regal. Just when the small-time contract was about to come to an end, Daniel had already won the Light Heavyweight Championship and due to his ferociousness inside the ring, he earned the moniker ‘American Dragon’ – he gives William Regal the credit to shape him up into a ‘dragon’.

Daniel wrestled in Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling in Japan for some time after being released from the WWF contract and joined independent promotion Ring of Honour in 2002. One of his matches in the tournament lasted for 80 minutes. Daniel had a long rivalry with a wrestler named Homicide, and ultimately he defeated him in a steel cage match.

Daniel got his hand on the ROH world championship by defeating James Gibson in 2005 and successfully saved the title from many opponents until the final ROH event of 2006, where his 15-month reign was ended by Homicide. The match was emotionally and physically destructive, and Daniel suffered a shoulder injury, which kept him away from professional wrestling for quite some time.

In May 2007, Daniel made a return to the ring with ROH, which eventually made a debut on American television in 2009. In his first-ever match, which was telecast on national television, Daniel defeated Austin Aries. Later in 2009, Daniel signed up for WWE, and in a farewell match for the title shot against Aries at ROH, he lost. However, he fought his very last match for the company in September, in which he emerged victorious against McGuiness, who was also bidding farewell to the Ring Of Honour.

In his first match for WWE, Daniel defeated Chavo Guerrero and made his debut on NXT in February 2010. His feuds with WWE stars, The Miz, and John Cena, ended with Daniel being excessively violent and WWE announced that he is about to get fired due to his excessively violent behavior on an ‘entertainment’ show.

Daniel went independent post his release from WWE for some time, and numerous offers from other wrestling setups started pouring in. Fighting at the CHIKARA event and Westside xtreme wrestling, he performed quite well and achieved some good wins but also lost some, mostly due to disqualification for not adhering to the rules of the game.

In August 2010, Daniel made a comeback to WWE with SummerSlam and was drafted to SmackDown the next year. In July 2011, Daniel secured his first World Heavyweight Championship by winning a Money in the Bank Ladder Match against several other wrestlers.

His tag team partnership team with Kane, titled ‘Hell No,’ was formed in 2012, and the same year, they got their very first tag team championship against the team of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. The team retained the championship through the year and even the 2013 Royal Rumble. Their reign of 245 days finally came to an end with a loss in the Extreme Rules episode to Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

In 2014, Bryan got injured, went for a neck surgery, and came back two weeks later and declared that he would be better by the Royal Rumble 2015 and will participate in the match. At Wrestlemania 31, Daniel won the Intercontinental Championship and made himself one of the six wrestlers to have won every other WWE title. In 2015, Daniel started having concussions and stayed away from commenting on his future as he himself was quite uncertain, and he retired eventually later that year. On July 18, 2016, Daniel started his reign as the general manager of Smackdown, and he continues to work in the position. In between, he does commentaries on the matches and picks up feuds every now and then with the wrestlers, but for the most part, he stays away from the ring.

Personal Life

Daniel has maintained that he is a Vegetarian since 2009 and will continue to be one. In 2012, PETA awarded him as the ‘Most animal-friendly athlete’ in the world.

In 2014, Daniel married Brie Bella, a fellow wrestler, after dating for quite some time. Bella retired from wrestling post-marriage, and the couple had their first child ‘Birdie Joe Danielson’ in May 2017.

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