“I never want to put down the WWE roster because those men and women are fantastic, but the thing is, I was there for 11 years and I’d wrestled most of them,” Danielson pointed out. “Cesaro’s one of my good friends. I actually just visited him this last weekend, but I’ve wrestled Cesaro a decent amount of times. I look at the AEW roster, and I see, oh, man, there’s all these fantastic guys that I’ve never wrestled before. Part of me, as an older guy, I feel like younger wrestlers can learn from you.
“That’s one thing, but also from from an older wrestlers perspective, I think you can learn a lot from wrestling younger guys because they got into wrestling for a completely different reason than I did. You have to think, I’ve been wrestling now for 22 years. The world has changed dramatically in 22 years. 20-year-old Dante Martin, the reason why he likes wrestling is completely different than the reason why I liked wrestling at 14 in 1995. You learn about what what the younger audience is interested in. I’m just fascinated by it all.”
Danielson has said before that while he will not do the “Yes” chant in AEW, he will not discourage fans from doing the chant. Danielson has noted that this character in AEW is different than his WWE character. He recalled the “Yes” chant blowing up in WWE and his reaction to it.
“What’s funny is when it really took off in wrestling, like a lot of things, I thought, okay, this will wear out it’s welcome after about six months, or eight months, or nine months,” Danielson admitted. “I think it really started at the beginning of 2012, and here we are, nine years later and wrestling fans are still doing it, and you see it in other things.
“It was really funny because I was part of the San Francisco Giants’ World Series parade. Hunter Pence had started doing the ‘Yes’ chant for the Giants, and they brought me in to do part of the parade and do the ‘Yes’ chant with the Giants, which was super cool. But when I was talking to Hunter Pence, he’s like, ‘Yeah, man, I had no idea who you were. I just saw the Yes chant at the Michigan State basketball game,’ and I thought that’s really cool.
“And then I found out there were some wrestling fans on the team, and they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s Bryan’s thing.’ He had no idea. He’s the one who started it with the Giants and had no idea who I was. That was pretty surreal, but I think it’s one of the things I’ve been asked to analyze it to death, but I never would have just thought of it on my own. But I think one of the things that makes it really fun is that it’s a whole crowd doing it in unison, and the most important part is that your arms go vertical instead of horizontal, because if they went horizontal, you’d just be hitting the person next to you. It would never work.”
Danielson has been in the pro wrestling business for over 20 years. He has wrestled nearly everyone in the business, but he named some dream matches that he wished he could have had.
“There’s always people that you wish you could have wrestled,” Danielson admitted. “Most people listening to this may not know who he is anymore, but Lou Thesz, I’d love to wrestle Lou Thesz. Shawn Michaels, who helped train me, he’s somebody who I really would have loved to have wrestled, but there’s so many people out there that are so good.
“I honestly try not to worry about things that cannot or will not happen. Focus on the things that you can make happen, and that’s actually one of the reasons why I came to AEW. I got to wrestle Kenny Omega in my first match in AEW, and that was one of the guys who I really wanted to wrestle when I was in WWE because he had gotten so so good. So just focus on the things that you can accomplish, as opposed to the things that are just impossible.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Gresh and Keefe with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.