Bryan Danielson’s story continued this past week

Bryan and Brie

AS I SEE IT: Bryan Danielson’s story continued this past week
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson’s 2013-2014 story continued this past week, a story beyond anything written in Hollywood. The latest chapter saw he and wife Brianna “Brie Bella” Garcia-Colace Danielson came home last Thursday night, seeing two men leaving their house. The burglars dropped what they’d stolen, and ran down the street.

As several neighbors called 911, Danielson chased down one of the pair, caught up with them and locked him in a rear naked choke for five minutes until police arrived. The capture was even more significant because the perpetrator is facing kidnapping charges in another case.

Brianna retrieved what the pair of burglars were in the process of stealing, including a bracelet Danielson had received from his late father reading: “To the man that you’ve become and the son you’ll always be …” and gifts from Brianna’s sister. The pair were also worried about their dog, Josie, who was in the house while they’d been out.

Ironically, if Danielson hadn’t been hurt, and if WWE storyline hadn’t been written to allow Brianna to spend time with him (and to set up the presumed stipulation for the Summerslam match with Stephanie McMahon, started up in earnest last Monday), one or both would likely have been fulltime on the road. If Danielson hadn’t been hurt, but Brianna had been written out, she’d have been there alone when burglars struck. If they’d both been on the road, the gifts from family would have been stolen.

Danielson’s last year has featured the on-again, off again, push toward the WWE Title, pushed back into the Wrestlemania title match because of a rare degree fan and public response (despite the best efforts of WWE). Danielson got the title at Wrestlemania 30. He became friends with a young cancer patient, brought other WWE talent and management into the process, and gave the child happy weeks before the little boy finally lost his fight with cancer. Danielson then lost his own father unexpectedly. Next, he was injured and was forced to be written out of the WWE title storyline. Finally (?), while still injured, he captured a burglar who robbed his own house.

Try pitching that one to Hollywood and tell me how it works out. We’ll see if the story somehow gets written into RAW tonight. If WWE doesn’t, they aren’t trying very hard.

In other news….in mid-August, it will have been nine years.

On August 18, 2005, that CZW wrestler Christopher “Chri$ Ca$h” Bauman Jr. was killed as the result of a motorcycle accident near his home. Bauman had been riding a motorcycle on Ellis Street in Glassboro, NJ when a Ford Taurus turned in front of it from Higgins Drive, striking the car on the driver’s side of a vehicle driven by Daisy Gwin of Glassboro, NJ.

Christopher J. Bauman Jr., 23, died at the scene, as did his cousin 27 year old Jeremy Bauman, 27, of Franklinville, NJ the driver of the motorcycle. Gwin, 68, of Glassboro, died en route to Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Washington Township, NJ.

Chris was always genuinely friendly in a way that a lot of wrestlers aren’t, but had the wild side we all had at age 23. He was a nice young man, in every sense that the phrase used to mean; and always felt obligated to call me “Mr. Magee” when I came to a show (even when I told him he didn’t have to), would
always say hello when I saw him at a CZW show and tell me he’d seen something or another on my site.

Bauman worked for CZW from 2001 through 2005, with many non-CZW fans even taking notice of him at Cage of Death 5 in his absolutely psychotic ladder match with Blackout’s Joker (who left the promotion shortly afterwards to serve in the US military over in Iraq for one of his tours of duty). The oddest thing is that this match wasn’t even supposed to happen in the way that it did; as it was originally scheduled as a tag team bout, involving Deranged and Azriael, who were working the Jersey All Pro Wrestling show in Rahway, NJ, then come down to Philadelphia for CZW.

But in an almost unprecedented moment for those who know CZW… the show was actually running ahead of schedule. As a result, Deranged and Azriael were not yet at the building. Another version of the story had the two calling the building, telling CZW they were just leaving…and were told not to bother, because they’d never make it in time. In any event, this forced the promotion to go ahead with a singles ladder match, which turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, as it made two stars for CZW in one night with Cash and Joker nearly stealing the entire show. Psycho spots in this match included Cash bulldogging Joker while his head was inside a rung of a ladder off the ropes onto a chair, a top rope superplex onto a ladder stuck at a 45 degree angle into the rungs of another ladder; ending with one of the sickest spots I’ve ever seen in my years of shows at the ECW Arena, as Joker hit his Joker Driver (tiger driver from an electric chair position) off the top of a high ladder with Cash through a table for the pin.

Cash also main evented Cage of Death 6/War Games, as part of the babyface Team Ca$h (Nate Webb, Sexxy Eddy, Cash, JC Bailey) against heel team (turned babyface and heel again) Blackout (Ruckus, Sabian, Kingston, and Jack Evans. As usual, the match featured the daredevil spots for which Cash was known throughout his all-too-short career; including dumping Jack Evans via backdrop off the COD to the floor, and giving Sabian a Cashflow off of the scaffold through four tables, landing in the second row of the ECW Arena.

All I could think when I heard the news four years ago was: God…Chris was easily young enough to be my son. Sons aren’t supposed to die before the parents…or their contemporaries. At the same time, I can’t imagine Chris as a 40 or 50 year old. His spirit was too free and wild to have ever been anything but young.
CZW will remember Chris at its September 13 doubleheader with Women Superstars Uncensored at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ.

Until next time….
Bob Magee