During the go-home RAW show before Money in the Bank, the great Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus rivalry continued and they had one of the best matches I have seen on RAW this year. What I love about the Bryan vs. Sheamus rivalry is that they have amazing in-ring chemistry despite their different wrestling styles. I usually don’t like Sheamus matches, but he always seems to have a great performance whenever his opponent is Daniel Bryan. Sheamus is not a guy I would expect to be a great opponent for Bryan. I expect Bryan to have great matches against CM Punk, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler. It amazes me that I have never seen a bad Bryan vs. Sheamus match. It’s funny that two of their least praised matches happened at WrestleMania. Hopefully someday they will get an opportunity to complete their WrestleMania trilogy because the third match should be a lot better than the first two and it could be a WrestleMania classic. After seeing the great match Bryan and Sheamus had on RAW, I wanted to review an old match from their rivalry, but they have had so many good matches that I decided make this a top 5 matches column. Before I start the list, I want to mention that I picked only singles matches and ignored any tag team or multiple-man matches.

Honorable Mention: Daniel Bryan vs. King Sheamus (WWE RAW – March 14, 2011)

This is the first good Bryan vs. Sheamus match I remember seeing. There were five matches better than this one, but I had to include it because it was when King Sheamus won the United States Championship. Sheamus was known as King Sheamus because he won the King of the Ring tournament on November 29, 2010. The match didn’t get a lot of time because it happened during WrestleMania season when segments are more important than matches. I was at RAW two weeks later and the best two highlights of that show were both in-ring promo segments. The title change made this match memorable and a memorable spot in the match was the finish. Bryan jumped off the top rope and Sheamus hit him with the Brogue Kick. It was an enjoyable short match. A one disc Sheamus WWE DVD was released in 2012 and this was one of the five matches included. The time length of this match shown on TV was 5:46.

Winner: King Sheamus

Rating: ***

Video of the Match: http://youtu.be/tZqmhewnaLE

5. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (WWE Smackdown – September 14, 2012)

An interesting fact about this match is that Brad Maddox was the referee and when I watched this match again, I got the same feeling watching Maddox referee this match as I do whenever I watch Teddy Long referee a match from the Attitude Era. It’s amazing that the two guys currently in charge of RAW and Smackdown are both former referees. This match happened during the “Banning of the Brogue Kick” storyline. Booker T banned Brogue Kick because the move was injuring too many people and that meant Sheamus had to find a new way to defeat his opponents. Sheamus used the Texas Cloverleaf in this match and defeated Bryan by submission. The Brogue Kick became legal again two days later at the Night of Champions Pay-Per-View and I can’t remember Sheamus winning a match by using the Texas Cloverleaf since this match. I would love to see Sheamus use the Texas Cloverleaf more often because then maybe WWE would do a Bryan vs. Sheamus submission match which would be awesome in my opinion. I enjoyed this unofficial submission match and I liked that it was commercial-free which is rare for a Smackdown main event match. The time length of the match was 9:05.

Winner: Sheamus

Rating: ***1/4

Video of the Match: http://youtu.be/9Vn56_3eV2Q

4. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (WWE Smackdown – May 4, 2012)

This was the main event of Smackdown and the second Bryan vs. Sheamus match of the night. Alberto Del Rio applied the cross armbreaker to Sheamus after the first match. That was after Sheamus won by disqualification when Ricardo Rodriguez interfered. Daniel Bryan wanted a rematch and Sheamus said he wanted to fight despite injuring his arm. When the second match happened, Sheamus had his upper arm wrapped up and bandaged. I liked the build-up going into the match. Having a good story makes a match better. Bryan took advantage of the injury. A good wrestler heavily focuses on an injured body part and that’s what Bryan did in this match. Sheamus was at a huge disadvantage and it made me wonder how he was going to win the match. The finish of the match was Bryan jumping off the top rope and Sheamus hitting him with the Brogue Kick which was a good way for Sheamus to win without using his injured arm. The time length of the match shown on TV was 9:27.

Winner: Sheamus

Rating: ***1/2

Video of the Match: http://youtu.be/SM-DzQ1nhjM

3. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (WWE RAW – July 8, 2013)

I enjoyed the most recent Bryan vs. Sheamus match a lot and it met my expectations. This match got better as the match got longer. Bryan’s counter of the Texas Cloverleaf into the pinfall was an awesome spot. I think this was the first and only time Daniel Bryan pinned Sheamus in a televised singles match. If they got 20 minutes and had this match on a PPV, there’s a good chance it would steal the show. The time length of the match shown on TV was 10:48.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Rating: ***3/4

Video of the Match: http://youtu.be/mbKqDGbxR2M?t=6m35s

2. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (WWE RAW – July 30, 2012)

This was a RAWactive match. WWE fans got to pick the match stipulation on Twitter and the stipulation with the most votes was a street fight. I enjoyed this match a lot. A street fight is a great match stipulation for Sheamus and Bryan is talented enough to excel at any match stipulation. A kendo stick was used a lot in this match and some of the fighting happened on the entrance ramp. It was good to see Bryan doing a lot of street fighting and not a lot of wrestling. If the match is a street fight, I want to see a street fight and not a wrestling match. Bryan hit Sheamus with the kendo stick many times. Sheamus won by hitting Bryan with the Brogue Kick. It was an awesome brawl for a TV match. If they had this match on a PPV with no commercials and a title on the line, it would easily be a four star classic. The time of the match shown on TV was 10:53.

Winner: Sheamus

Rating: ***3/4

Video of the Match: http://youtu.be/K2cF4-ROC1I

1. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (WWE Extreme Rules – April 29, 2012)

The best Bryan vs. Sheamus match is my favorite match of 2012. Their match at Extreme Rules should have happened at WrestleMania 28. Why didn’t this match happen at WrestleMania instead of the 18 seconds match? Was WWE afraid it was going to steal the show from Rock vs. Cena or Triple H vs. Undertaker? In my opinion, this is the best Sheamus match in WWE and one of Bryan’s best WWE matches. I love the story in this match. It was a two out of three falls match with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Sheamus injured his arm during the first fall and Bryan worked on that arm for the rest of the match. Bryan got himself disqualified for hitting the arm of Sheamus too much after the referee told him to stop because Bryan knew Sheamus would not be able to use his arm. And Bryan was right. Sheamus became a one-armed man. Sheamus did a terrific job selling the injury. At one point during the third and final fall, Bryan was trying to kick the arm and Sheamus kept turning his body so Bryan would kick his back instead of his arm. I don’t enjoy many “storytelling” matches, but I do like a few of them and this is one of them. The good job by Sheamus selling the arm injury made his victory look more impressive and it was a believable victory because Sheamus doesn’t need to use his arm to deliver the Brogue Kick. I didn’t give this match five stars, but it came very close and there isn’t a Sheamus match I enjoy more than this one. After I saw this match at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, I knew I saw a special match and I enjoyed it even more when I watched it on the Extreme Rules DVD. The time length of the match was 22:55.

Winner: Sheamus

Rating: ****1/2

Video of the Match: http://youtu.be/BYa2Ojs5VtM

While I was doing research for this top 5 list, I found a great video playlist of the Bryan-Sheamus rivalry at WWE.com. The link is below.

http://www.wwe.com/videos/playlists/daniel-bryan-vs-sheamus-playlist

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