Once In A Lifetime – Daniel Bryan vs. Kurt Angle

Hello everyone, this is Jeff Johnson with another “Once in a Lifetime” feature exclusively on PWMania.com. My previous feature saw me spotlight Sting vs. The Undertaker – Once In A Lifetime, which in my opinion is the biggest match to never happen. This time, I am going to talk about two of the greatest technical wrestlers in the world, “The Olympic Gold Medalist” Kurt Angle, and “The American Dragon” Daniel Bryan.

Let’s start from the beginning: In 1999, Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle made his debut in the then WWF, and made an immediate impact (no pun intended) by going on a very long undefeated streak, and capturing the European and Intercontinental Championships at the same time, dubbing himself the Eurocontinental Champion. He quickly made himself into a main event player with not just his superior wrestling style, but his charisma as well. Every wrestling fan knows the 3 I’s: Intensity, Integrity, and Intelligence.

On the other side of the spectrum, in 1999, an 18 year old kid by the name of Bryan Danielson was making the jump into the professional wrestling scene. He started his career by joining The Texas Wrestling Academy, and got training from Shawn Michaels and Rudy Gonzales, the earlier of the 2 having many memorable matches and moments with Kurt Angle himself. Danielson would stay in the academy until 2000 when he made his wrestling debut, quickly winning the TWA (Texas Wrestling Alliance) tag team championship with Brian Kendrick. Danielson would then get a development deal in 2000 with the WWF, at the age of 20, to further enhance his skills and get direct training from William Regal. Danielson would have a cup of coffee with the main roster, competing on Heat and Velocity. He would do this until 2002, when he became one of the “Founding Fathers” of Ring of Honor.

In the early to mid-2000s, Kurt Angle and Bryan Danielson both became main eventers, and central focal points in their respected organizations. Kurt, by winning the WWE and World Heavyweight Champions, and Danielson, by holding the ROH World Championship on numerous occasions. Both of these men helped build WWE and ROH into the respected companies that they are today. These 2 men were never able to compete in the same company together though. Kurt Angle left the WWE in 2006 and joined TNA, and Danielson didn’t join the WWE until 2009. Let’s see what could have been if we would have seen these 2 great superstars together:

1) The Chemistry: Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan are both known for pulling great matches out of anybody, no matter who they are. Their wrestling styles are so crisp and so smooth, that it seems like they wrestle with little to no effort at all, but it gets every wrestling fan into their matches because of the excitement they bring. If you were to put these 2 superstars in the ring together, we would get matches that couldn’t be duplicated in any other organization in the world. Angle’s amateur wrestling style vs. Bryan’s submission, chain wrestling, and selling ability would make every match of theirs instant classics. Who wouldn’t be excited to see an Angle Slam countered into a No Lock? Or a Daniel Bryan flying clothesline countered into a perfect belly to belly suplex? You could mix and match these 2 with anybody in the company, but the chemistry wouldn’t be the same. These 2 would mesh better technically than any other 2 wrestlers in the world in my opinion.

2) The Storyline: The build and storyline between these 2 could go many different directions. Both men have been heels and faces many times in their career, and can pull off either one without a hitch. As heels, Angle with his ruthless, aggressive wrestling style. And Bryan, with his verbal dissection and underhandedness. Heel vs. Heel is the only combination that I don’t see working for these 2 though, because they play the heel roll so well and would ultimately end up canceling each other out. As a team, they would be great, and would wrestle any other tag team into the ground. Face vs. Face would work out very well too, just because of their exciting wrestling abilities alone. I feel like if we do that though, we are missing out and wouldn’t be getting the full experience of what these 2 extraordinary athletes can do in the ring. One of them needs to be the heel character, because whoever the heel is, will be able to hold his own in the angle, plus make the other person look like a star. Heel Angle vs. Face Bryan would be the perfect storyline and buildup for a match. Angle’s aggressiveness and Bryan’s selling ability, plus their overall wrestling abilities would make this a feud that would be remembered for many years to come.


Daniel Bryan vs. Kurt Angle is a feud that every wrestling fan needs and wants to see. Every one of us is missing out by this not happening. The World’s Greatest Technical Wrestler vs. The World’s Greatest Submission Artist. The Wrestling Machine vs. The Goat Man. But Most importantly though, The American Hero vs. The American Dragon.

Thank you everyone for checking out this edition of Once in a Lifetime. The next edition will highlight 2 of the greatest performers ever in the history of the WWE, Shawn Michaels and The Rock. These 2 men competed in tag matches against each other, but we never got that great one on one match that everyone was waiting for. Also, make sure to follow me @J3DoomChild. Thanks again everyone, and take care.

What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.