Daniel Bryan made his in-ring return at WWE WrestleMania 34, teaming with Shane McMahon to face Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. How did the match play out?
There was palpable excitement throughout the pro wrestling world whenever news broke that Daniel Bryan would be able to return to in-ring competition after two years on the shelf. However, the question that many wondered was when it would happen. That’s when Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn opened the door by first attacking Shane McMahon, then Bryan himself. Those attacks led to a match being made at WWE WrestleMania 34.
After the heartwarming moment of Bryan coming back out to the ring, Zayn and Owens weren’t about to let pleasantries stand in the way. Instead, they came up quickly behind Bryan and McMahon and started to eviscerate their competition. They stunned both men, then turned their sights on the returning Bryan.
Zayn and Owens, fighting for their jobs, targeted the leader of the YES! Movement and tried to take him completely out of the match. This started with some strikes, followed by Zayn hitting the Helluva Kick to really incapacitate Bryan. It didn’t stop there, however, as Owens then got Bryan up for a powerbomb onto the apron that sent out the trainers to look at the SmackDown Live general manager.
That then left Shane alone to start the match as a pseudo-handicap match against Zayn and Owens.
Early on, it appeared like McMahon was going to be able to get after things and shock the world with a quick victory. He dispatched Zayn first with a flurry of strikes and then started to seemingly do the same to Owens. However, the hellaciously mean-spirited Owens wouldn’t be turned down and gave his team the upper hand in the bout, beginning to brutally pick apart the midsection of McMahon — who had a recent stint in the hospital with diverticulitis. All the while, the doctors continued to look at Bryan ringside.
As the beatdown continued, things looked pretty hopeless for Shane O Mac as he kept getting the tar kicked out of him. Somehow though, he found a bit more strength and got after it. He first got Zayn hung up on the turnbuckle and then got Owens to fly over the top rope. That allowed him to hit a Coast-to-Coast, but Owens came back to break up the pin.
Owens then looked to end the match himself, putting McMahon on his back and then going to the top rope. KO then hit a monster Frog Splash on the half-dead Shane, but out of nowhere, Bryan popped back to life and into the ring to break up the three count.
After Owens then missed on a Cannonball attempt on McMahon, it looked as if the latter was going to get a tag to the now-upright Bryan. However, Zayn jumped on his back to try and keep him from doing so — but it only worked for so long before Shane fought free and got the tag to his partner.
Bryan came into the ring like a bat out of hell — subdued at first, of course, but wreck Zay as soon as he got going. He even gave Owens some punishment as well, going outside of the ring with a baseball slide and then a flying knee to KO. That led to some big knees and kicks to Zayn back in the ring and it looked as if the match was about to be over.
However, Owens grabbed hold of Bryan’s leg and allowed Zayn to muster up another Helluva Kick. Bryan was able to kick out, though, which incensed Owens. he then started to let everything he had left loose to try and end Bryan and the match. Yet what he had wasn’t enough as Bryan kicked out after a Pop-Up Powerbomb.
When Owens was sent back out to the floor over the top rope, it was Zayn and Bryan left to face off again. Zayn tried his mightiest to make it happen, but it was clearly not enough. Bryan unleashed yet another flurry of strikes, then getting Sami to his knees for a slew of YES! Kicks.
That then set up the Flying Knee into the YES! Lock. Zayn couldn’t hold on and eventually tapped, giving Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon the win in the former’s return at WWE WrestleMania 34