At this point, it’s almost embarrassing how much Daniel Bryan can achieve with an inconsistent midcard push compared to how others make use of full blown main event support. On back to back pay-per-views, Bryan’s created something out of what seemed like nothing. Whereas at the Rumble, the nothing he worked with was an overwrought character with very little actual substance to back up all their razzle dazzle, here the nothing comes from a complete lack of storyline and heat. Drew Gulak is far from a nothing performer, he’s the kind of nerdbait great worker that’s gotten accolades from a lot of people I respect but that I simply haven’t gone out of my way to see much of. Here, Gulak gets to work with the best dance partner of them all and someone he’s clearly admired for a long time. You have Gulak outworking Bryan to start, forcing Bryan to take a step back to reconsider his opponent. That translates into great moments of reversal like Gulak getting the Romero Special on Bryan instead of vice versa. Stuff like that enhances all the connective tissue that makes this match such a joy to unfold.
And hey, if you get bored with mat-based technical wrestling, Bryan also does a few suicidal bumps because he’s the best. The angle and height that Bryan took that German on is the kind of next level dedication that makes him the most exceptional worker in history. For him to follow that up with one of the most convincing ten count sells since Naito’s in the Dome makes it an even better structural piece of the puzzle. Not merely a dazzling spot but one that’s followed through and considered with its appropriate consequences. Bryan’s selling, in general, is beautifully on display in this match up. From having tingles in his fingers from being dropped on his neck to the emotional expressions of being surprised by the level of Gulak’s ability.
What an amazing match, a top two match in the WWE so far this year (which let’s be honest isn’t hard to do given the level of quality that WWE cranks out). Happy that both these guys got the space to craft something so lovingly considered and thought out. We’re all the better for it.