Daniel Bryan Talks Name Change, Who He's Dating, No Longer Being Vegan, Lawler & More

Recently while in Philadelphia, former World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan was interviewed on Preston & Steve and discussed an array of topics. Topics included; his name change, the risks of the independent scene, Jerry Lawler, working against bigger wrestlers, his health issues and his dating life. Here are some of the highlights:

On how he went from Bryan Danielson to Daniel Bryan: "For years, I wrestled on the independents as Bryan Danielson, which happens to be my real name. So, the creative geniuses at the WWE — to own the intellectual property — have switched my name around to Daniel Bryan.

"It could have been much worse because they left it up to me to come up with a list of names as far as what I could have been. I did not come up with Daniel Bryan, William Regal did. I actually had a list of names that included Buddy Peacock and Lloyd Bonaire. [Laughs.]"

On being more injury-prone on the independents on the Jerry Lawler incident: "Oh, yeah, I did so much stupid stuff and on top of that, there are no doctors there. Or, not really good ones. For example: the whole issue that happened with Jerry Lawler where he had the heart attack — Dr. Sampson is an amazing doctor. I think they gave us a statistic that maybe one out of 260 people that go through what Jerry Lawler did make it through it.

"... I'm not exactly sure on the details of it but Dr. Sampson was literally 5 feet away and there's all this emergency staff and all kinds of stuff. So, you have the best medical staff there. On top of that, we have trainers and masseuses at television.

"So, if you have injuries and stuff, they kind of take care of you. On the independents, you don't even have a shower. You're driving 200 miles all sweaty, still in your spandex. You're huddled next to two other dudes, also in spandex. [Laughs.]"

On being a smaller wrestler, wrestling much bigger men: "I actually detached my retina against this 350 pound Japanese man who was punching me in the face. But the first time I was in there with Big Show, I really had the feeling of being a helpless baby.

"Before I was ever signed with WWE, I was doing a tryout wih them in 2005 or something like that. My friend Brian Kendrick was just standing outside the ring. Big Show was in the ring, reaches over, grabs him by the wrists and lifts him up like it was a lateral raise over the top rope and sets him in the ring.

"Granted, Brian Kendrick was only 175 pounds. But, when you think of lat-raising that... I lat raise maybe 25 pounds and it's tough. I'm doing my sets at the gym like, 'Ahh, I'm so strong!' And then there's Big Show who is lifting a human with one arm over the top rope."

On being vegan and having to ditch veganism while on the road: "When I got signed by WWE in 2009, I had a litany of health issues. So, my doctor recommended that I go vegan. ... Oh, my gosh, it's so tough. The doctor who had me do it gave me a lot of books. 'Read this, read this, read this, because especially for your needs, you're going to need a lot of nutritional help.'

"Actually, I just recently stopped being vegan because I developed a severe soy intolerance. When I'm at home, I still eat vegan because it's easy to do stuff at home when you're making it yourself. But the only vegan stuff at a lot of places is tofu stuff, all soy-based products. I need protein. [Laughs.]"

On his previous health problems when he first signed with WWE: "Because I grapple all the time and you're always against mats and stuff like that, I had three different staph infections in 2009. And that's not common. There are people who grapple every bit as much as I do or more and not getting those staff infections. I just have a really weak immune system.

"The idea was, 'OK, meat, cheeses, milks, all that kind of stuff, is every difficult for your body to digest. You're using energy to digest that.' By eliminating that and eating easier-to-digest food, you're using more of your energy to fight off bacteria. And it worked.

"I felt great until probably four or five months ago and, all of a sudden, I just kept getting sick all the time. So, I went into my doctor. ... Apparently, soy is — even organic soy — it's so processed and so a lot of people develop soy intolerance especially from over-consumption. I was having a lot of soy."

On his "preparation for the apocolypse": "Some of the guys have been giving me a little bit of crap because I just bought 300 pounds of freeze-dried meat. I've been preparing for this dooms day scenerio. [Laughs.] It last for like 25 years. I see everybody here is just shaking their heads at me. [Laughs.] ... Actually, I'm not doing it because I think the apocalypse is coming or anything like that but just with the hurricanes and stuff like that.

"They say you should have a month's worth of food set aside and five days of water. The 300 pounds is a little excessive but the justification is that I own a home in Washington State. Which is not realistic to live at when I'm on the road because traveling out of Seattle is a nightmare. So, I live in San Diego, so I have 180 pounds of freeze-dried food in one place and 120 pounds of freeze-dried food in another.

"So, you know, I'm... just ready. [Laughs.] Nothing weird about that, I'm just ready."

On whether or not he is single: "I am in a relationship with a former diva, yeah. One of the Bella Twins, Brie Bella. Yeah, much better then I should have done."

You can click here for the entire interview.