We Met The Tiny Family Living Inside Daniel Bryan’s Beard!
It was 2008. Daniel Bryan, then known as Bryan Danielson, was an independent professional wrestler struggling to make ends meet amid a global financial crisis. Bob and Harriette Van Dyke were newlyweds whose dream of starting a family seemed in jeopardy due to the American housing debacle. Until … a deal was struck. In exchange for $1,543.46, routine ingrown hair maintenance, as well as food and rotten tofu removal, The Van Dykes took residency in the most famous facial hair in all of professional wrestling: Daniel Bryan’s beard.
A Fair Compromise
Bunny Ears was able to sit down and talk to the Van Dykes about what it’s like living in Superstar Daniel Bryan’s beard. In almost every sense, Bob and Harriette are living the American dream. “We love it here,” beams Bob. “At first,” adds Harriette, “it was rough, we fought through several seasons of heavy dandruff, the war of the lice and somehow we persevered through the alopecia scare of twenty-twelve.”
They figured it would be temporary. As soon as the recession was over, Bryan would shave and they would move to a townhouse in the suburbs. Then one day when Harriette was cooking some bacon, the grease splattered and landed on a fertile boil. It got infected. The infection spread to Daniel’s brain, disrupted his neural transmitters, resulting in him quitting NXT. That’s when the Van Dyke’s realized, that this was more than just a simple living arrangement and that they were directly shaping the career and life of a WWE Superstar.
The Name Game
Indeed, it seems both parties have profited greatly from this relationship. Long after Bryan stopped needing the Van Dykes’ rent, he continued on as their landlord, in part due to the sage advice his tenants are known to provide. Bob explains, “It was Harriette’s idea for him to change his name from the clunky ‘Bryan Danielson’ to the streamlined ‘Daniel Bryan.’ And she was clearly on to something because look where it got him!”
The Nexus Of A Movement
But things were not always so pleasant. Harriette groans at the mention of AJ Lee’s name. “That woman was so territorial. She saw us as a threat to her control over him and tried to get him to evict us with an impromptu washing, conditioning, and hot oil treatment of Daniel Bryan’s beard with NO NOTICE when Nicksus was only a baby!” Nicksus, the Van Dykes’ son, was named after the Nexus faction, of which Bryan was a member. “Even after AJ was gone,” says Bob, “the arguments between Harriette and Bryan continued. She was would take the day trip to his ear to shout, “NO! NO! NO!” at him and he would respond, “YES! YES! YES!’ In that sense, I guess you could say Harriette was responsible for the ‘Yes!’ Movement!”
As Bryan’s career began to soar, the Van Dykes held on tight and their loyalty paid off. “Bryan changed and for the better,” states Harriette, The organic, vegan diet that she suggested to him has made his skin far less dangerous and tumultuous. Gone are the days of volcanic explosions of puss nor does Bob have to break his back scraping dead skin as often off the front lawn.
The New Daniel Bryan
In regards to Daniel’s relationship with his wife, the Van Dyke’s had a bit of influence on that too. When Daniel had to choose between the Bella Twins, Bob put his life on the line and opted to do a bit of recon on the Twin’s intentions. For two weeks, Bob staked out in each Bella Twin’s weave and discovered that Nikki wasn’t into beards. So, not only would Daniel risk his freedom of expression with Nikki, but the Van Dyke’s would lose their lovely home and no one wanted either of those two things to happen. So Brie Bella it was! And Brie has been a ray of light. Everyone at the Van Dyke household is glad Bryan had her when he was forced to retire.
In Bryan’s darkest hour, both Brie and the Van Dykes provided a crucial support system for him. Around the time Bryan and Brie’s daughter Birdie was born, the Van Dykes welcomed their second son Beardie into the world and the two are said to be inseparable.
Since Bryan’s return to the ring, life has been great all around. An unlikely alliance, forged during an economic downturn, has blossomed into a full-fledged friendship. The Van Dykes are grateful that Bryan always left room for them, even when his beard was tightly trimmed.
Images: WWE, Megan Elice Meadows, WWE, WWE