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By Arda Ocal | September 28, 2013
As first reported by E!, and later confirmed by WWE.com, WWE stars Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella are engaged to be married. In an interview with E! , Bryan revealed how he popped the question to Bella in California while on a hike. He flew in her entire family for a celebration dinner after she accepted the proposal. WWE's hit reality program "Total Divas" -- which airs on E! -- was filming the moment for a future episode. Wedding bells have already been ringing recently in WWE, as Cody Rhodes married former Diva Brandi Reed in a recent private ceremony . Follow Arda Ocal on Twitter @arda_ocal)
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By Aaron Oster | September 20, 2014
The WWE announced Saturday that Roman Reigns underwent emergency surgery for an incarcerated hernia. He will not compete against Seth Rollins on Sunday night. Reigns was in Nashville to promote Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view. "Most of the time, the recovery time for something like this in terms of returning to physical activity is between four and six weeks," WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann told WWE.com. "This was a pretty significant hernia, so it will probably be closer to six weeks.
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By Arda Ocal | August 6, 2013
It's the entertainer vs the wrestler. More generally, it's the WWE Universe vs. the hardcore pro wrestling fan. Daniel Bryan has played his role perfectly in the build up of his match against John Cena at SummerSlam. He is the darling of the internet wrestling community, the guy every hardcore fan is cheering for -- very similar to when Rob Van Dam, the ECW star, in the middle of a hostile ECW crowd at an ECW reunion event, defeated John Cena for the WWE title. Even in a segment loosely resembling the time Mr. McMahon tried to make Steve Austin more "corporate" during the Attitude Era, Daniel Bryan hit a home run and kept us interested.
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By Aaron Oster | August 12, 2014
On Monday night, WWE Raw ended with a perfect mix of nostalgia and build for the SummerSlam pay-per-view as the company celebrated Hulk Hogan's birthday. After advertising Hogan's birthday all night, complete with messages from the likes of Larry King and "Weird" Al Yankovic, they finally had a party for him in the final segment of the night. It started with "Mean" Gene Okerlund and Jimmy Hart out in the ring to introduce Hogan. Hogan came out, shilled the WWE Network for a bit, and then thanked the fans.
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By Arda Ocal | July 22, 2013
To long-time pro wrestling fans, this headline is no shocking discovery. Even to the WWE Universe, which is once again being reminded, it feels all too familiar. Daniel Bryan is a mega star. Hitting home runs in every match lately, including three matches on RAW -- beating Jack Swagger and having a fantastic match with Antonio Cesaro, before winning by DQ against Ryback -- Bryan keeps reaffirming the notion of many fans who want to see him as WWE champion after Summerslam is over.
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By Aaron Oster | May 13, 2014
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how a honeymoon and his father's death had created a speed bump for Daniel Bryan's title reign. On Monday, he announced an even bigger problem: he has to undergo surgery. Bryan came out to the ring looking extremely serious on Monday. He went through a speech talking about everything he's overcome to get to this point, similar to some of the other speeches he's made lately. Then he dropped the bombshell that he will have surgery on his neck on Tuesday.
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By Aaron Oster | April 7, 2014
"What just happened?" "Did someone screw up?" "Did the ref wave it off?" Those were just a few of the things I heard in the seconds after the unthinkable happened at Wrestlemania 30: Brock Lesnar pinned Undertaker cleanly. Nobody could believe that Lesnar had won that match. I saw one tweet from a wrestler say that it was the most shocking ending to a wrestling match since 1997 (the Montreal Screwjob), and I'm not sure I can disagree. The crowd certainly reacted that way, going from a surprised pop when the pin was made, to a mild confused buzz in the time between the pin was made and the decision was read, to a cry of disbelief when they finally announced Lesnar as the winner.
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By Arda Ocal | September 3, 2013
As the storyline of Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton and the WWE brass (Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, etc.) blossoms, we are seeing the "building heat" phase. The WWE Universe is developing more and more discontent toward the villain side of the equation, as the hero constantly gets one-upped and beaten down. Two weeks away from the next pay-per-view, Night of Champions, Bryan looks like he doesn't stand a chance.  This week's Raw ended the same way it has ended for the last few weeks -- with Randy Orton and the "corporation" standing tall over a lifeless "B+".
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October 11, 2012
Arda Ocal (@arda_ocal) of theScore Television Network and The Baltimore Sun spoke with AJ Lee (@WWEAJLee) about her first video game, being Raw GM, working with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, comparisons to Stephanie McMahon and more.
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By Arda Ocal and The Baltimore Sun | August 20, 2013
It was a familiar scene on WWE Raw for longtime wrestling fans. In the ring stood the authority figures -- in this case Triple H, Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon -- talking about what's right for WWE, their thoughts on the look of a proper champion and why their actions were all for the benefit of the fans. Daniel Bryan is the victim of their crimes. According to the "decision makers," he doesn't look like a champion. He's not an A, but a solid B+, they say. Earlier in the show, he was escorted away by security.
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By Aaron Oster | June 10, 2014
As mentioned in yesterday's column , Daniel Bryan's rehab wasn't going as well as hoped.  On Monday's RAW, that was made official when the Authority vacated the title and announced it would be put on the line in a seven-man ladder match. They announced the first two participants of the match quickly, saying Alberto Del Rio earned his shot last week, and also put Randy Orton into the match.  Later in the night, Sheamus and Cesaro also earned their shots in qualifying matches.  You can read about my early thoughts on who should win the match in yesterday's column, but there are two questions that remain after RAW. The first is who will the three remaining competitors be?
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By Aaron Oster and The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2014
Late last week, reports started coming out that Daniel Bryan's rehab wasn't going as well as hoped. This afternoon, reports came out that doctors had officially told him that he won't be cleared to wrestle at Money in the Bank. Assuming these reports are true, that means we will see the Money in the Bank match turned into a match for the WWE World Heavyweight title, as Stephanie McMahon announced on RAW last week. We may also see a second match for the MITB briefcase. We should know more about that later tonight on RAW. Now that we know he won't be defending the title though, the question becomes who will become champion, and what happens to some of the long-term plans for the title and Daniel Bryan.
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By Aaron Oster and The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
Over the years, we've seen many "passing the torch" moments in pro wrestling. On Sunday night, we added another to the list when The Shield convincingly beat Evolution. If you read my prediction column, you saw that I had predicted Evolution , though I did say there were a few ways I could see The Shield winning. I thought maybe somehow Roman Reigns could end up with the final pin, or even take out multiple members of Evolution single-handedly. One thing I didn't expect were all three members to be still standing at the end, and for them to have completely dominated the last five minutes of what was a pretty strong match with some great spots in it. While I wouldn't use the term "squash," as it was a long match that did feature Evolution absolutely destroying the Shield members at times, it was a dominant finish that left no doubt as to who the superior team was. Now, I'm not going to say this was Warrior beating Hogan, or Austin beating Shawn Michaels.
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By Aaron Oster and The Baltimore Sun | May 27, 2014
The question of what to do with the world heavyweight title has been hanging over the WWE since Daniel Bryan announced two weeks ago that he needed surgery. While it seemed like there might be a resolution on Raw, the decision on the belt was postponed, and the lack of a title feud had a ripple effect over the entire show. The previous week, Stephanie McMahon said that Bryan needed to surrender the title on Raw this week. And yes, he did show up. He said that his injury was worse than expected (which I believe is a work, and was just used to get a reaction from the crowd)
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By Aaron Oster | May 13, 2014
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how a honeymoon and his father's death had created a speed bump for Daniel Bryan's title reign. On Monday, he announced an even bigger problem: he has to undergo surgery. Bryan came out to the ring looking extremely serious on Monday. He went through a speech talking about everything he's overcome to get to this point, similar to some of the other speeches he's made lately. Then he dropped the bombshell that he will have surgery on his neck on Tuesday.
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By Aaron Oster | May 5, 2014
At the end of an entertaining Extreme Rules pay-per-view, Daniel Bryan retained his title in a main event that brought many wrestling fans back to the Attitude era. The match, an extreme rules match, featured savage beatdowns with chairs, kendo sticks and other weapons, a brawl that went through the backstage area to the parking garage, cars being destroyed, a forklift being employed, and finally, a flaming table that Kane went through. It was the kind of violence in a match that, for the most part, had been toned down over the past decade.
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By Arda Ocal | July 30, 2013
WWE Raw ended Monday night virtually the same way it ended two weeks ago -- John Cena raising the WWE title in the air (this time after beating Ryback in a tables match), and Daniel Bryan yelling "Yes" in his face, along with pretty much every fan in the arena. Slowly but surely, there are cracks beginning to show in the armor of respect in this match -- though it will still be an underlying theme in this rivalry, there will be more intensity seen in the weeks to come. What we aren't seeing a lot of (rather who)
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By Arda Ocal | December 5, 2013
After decades of terrorizing enemies in the ring (and a famous stint becoming one himself), Robert Remus, better known to fans as Sgt. Slaughter, is a public ambassador for WWE. He can be seen on many nights representing the company at charity events and at local independent wrestling events. "Part of my job is to send new talent [to WWE]", Slaughter, 65, said in a phone interview on Tuesday promoting WWE's latest DVD releases ("RAW 20th Anniversary Collection" and "The History of WWE: 50 Years of Sports Entertainment")
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By Aaron Oster | April 9, 2014
Over the past few years, the RAW after Wrestlemania has been considered to be one of the best RAWs of the year, particularly because of the crowds it draws. This year was no different. From start to finish, the crowd was loud, boisterous and made their presence felt in nearly every match. While the fans had fun, you can tell the wrestlers loved it to. Daniel Bryan not only had fun with the crowd as he opened the show, you could simply tell by the look on his face how much he loved it. Even as a heel, Bray Wyatt played to the crowd.
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By Aaron Oster | April 7, 2014
"What just happened?" "Did someone screw up?" "Did the ref wave it off?" Those were just a few of the things I heard in the seconds after the unthinkable happened at Wrestlemania 30: Brock Lesnar pinned Undertaker cleanly. Nobody could believe that Lesnar had won that match. I saw one tweet from a wrestler say that it was the most shocking ending to a wrestling match since 1997 (the Montreal Screwjob), and I'm not sure I can disagree. The crowd certainly reacted that way, going from a surprised pop when the pin was made, to a mild confused buzz in the time between the pin was made and the decision was read, to a cry of disbelief when they finally announced Lesnar as the winner.
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