Better Worker – Shawn Michaels or Daniel Bryan

Welcome back to another edition of Better Worker here on WeTalkWrestling.com this time done by your favorite co-host, Addie. On this edition I will look to compare “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and “YES YES YES” Daniel Bryan. So here’s the breakdown:

The Basics

 

The basics is things like timing, running the ropes, selling opponents offense, positioning, etc. Both men are no slouches in this department. Shawn utilized more punching in his work while Bryan relies more heavily on kicks. Shawn had the advantage of working in the 1980’s when running the ropes was more commonly used and in a variety of ways ($50 to the next two WWE guys who do a Criss-Cross). I can’t fault either man in this category but HBK gets the nod because of his experiences.

Advantage – Shawn Michaels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technical Ability

 

This category looks at the variety and effectiveness of the offense both men use. While Michaels was not a wild brawler, Daniel Bryan is considered one of the best technical wrestlers ever, compared to Chris Benoit and Dynamite Kid. Shawn had great matches with Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, and Marty Jannetty but Bryan’s Ring of Honor matches against Paul London, Austin Aries, and Samoa Joe are far superior in my opinion. In terms of technical move-set, I would again favor Bryan.

 

Advantage – Daniel Bryan

Athleticism

 

Both these men are light, agile and extremely quick. They are both no strangers to the top rope, Bryan with his stomp-like missile dropkick and Shawn with his flying elbow. As a member of the (Midnight) Rockers, Shawn Michaels showed a greater propensity for an aerial assault than Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson has in his career. Although Bryan shows athletic ability in his ground game, I’ll have to go with HBK here because of his “flashiness”, like the Sweet Chin Music and the nip up that starts the comeback.

Advantage – Shawn Michaels

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matches

 

Again this can be a bit difficult to judge because these 2 worked largely in different eras. Shawn has definitely been in more high profile matches, considering Bryan has had 17 seconds of Wrestlemania experience. Danielson’s matches which I mentioned earlier in ROH, along with contests against Homicide, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and his recent Pay Per View match with CM Punk stand out as can’t miss matches. Bryan has also gotten very good matches out of Ted DiBiase Jr, Kane, and Mark Henry. Not to take anything away from those guys but Bryan was clearly the straw that stirred those matches’ drink. With regards to Shawn Michaels’ great matches…..how long to you have? The man had countless classics with Bret Hart, a memorable ladder match with Razor Ramon, his comeback match with HHH (along with countless other great matches in that feud), and two of the best matches ever at Wrestlemania with the Undertaker. One thing you can say about Daniel Bryan is that he was consistently great. This cannot be said for an immature Shawn Michaels, yelling at Vader at Summerslam and throwing an absolute temper tantrum against Ken Shamrock at In Your House: De-Generation X. This is another tough category but I’ve got to give the edge to HBK, mostly because his great matches were seen by more people and left a lasting memory on more fans.

Advantage – Shawn Michaels

Psychology

 

This last category is really about the psychology of understanding why a match works and how to get a crowd to react to it. Obviously both men are very charismatic, with The Heartbreak Kid being one of the most ever. The fans have really taken to the YES chant with kicks and punches but it is starting to become a parody of itself, just like WHAT. As mentioned above, Shawn has two stand out matches that demonstrate the opposite of what this category is attempting to commend with his temper. Shawn does have his set “WWE Comeback” which the fans pop for, as they are trained to do, with the nip up punches and superkick. Ring Of Honor has a different type of psychology due to the average longer match time and the smaller workers and I haven’t seen anyone control that crowd better than Bryan Danielson. Some on that level, but no one above, in my opinion. Daniel Bryan has also been able to conform somewhat to the WWE system and is getting over in The Fed because of this ability. For this versatility, I will go with Daniel Bryan here.

 
Advantage – Daniel Bryan
 

So Shawn wins the breakdown 3-2, but of course I do have the right to super cede that and declare the final winner as stated in the Lou Thesz/Toots Mondt wrestling handbook. As it so happens, I am going to exercise this right and go against the categories listed. The nod in the match category was the tiebreaker here and Shawn won it because of his higher profile matches. Daniel Bryan may very well have those matches and I have no doubt that the quality will be top notch when he does have them. It is extremely close but I have gone with:

Your Winner – Daniel Bryan

 

Agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? I’d love to hear from you at addie@wetalkwrestling.com

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