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[2020-04-17-WWE-SmackDown] Cesaro vs Daniel Bryan


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I loved the 5-or-so minute match these two had on the Road to WrestleMania™ and here they get almost 15-minutes, so of course it's great. It's all about Bryan's attack on Cesaro's left arm -- his work over it was extremely focused, extremely vicious, and extremely compelling. Some amazing moments regarding that armwork were his hip-toss into an armbar, him wringing that arm into the ropes to gain control back, that badass takedown-into-an-armbar counter, Cesaro 2nd deadlift attempt getting countered by Bryan taking the leg, immediately followed by him punting that worked over arm, those repeated YES Kicks to the arm & chest -- and then of course the LeBell Lock, which made the armwork pay off big time as he got the win with it. And that's just mentioning Bryan-on-the-offense side of things, as Cesaro was also absolutely great in this. His selling was fantastic (absolutely loooved him going on that Uppercut frenzy, hitting one of them with his worked over arm, then he sells it for a few seconds & it really seemed like he realized in that moment that he needs to deliver all of those strikes w/ his better arm), and him throwing Bryan around any & every chance he got to do so ruled. Him busting out the GTS was such a nice surprise too, and it sure looked devastating. Also a shout-out to Michael Cole who fantastically mentioned that Bryan's strategy of going after the arm was indeed a callback to Gulak's (brilliant btw) match vs. Cesaro from Mania. Really adds to that coaching angle they are doing with the two and all. ****

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Daniel Bryan is the best wrestler of the COVID era, a sad title to hold but here we are. This banger against Cesaro on the most recent Smackdown paid off on the promise of their first empty PC match by going longer and having a proper conclusion. Bryan’s one of the few people in the WWE who instinctively understands how to work in the empty arena setting. Eliminate rest holds, make no time for taunting (who are you getting heat from?), and keep the pace up to stop any dead air from building. I gush about Bryan, of course, but Cesaro absolutely earns some praise here too. His strikes look and sound fantastic as always and here he even gets to flex his incredibly impressive selling. Crammed a lot of good arm selling into the match despite its length. Mix that with all the fantastic power moves that he uses to transition out of control segments and you have a strong banger of a match that delivers exactly what is needed.



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