During a recent conversation with Jim Varsallone, AEW’s Bryan Danielson took some time to praise the crowds of All Elite Wrestling for their passion towards the product. He hopes the trend continues as AEW returns to Miami for Rampage and Dynamite this weekend.
“So far, the crowds I’ve had in AEW since I’ve been there have been like [RAW after WrestleMania crowds]. I feel like almost every show I’ve had with AEW so far has been like that when I’ve come out,” he said. “Like, just this last week in Philadelphia when I came out, it was unbelievable, you know what I mean? When I came out for the match with Kenny at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City, the crowd was crazy. Same thing when I first came out as a surprise in Chicago, so I’m hoping Miami is going to be just as crazy.”
Bryan also compared AEW crowds to the fans at a lesser-known musician’s concert, noting how they are extremely dedicated. He attributes these kinds of receptions to the way AEW books their shows and builds their homegrown talent, like the returning “Hangman” Adam Page.
“If you go to a concert but it’s not necessarily like a super mainstream person because casual people will go to a mainstream music concert, but so if I’m going to go to one of my favorite musicians like Frank Turner,” Bryan said. “I love Frank Turner so my wife and I went to one of his concerts in Arizona, and what I feel like with AEW is it’s like going to one of those concerts where everybody is kind of a passionate fan… I feel like that’s kind of how it is with AEW, with how AEW, and Tony Khan specifically, and the wrestlers know and understand what their fanbase wants, very well, and they give it to them. And so when you come to an AEW show, you have certain expectations. And usually the show exceeds those expectations and they just have a great time, so that’s why I think you see those reactions like that.
“I also think AEW has done a great job of creating new stars people are super into,” he continued. “Like ‘Hangman’ Adam Page just came back in Philadelphia, and you’d think like, ‘Oh, Bryan Danielson main-evented a couple of WrestleManias, CM Punk, he’s like a huge superstar – certainly one of those guys is going to get the biggest reaction of the night. No, ‘Hangman’ Adam Page got the best reaction! You know what I mean, so they’ve created these new stars that people are super into and super behind. I think that’s what makes the crowd so rabid.”
In a match that lasted it’s 30 minute time limit without a fall, Bryan Danielson and Kenny Omega wrestled to a draw. The match was highly regarded from critics and wrestling fans alike, however, how did Bryan feel about the match? Measuring it purely based off his enjoyment, Bryan gives it a solid 10/10.
“Honestly, I don’t worry until a day or two later if a match was good or not. Like, I honestly don’t worry about it. I’m no longer at that point in my career where I question if something was good. This is how I approach wrestling,” Bryan stated. “When I get excited, I want to do the best I can when I go out there. But when I’m out there, I want to enjoy it, so my reaction to whether it’s good or not is whether I enjoyed it or did I not. And the match against Kenny Omega, I was literally buzzing… I hadn’t wrestled in April, I’m 4o years old, right? Like, it’s like, ‘Oh no, I got dragon suplexed on a ramp, I got dragon suplexed off the top rope, you know? I took some hits, and afterwards, I was buzzing to the point that I couldn’t really sit down. I just felt so good, right, and the energy and all that stuff.
“So yeah, I wasn’t worried if we knocked it out of the park or hit a grand slam, I worry about, ‘Did I enjoy what I just did?’ And as far as my enjoyment, that’s a 10/10 as far as you look at, ‘Okay, well which matches did you enjoy the most?’ If you rank everything on a scale of 1 to 10, that was a 10/10 enjoyment for me in the sense that there are only a handful of matches that are even comparable. So yeah, to me, it was just a ton of fun. And then what I do after is a day or two later, I’ll go back and watch it, and that’s where I’ll pick myself apart. And that’s the point that I go back and learn, and so – ’cause I find that if you’re too, if you come back and the first thing you’re worried about is, ‘Did we do a good job?’ Then all of a sudden, you aren’t enjoying it as much as you could.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Jim Varsallone with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.