Before They Were Stars: Daniel Bryan Wrestles William Regal in Memphis in 2001

Tonight, at Wrestlemania 30, Daniel Bryan could conceivably close the show by winning the main event and walking out with the WWE Title. It’s a pretty big accomplishment for someone who worked his ass off on the independent circuit for years to become arguably WWE’s most popular star right now. It’s amazing to think that Bryan (back when he was still known as “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson) was originally signed to a developmental contract by the company over a decade ago, but was released in 2001 after they severed ties with Memphis Championship Wrestling, the farm system he was working for. But here’s some footage from 13 years ago of the future Wrestlemania main eventer wrestling a great technical match in Memphis with one of his mentors, William Regal.

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