While they were both members of The Nexus, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk were never a part of the group at the same time. However, they did wrestle together as an interestingly named tag team in WWE during a short run that you may have forgotten!
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan Tag Team
During their time in WWE and beyond, both Daniel Bryan and CM Punk were two of the greatest wrestlers in the world. They both became world champions in the WWE and put on some of the greatest matches in the companies history.
That even included a WWE Championship against one another at the now-controversial Over the Limit 2012 Pay Per View. Despite these two legends of the ring facing off for the world title, it was a throwaway match featuring John Cena and John Laurinitis that main evented the show, much to both men’s chagrin.
Luckily for fans, Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk was an incredible match with both men giving it their all and putting everything on the line to put on a show stealing bout to send the fans home happy. It gained a 9.17 rating on Cagematch and Dave Meltzer awarded it a 4.5 star rating.
However, when it came to 2013, both men were knocking on the door of the world title but neither could take the crown as the face of WWE. Punk was given the chance to wrestle in big matches against the likes of Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker and The Rock but unfortunately lost each and every one of them.
Meanwhile Daniel Bryan did defeat John Cena at Summerslam 2013 to win his first WWE Championship, but was immediately beaten by Randy Orton. He feuded back and force with The Viper before he was replaced by the Big Show and sent back down to the midcard by WWE management.
With both men in somewhat of a rut with something to prove, they formed a brief but incredible tag team that fans would love to see revisited one day, either in WWE or AEW.
The Best and The Beard
During late 2013, Daniel Bryan began to feud with Bray Wyatt and his terrifying Wyatt Family. He was a terrifying cult leader who had already defeated WWE stars like The Miz, Kane and Kofi Kingston and decided to move on to bigger things in The Dazzler.
The Wyatt family attacked both Daniel Bryan and CM Punk on the October 28th, 2013 edition of Monday Night Raw, leaving them a crumpled heap in the ring. This kicked off the start of their tag team run, joining together to face their common enemy and get revenge in the only way they know how – by fighting.
The team was named during a promo soon after, when they pondered a team name for their duo. They settled on mixing up their nicknames, with Bryan using “The Beard” on many of his T-Shirts, whilst CM Punk was known as “The Best in the World” during his time in WWE and AEW.
The Best and the Beard wrestled a number of times on Raw and Smackdown, as well as racking up a huge pay per view win together. They wrestled top teams like The Shield and Rybaxel, racking up wins on TV and house shows as one of the best teams in WWE.
They battled The Wyatt family in two huge matches, both times gaining huge victories against their rivals. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk defeated The Wyatts at Survivor Series 2013 in a handicap match, and doubled their tally the next night on Raw too.
However, the pair soon broke up when CM Punk moved on to feud with The Shield. Daniel Bryan subsequently joined the Wyatt Family before turning on the team and main evented Wrestlemania XXX against Randy Orton and Batista.
However, one question has always plagued fans – why did CM Punk and Daniel Bryan never face off at Wrestlemania?
Why Didn’t They Face Each Other At Wrestlemania?
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan seemed destined to wrestle each other on the biggest stage of them all – Wrestlemania. The duo had the potential to be two of the top WWE stars at the same time and have one of the best matches in the events history, up there with the likes of Steamboat vs Savage and Hitman vs Stone Cold.
However, they never managed to get the timing right for a Wrestlemania main event. CM Punk famously never main evented Wrestlemania, something that he based his entire WWE career around getting. It was one of the reasons why he left WWE in 2014 and remains one of the biggest “what ifs” in WWE around that time.
Meanwhile, his walking out at the 2014 Royal Rumble facilitated Daniel Bryan achieving the impossible and main eventing Wrestlemania 30. He defeated Batista and Randy Orton to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the event to do something CM Punk could only dream of, and he had it all to thank him for.
However, even Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson in AEW) could not believe they didn’t lock horns at Wrestlemania. He spoke to Cerrito Live about how he’s disappointed Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk never took off at Wrestlemania despite being destined to do so, seemingly.
“It’s always so enticing to come back, as much as you don’t want to. I would hope yes [Punk returns]. In the back of my mind, even after he left, I always had this thing where it seemed to me where there should have always been a WrestleMania match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Now, at this point, he may be past that. I know he’s not big on people putting his name out there and saying, ‘I want to do this.’ That’s not where I’m coming from with this, at all. But, in the back of my head, I was always disappointed we never got a CM Punk and Daniel Bryan WrestleMania match.”Daniel Bryan on a potential match with CM Punk
With both men signed to AEW, it seems impossible that Bryan Danielson vs CM Punk will happen at Wrestlemania, with them seeming more likely to retire than return to WWE in the future. CM Punk looks to be fired by AEW and with Daniel Bryan the head of his own faction, the time for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in the main event of Wrestlemania seems an impossible dream.
What do you think of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk as “The Best and The Beard”? Let us know in the comments or click below to read more
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.