Bryan Danielson Praises AEW For “Modernizing” Pro Wrestling

AEW's Bryan Danielson recently took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with  DC101's Mike Jones. During their conversation, Bryan emphasized the importance of pro wrestlers pushing themselves to stay on the top of their game regardless of the opponent.

"One of the things one of my mentors has talked to me about in this run is like, 'Hey, make pro wrestling better. Push these guys, make them come up to your level. Don't ever stoop down to other people's level.' I'm in a great space where like a lot of eyeballs are on what we're doing, and really focus on and presenting the best pro wrestling possible, and changing the game."

Bryan has said before that one of his intentions when signing with AEW was to help a company with an alternative product grow as much as possible. He believes AEW is doing well at modernizing a more traditional style of pro wrestling that other organizations aren't aiming for.

"It's traditional pro wrestling that makes sense, modernized for modern fans. Because realistically, you know that the world has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Everything is modernized now, like the way we watch TV shows, you know? All that kind of stuff, everything. If you don't change with the times, you're going to get left behind, and I think AEW is doing a great job of modernizing wrestling and giving people something to be excited about every week."

Bryan has returned to his persona of "The American Dragon", a character he created back in the early 2000's that doesn't shy away from violence. He intends to bring that intensity back full-force now that he's in All Elite Wrestling.

"I tend to be, outside of the wrestling ring, just very kind, and gentle, and all that kind of stuff, but it's one of the things that wrestling allows you to do. And I think the same thing with fighting or when people go and do jiu jitsu or kick boxing, it like allows you to express the more aggressive part of yourself. And before, that wasn't my role, and now, being able to do whatever I want in the ring, I tend to be pretty aggressive."

Bryan's opponent at the "Buy In" to AEW Rampage is someone he hasn't stepped in the ring with in over a decade – Minoru Suzuki. Notorious for his physicality, Bryan admits that the first time the two met in the ring, Suzuki beat the "crap out of him".

"The only time I've ever wrestled him in a one on one match, I was 23 years old and he beat the absolute crap out of me. And it was in Japan, but by fighting back when he did that, I earned a lot of respect from some of the Japanese guys in the locker room, specifically Yuji Nagata who, at the time, I thought he was the best guy I'd ever been in the ring with. And after the match, as I walked by, he gave me a thumbs up and said, 'You did a good job.' And, you know, when you're 23 and 4 years into wrestling, something like that really means a lot, you know?"