Catch Science: Daniel Bryan (Part 1)


Daniel Bryan vs. Kaval
FCW January 2010

I doubt I’ll do this every Monday but since Daniel Bryan wrestles on Raw I thought I’d occasionally give some thoughts on various matches throughout his career. Today’s Daniel Bryan match took place in January this year. Video and thoughts after the jump. Enjoy.

This is a classic matchup between a superb striker vs. a master grappler. Although Kaval is no slouch in the grappling/chain wrestling department, his bread and butter is destroying his opponents with vicious kicks and a myriad of dangerous strikes.

Daniel is a good striker as well but his claim to fame is being one of the best technical wrestlers in the world today. Bryan trains at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas under the guidance of catch wrestling expert, Neil Melanson. Melanson is a grappling coach who trained under Gene Lebell, Gokor Chivichyan and Karo Parisyan. It was Melanson who taught Bryan the Lebell Lock.

In this match, both men did a marvelous job of combining all parts of their overall wrestling game to have a short but fantastic match in Bryan’s FCW debut last January. I also have to add that a pre-Nexus Wade Barrett is one of the announcers. Here are some interesting points of this great match. Feel free to add any of your own observations in the comments!

The match begins with a test of strength lock up and they wrestle that way for a full minute and keep things interesting.

@ 2:32 Bryan’s bridge is one of the best in pro wrestling. Here Kaval showcases his kicks while Bryan shows his amazing strength and grappling technique.

@ 3:44 Bryan’s trademark brutal European Uppercut blasts Kaval’s jaw. Bryan hasn’t used it that much on Raw but he used it often in his matches on the indy circuit.

@ 5:50 An innovative pin attempt here by Bryan as he stomps on Kaval’s right arm while putting his knee on Kaval’s hip and painfully stretches Kaval’s abdominal and oblique muscles. Brilliant.

@ 6:58 Kaval sells the arm injury perfectly here on the Irish Whip attempt.

@ 7:13 Kaval’s Brazilian Kick is one of the cooler strikes I’ve seen recently in pro wrestling. I don’t recall him using that kick in his early years in ROH but I’d like to know when and where he started using that.

@ 8:07 A sitout butterfly suplex variant into an armbar. I like the Lebell Lock but this could have been an awesome finisher for Bryan as well. I suppose the WWE couldn’t have two of their newer wrestlers (Bryan and Alberto Del Rio) have similar finishing submissions. That could’ve been an angle for a future feud. Oh well the Lebell Lock does kick ass.

@ 9:40 Just the idea of a butterfly superplex is so ill. It added to the drama of a match that already had the fans amped since the opening moments.

@ 9:58 The Warriors Way. One of the best finishers in pro wrestling today. Period.

Sure this was a match in the FCW that only smart marks hunted down and saw but it delivered a lot of excitement in the short amount of time given. Bryan and Kaval both wrestled their asses off and more importantly displayed the understanding of good pacing and building to a climactic finish.

The occasional sub attempt and quick pinfall at the right time added so much to such a short match. Nowadays, so many wrestlers stall and slap on meaningless wear-down holds out of nowhere and buzzkill potentially great matches. Bryan and Kaval never wasted a moment and they kept the momentum in this match strong. Hopefully Kaval will enjoy a push just as strong as the one Bryan is receiving now. Although Bryan lost he showed why he is one of the best pro wrestlers in the world and respected by his peers.

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2 Responses to “Catch Science: Daniel Bryan (Part 1)”

  1. hana Says:

    You should write more of these. Good stuff.

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