Bryan in his prime was a 100x more over and entertaining than Styles. The underdog story was one of the best in a long time and the YES movement got mainstream attention. Crowds were literally hijacking shows for him.
Styles can put on as many 5* matches as he wants, he's never going to be as big as Bryan was in his prime.
No one else gonna put this mark in his place? Fine, I will.
It's time for you to face facts, who was Bryan competing with for popularity? The Shield (young trio)? The Wyatts (young trio)? CM Punk who had flattened out and become a top star? Cena, the man who had been top for a billion years? AJ Lee? Cesaro? Sheamus? R-Truth? Heel Orton? Heel Lesnar? That's all.
There's more fan favorites on the roster which has made it difficult for any big player to get that big. Bryan was an accident that came from the WWE trying to sabotage him, the company inadvertently made him big.
AJ, Jericho, KO, Rollins, The Hardys (appeal to casuals and are hot off the Broken shtick), New Day (over with all demos), Nakamura, Zayn, Balor, Braun, Roman (yes, he has fans), Ambrose, Bray, Cena, Orton, Lesnar, Sasha, Bayley, Alexa, Charlotte etc...
The sheer number of options make it incredibly difficult to get over huge unless you receive perfect booking which puts you above the rest.
The underdog shit was getting old anyway, I absolutely hated the yes dribble. Bryan was above it and the shtick would have lasted so long before fans deserted him for someone else - sorry mark, but that's just fact, it always happens
. Bryan was the hot thing for the time before they moved onto someone else.
Same happened to Punk, Ambrose, Rollins and the same has happened to AJ, and will happen to Braun. Difference between those guys and Bryan was that Bryan got injured before someone properly surpassed him so we're living with this idea that Bryan was unrivaled and can't be matched, when you know deep down someone would have surpassed him if he stuck around.
I mean, what's the point in supporting the underdog when he's no longer the underdog? The moment Bryan became a top guy, a lot of his fans would have jumped onto Ambrose, Rollins, Roman or Bray. The yes shtick can be fun for so long before it becomes tired and obnoxious.
Best in a long time? LMAO that shit was overrated AF, it has nothing on Punk-Cena.