Daniel Bryan def. Drew Gulak

PHILADELPHIA — For one night only, the Wells Fargo Center turned into the Dallas Sportatorium, and the bells and whistles of sports-entertainment melted away when Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak locked up in an old-school battle that seemed time-warped from NWA circa 1982. And for all Gulak’s insistence that his was the superior wrestling mind, it was Bryan who schooled the former NXT Cruiserweight Champion, though it’s fair to say The Philadelphia Stretcher kept the match razor-close.

In a match that almost took place entirely on the mat and where you could count the number of rope-runs on one hand, Gulak kept things basic and brutal. When he wasn’t twisting Bryan’s legs into pretzels, he was viciously targeting his surgically-repaired neck to set up his Gulock dragon sleeper. He got there eventually, but the five-time World Champion saved the match with a last-gasp effort, grabbing hold of a wrist, somehow rolling into the “Yes!” Lock and claiming the win when Gulak passed out.

Bryan couldn’t help but show some respect with a nod to the Philly product after the match, and there’s no point in disputing the props. If tonight was any indication, Gulak may well have the superior mind. The heart, however, is another story.