After Roman Reigns successfully retained his Universal Championship against Kevin Owens for a second time this week on Friday Night SmackDown, the “Tribal Chief” has many more targets on his back, including against former four-time WWE Champion, Daniel Bryan.
Following its SmackDown holiday special, Paul Heyman made the claim that his client is by far the best fighter and wrestler that’s out there today. Coming on as the first guest of Talking Smack, Bryan had to interject on Heyman’s rhetoric, yet bold statement.
“I heard you guys talking about people being better fighters, better wrestlers, better husbands and better fathers,” Daniel Bryan began. “Now, I know, listen, these are things that I know, right? I’m not the best husband in the world, but I try to be. I’m not the best father in the world, but I try to be. And if you’re just comparing me – this is a question to you Paul – do you think I’m a better fighter than somebody like Roman Reigns? Do you think I’m a better wrestler than Roman Reigns? Here’s an easier one: Do you think I’m a better husband, better father?
“Do you think that I – because I’m not in first place and focusing on the person who’s in first place…my fight with Jey Uso may not have been for first place; but before I went out there, even though I got jumped, there’s an energy that circulates out of my body, and I can feel it. It almost feels like it can fill up an entire room. Every time that he punches me, and every time that he hits me, and every time that I hit back, it feels like grit, and it feels like a fight. I don’t care if I’m not in first place or not because the energy that comes out of me I feel, Paul, I feel alive. That’s why I love this. Not because I’m trying to be in first place, but because being in a fight like that against somebody [with] quality like Jey Uso, it makes me feel alive on Christmas.”
Just after he defeated Reigns’ cousin Jey Uso in a singles match, Bryan announced that he was the first entrant in the 2021 Royal Rumble match. With the new year just around the corner, Bryan has a lot of accolades he’d like to check off the list before possibly becoming a part-timer in the business.
“Yeah. We don’t know. One of the things that I appreciated about being forced to retire is that you never know when this is going to end,” he noted. “So, you have to appreciate every moment. Even though it’s been a couple of years now since I’ve come back, I still cherish that [and] I still cherish this feeling. You come up with these things, knowing that it could end at any time, these things you want to check off the list.
“You know, in my 20 plus year career, I have never won a Battle Royal. Isn’t that crazy? Like, I’ve wrestled in, like, crazy places where people aren’t very good, right? Like in Battle Royals with a bunch of people that you would have never heard of. And for whatever reason, some of them were good for whatever reason. I could never win a Battle Royal. But this might be my last chance. So, I’m making it a goal to win the Royal Rumble, to win a Battle Royal. If that happens, if I win the Royal Rumble, that means I will go to WrestleMania and face whoever’s the Universal Champion.”
Before concluding his interview, Bryan warned Heyman that no matter if Reigns is still the champion or not come WrestleMania 37, he will prove to both of them why he’s been at the top of his game before and after his two-year retirement from 2016 – 2018.
“Paul, I don’t lay claim to being better than many people at certain things. But I’ll tell you this: I am a better fighter than Roman Reigns. And I’m sure as hell a better wrestler than Roman Reigns,” he warned. “And if I win the Royal Rumble and face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, and he’s still the champion, I will beat him for that championship. Here’s another thing: If he’s not champion somewhere down the line, I’m going to beat him down, anyway.”
You can watch Daniel Bryan’s full interview on the WWE Network. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talking Smack with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.