11. Daniel Bryan Retires, Unretires

5 OF 15

There was no Superstar in the last ten years who inspired fans and made him a more popular and loved competitor than Daniel Bryan.

At WrestleMania 28, he was booked to lose his world title in seconds to Sheamus in the opening bout. He then rode a wave of popularity following a successful surge. Suddenly, the crowd chanted “Yes!” with him, supported him despite his villainous reputation, and were vociferous in their support.

When he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30, it appeared as though he would have control of the business for the time being. His body had other ideas, however.

Bryan was forced to the sidelines for a year after injuring his neck. He was out of the game for a year due to concussions. The long history of brain injuries and their consequences had driven him to announce his retirement from professional wrestling in 2016.

He would continue to be an important component of the television product, working alongside Shane McMahon as SmackDown general manager. Then, in 2018, Bryan announced that he had been cleared to compete after years of diligent effort and dedication to his body and well-being.

Then there was a high-profile conflict with The Miz, which sparked one of his most creative gimmicks and another WWE Championship reign. Not bad for a guy who was too tiny to establish long-term success in the land of the giants until he got hurt.