Daniel Bryan spoke with Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT about his backstage role in creative for SmackDown. A few months ago it was reported Bryan had some creative influence on the blue brand — even pushing for more WWE NXT call-ups.
“It’s interesting because, one, I don’t have that big of a say [Laughs]. Sometimes something really great will happen on SmackDown and somebody will say ‘Oh, that’s Daniel Bryan!’ Like, that’s not me!” Bryan said. “One part is our performers — we have incredible superstars. Cesaro is a no-brainer. When you say ‘Daniel Bryan helped Cesaro’ — no. All I did was ‘hey this guy is really good. We should put him on TV and use him!’ [Laughs].”
Bryan then talked about how William Regal once told him about how being a mentor to young wrestlers can be more fulfilling than actually wrestling.
“It is rewarding to see people that you know are talented get opportunities and knock it out of the park,” Bryan said. “There’s a certain joy to that. William Regal has been my mentor in wrestling for years and one of the things he has told me is that being a mentor to a handful of people has been more rewarding than the actual wrestling.
“He said don’t get me wrong, he loved the wrestling part and wishes he could still do it, but being a mentor is very fulfilling. So yeah, there is something to that, the idea of helping people and from a human perspective we all want that. For a long time, when you’re young you’re like ‘I want to achieve this, I want to achieve this!’ but as you get older it’s ‘I want to help here, I want to help here’ and it’s just a different perspective.”
During the interview, Bryan also spoke about wanting to face Regal’s son, NXT UK star Bailey Matthews, down the road.
Bryan is set to challenge WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Edge at WrestleMania 37 (Night 2) on April 11.