Daniel Bryan, Adam Cole debut at AEW ‘All Out’

Daniel Bryan and Adam Cole have arrived in All Elite Wrestling.

The former WWE champion — whose real name is Bryan Danielson — and former NXT champion Adam Cole debuted at AEW’s “All Out” pay-per-view at the NOW Arena in Chicago on Sunday night.

Cole, whose contract with WWE recently ran out, came out first after Kenny Omega retained the AEW world championship against Christian Cage in the main event. Cole delivered a bit of a swerve, joining The Elite instead of going after former his former Bullet Club running mate in Omega.

That set the stage for Bryan, whose music hit as Omega was about to send the crowd home to a huge pop from the crowd. Ruby Riott, now going by the name Ruby Soho, also debuted as part of the women’s casino battle royale.

Danielson’s arrival has been expected since July when reports first surfaced he was signing with Tony Khan’s company. The 40-year-old last appeared on WWE television on the April 30 episode of “Friday Night SmackDown” losing to Roman Reigns in a singles match for the Universal Championship. He wrestled a triple-threat match for the Universal title at WrestleMania 37 having said his days as a full-time wrestler was coming to end with his contract with WWE set to expire. He will not be able to use the Daniel Bryan name since it is owned by WWE.

The leader of the “Yes Movement” spent the past 11 years working for Vince McMahon. It’s why CM Punk, one of AEW’s other new signees, believes Danielson landing with the company is an important moment.

“The guy was in the WrestleMania main event,” Punk told The Post in an interview to promote his match with Darby Allin at “All Out.” “He’s freshly removed from television. He’s a big deal. He’s a very, very big deal and I think that signals to pro wrestling fans that this is the place to be. This is what I want to watch.”

Punk fanned the flames of the reports Danielson was heading to AEW on “Dynamite” two weeks ago. He told the crowd – which was doing the signature “Yes!” chants he made famous as Daniel Bryan, that “that’s somebody else’s shtick, and you might just need to be a little bit more patient, OK.” 

They didn’t have to wait too long. 

One of the big reasons Danielson, who wrestled under the named American Dragon early in his career, is in AEW is the ability to work in Japan, according to multiple reports. It’s something he wouldn’t have been able to do had he stayed in WWE. AEW has a working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Danielson, who returned to WWE in 2018 after retiring two years prior because of issues with concussions, is part of a steady influx of WWE talent coming to AEW. That includes Miro, Malakai Black, Christian Cage and Andrade El Idolo. Mark Henry and Paul Wight — who also wrestled at ‘All Out” — have joined the company in mainly in commentary and backstage roles. Danielson, who has two kids with his wife Brie Bella – a daughter Birdie (4) and son Buddy who was born last August — had also been recently working on the “SmackDown” creative team while in WWE.  

Danielson, because of his name recognition and a legion of followers, could be a game-changer for AEW, which would offer him a fresh batch of competitors, fewer dates and even more say in his creative. One person who is looking forward to wrestling him again is Punk. The two worked together in Ring of Honor and WWE.

“That’s somebody that I look at and I go, man wrestling him was always fun,” Punk said. “It was never a headache and God I would like to do that again. I would like to do that again soon.”

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates, the celebrity gossip site and the entertainment site

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