Daniel Bryan recently revealed how Jon Moxley fka Dean Ambrose had a big role to play in his eventual in-ring return, despite being retired in 2016 due to concussion issues. After years of patiently waiting, Bryan was finally cleared to wrestle and made his return in 2018. Bryan now serves as a full-time member on the SmackDown roster.
Jon Moxley had been part of WWE up until he decided to leave and join AEW. During his tenure with WWE, Moxley had some of the best matches of his career, including his spectacular bouts against an acclaimed in-ring star like AJ Styles.
Speaking to Bleacher Report, Daniel Bryan recalled how he was ringside when Moxley faced Styles on SmackDown. The match had a major impact on his willingness to return to in-ring competition. Bryan said it was hard for him to see Moxley having a great match with Styles, even though he himself had never faced The Phenomenal One in WWE at the time.
''The worst one was when I had to sit ringside for a Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles match and that was the one that broke me. AJ and I at that point hadn’t [fought]. He hadn’t come to WWE before I retired. Seeing those guys go out there, and they’re both great, I was like, ‘Man, I should be in there doing this with these guys.’ It really ate me up, and when I came home, I think Brie saw a different person as far as striving to prove.''
Daniel Bryan explains the impact Jon Moxley vs. AJ Styles had on him
WWE's Yes Man stated that watching Jon Moxley wrestle AJ Styles fueled a fire in him to get cleared to wrestle. Despite WWE taking the stance that he would never compete again, Bryan said it was up to his own determination to get cleared and start wrestling again.
While Jon Moxley is now a former WWE and AEW World Champion, both AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan are still integral WWE performers on different brands.