Can you think of someone besides Bryan whose reputation was built so heavily on his workrate and in-ring performance that ended up breaking out as a bona fide star on the strength of his character/mic work/charisma to the degree Bryan has? Punk's always been known for his mic work. Angle's goofy character was part of who he was from the beginning. Eddie's "lie cheat steal" character helped him ascend to new heights in 2004 but that was always part of who he was, too. Bret didn't really ascend to any new heights with his amazing 1997 heel character even if it was a personal breakout for him in terms of depth of character. Austin was obviously a great in-ring worker who went into the stratosphere based off an amazing character/individual charisma but we'd already seen tremendous charisma and character from him in his "Stunning" and "Superstar" iterations in WCW and ECW, albeit in much different fashion than "Stone Cold."
Maybe I'm not familiar enough with Danielson's ROH work and I'm way off base here, but either way, help me out.
I think Bryan's pretty unique in that regard. To a degree I'd also say Mick Foley because he was known for amazingly crazy in-ring performance but didn't really break out past goofy midcarder until the WWF run, but at the same time he was still showing some impressive personality in WCW. But the way Bryan has taken the simple "Yes" thing and turned it into an ongoing war with the fans is nothing short of spectacular.