WWE Champion Daniel Bryan spoke with Yahoo! Sports about wanting a Mask vs. Hair Match against The Lucha House Party’s Gran Metalik and how the perception of a wrestler’s size is changing in the wrestling business.
Bryan noted he always wants to take on the best wrestlers on the planet and many of them on currently are WWE 205 Live. Last month, Bryan took on former 205 Live Star, Mustafa Ali, on an episode of SmackDown. When speaking with Yahoo! Sports about Gran Metalik, Bryan said:
“It’s not this selfless thing, it’s actually a selfish thing,” Bryan said. “I want to wrestle the best guys on the planet. Some of those best guys are on ‘205 Live.’ We have Gran Metalik here and he’s one of the best luchadors in the world and he’s on that show. Man, would I love to wrestle that guy in a mask vs. hair match. That’s sometimes where my passion gets ahead of me.”
This is not the first time Bryan has talked about luchas de apuestas (or “matches with wagers”), he did so back in 2017 during a Q&A session with Brie Bella, during a time he was growing his hair out.
“We don’t need to talk about why I’m growing my hair out. It may or may not be because I want to do apuestas matches in Arena Mexico. It may or may not be that. Imagine a hair vs. mask match vs. Atlantis, or a hair vs. hair vs. Rush,” Bryan said in 2017.
Although pro wrestling has been considered a big man’s profession, over the last decade or two, wrestlers like Bryan have shown smaller wrestlers can have just as big of an impact on the business. The WWE Champion also felt “smaller guys are generally more exciting.”
“Some things were gonna happen naturally,” Bryan said. “Realistically, Rey Mysterio was doing this in 1996. Rey, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, they were changing perceptions of size back then. For a while, that whole movement took a step backwards before moving forward again like it is now, but it was going to happen anyway. We have five hours of live television every week and who are the best people to fill that time? It’s going to be the people who can wrestle in the best and most entertaining ways. We live in a society where people don’t pay attention to something for long if it doesn’t interest them. Smaller guys are generally more exciting.”
With the assist from a returning Rowan, Bryan was able to retain his title against AJ Styles at last weekend’s Royal Rumble PPV. Next month, Bryan will defend the title at WWE Elimination Chamber against AJ Styles, Mustafa Ali, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, and Jeff Hardy in an Elimination Chamber match.