AEW star Bryan Danielson sat down with ABC 6 Action News in Philadelphia to promote AEW Dynamite this Wednesday. Danielson talked about leaving WWE for AEW earlier this year and compared it to a regular person changing one job for a similar one.
“I think it’s essentially like just changing jobs,” Danielson stated. “Like anytime that you switch jobs, you do similar work but there’re differences. There’re differences in culture and there’re differences in all sorts of things. I would think to the average person most people can understand that. It’s like if you’re a teacher and you want to switch schools or if you’d like teaching third grade instead of sixth grade. You switch for different reasons.”
Danielson also touched on the differences between the two companies and what drew him to AEW. He explained that whereas WWE feels like an entertainment company, AEW came across to him as a wrestling company.
“I mean there’s a litany of differences,” Danielson said. “But I think this is one of the things that drew me to AEW and why I kind of wanted to come to AEW. It’s that AEW is a wrestling-first company; it’s a wrestling company for wrestling fans. Sometimes WWE is more just based on general entertainment where they want to reach as many casual viewers as possible, where I think AEW is like ‘hey, if you love wrestling, here’s this.’ But also even if you’re not a wrestling fan, we’re putting on wrestling, and the wrestling itself is going to bring you in.
“If you were to do a comparison just watching the shows, you’ll see that there’s a lot more wrestling in the two hours of Dynamite than there is even in a three-hour WWE Raw. Sometimes there’s more wrestling on an AEW Dynamite show than there is in RAW and SmackDown combined. So that’s one of the things that drew me to it because as a fan, when I was in high school everybody loved the Rock and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. They were my least favorite people because all they did was talk. I like the ‘wrestler’ wrestlers.”
Danielson made it clear that there’s nothing wrong with AEW and WWE having different styles. At the end of the day the two companies just have a different philosophy when it comes to doing pro wrestling.
“It’s just a different style marketed towards different people,” Danielson said. “It’s just a different philosophy on wrestling. My dream when I started wrestling was not to be in WWE and to main event WrestleMania or anything like that. My dream when I started wrestling was actually to be a big star in Japan, because I loved the Japanese wrestling style which is very wrestling-based. I also liked the idea because I was scared to death of public speaking. I loved the idea of being able to go to Japan- you could be mildly famous over there, and then come back and nobody would know who you are, and I loved that idea. ‘For sure, that’s what I’m going to do,’ and then, yeah, that didn’t happen.”