Daniel Bryan's WWE career was restarted on March 19th, only one day before he would make the announcement on SmackDown Live and receive a beating from Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on the same night to set up an eventual WrestleMania match. It was a quick turnaround which Bryan spoke about on Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast this week.
"I found out I was cleared at 9:30 PM on the Monday, SmackDown Live goes on at 8 PM so it was less than twenty-four hours," Bryan said. "I was getting punched in the face in twenty-four hours and fifteen minutes after I was told that I was cleared."
Despite his two-year hiatus from in-ring competition, Bryan was in shape and able to get back into the heated action at hand. Bryan revealed he wasn't specifically training for his return during his time off, but he did maintain a normal regiment of jiu-jitsu and kickboxing and he kept working out because it is something he enjoys doing.
Bryan explained that maintaining his cardio has never been an issue for him either and there are only two times in his career where he has "blown up" during a match. One happened during a 2003 contest against Paul London that lasted forty minutes. Bryan had gained weight at the time and was at 210 pounds, shortly after the twenty-five-minute mark in the match he started to get tired which was an unfamiliar feeling for him in a wrestling ring.
"The other [time] was a completely opposite scenario," Bryan explained. "I had just gotten signed by WWE after being in the independents for ten years and I just sat at home and they didn't tell me anything was up and it was around Christmas time, right?
"I was training really hard at jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, and working out and stuff like that. Then I went home for Christmas and I thought, 'certainly they're not going to call me to the Raw after Christmas. So I was just eating nothing but junk food and just like the worst diet possible. Then they bring me to TV and I did a five-minute match with Chavo Guerrero and I was exhausted."
After Bryan's return to WWE following his two-year stint as a retired professional wrestler, he is still grateful for everything he has. The Bearded GOAT can't wait to get home to see his wife Brie Bella or baby Birdie Joe and he spoke about how happy he is with his personal and professional life.
Bryan realizes it can all go away in an instant though as he spoke about how he isn't nervous for a possible re-injury, but instead, he is content knowing that any match could be his last.
"I don't worry about it, but I'm also more aware that is a possibility," Bryan revealed. "I think that rather than worrying about it, that brings me a sense of joy into what I'm doing and this idea that, 'alright last night in Gainesville could have been my last match.' You know? Because you always have to keep in mind and that's the case that last night in Gainesville could have been my last match. So I really appreciate it and really enjoy it and be able to go out there like, 'who would have thought?'
"Even with Shelton Benjamin, I wrestled him once in 2010 and he's really good and he's a really fun guy to wrestle. So it's like, 'who would've thought -- if this happens to be my last match' -- I approach it with a sense of joy. I really go out there and soak it all in each night and do it in a way that you love to do it as opposed to sometimes you did it before when you get into the grind of being on the road and all that kinda stuff and you just expect things to go on forever. It's like 'okay I'm doing this the way we should do it or this is what the fans expect.' Or because of this or because of that.'
"The reality is fans want to see something they're going to enjoy, but I also think they enjoy it when you're out there enjoying it as well. So that's kinda a different approach I guess."
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription