Daniel Garcia was a guest on the One on One with Jon Alba podcast recently where he spoke about wrestling for AEW, and how he feels confident the company is right for him in terms of taking him to the next level to be the best wrestler in the world.
“I feel really good, man. I didn’t want to go somewhere to just be a body. When I did decide to go somewhere, I wanted to go to a place that I believe is going to help groom me and help me become the best professional wrestler in the world, and I feel like that’s the place I am at right now.”
Since working for the company, he was given a major opportunity to compete one on one with CM Punk on AEW Rampage, and the former WWE Champion spoke positively about the young AEW star, which Garcia admitted was a good feeling.
“It’s a good feeling, man. As wrestlers, we obviously crave some sort of validation from people, but I feel like, as wrestlers, we appreciate that validation even more from our peers. And we appreciate validation from people we look up to. So, people like CM Punk who I grew up watching and is my mom’s favorite wrestler ever, it’s really cool to hear that kind of stuff from him. Sometimes you can get down on yourself when people talk bad about you on forums and stuff like that, but when you hear yourself getting credit from someone who has made millions of dollars from being a wrestler and is widely considered one of the greatest of all time, it makes you stop and think ‘maybe I’m doing the right thing.”
When it came to the match itself, Garcia was pleased with how it came out, as he stressed that it is the type of wrestling he likes– telling a story inside the ring.
“I enjoyed it. Wish I could have won, but I feel like that’s how I like to present professional wrestling, I feel like we told a very interesting story about struggle and about overcoming odds, and I think we shocked a lot of people too. I don’t think a lot of people were expecting it to be as competitive as it was. I don’t think a lot of people thought I was able to perform at that kind of level, and I think we were able to prove a lot of people wrong.”
While facing Punk was a huge moment for Garcia, someone that a lot of fans have wanted him to face is Bryan Danielson. The two men are often compared together, and Garcia admitted that the American Dragon is one of his favorite wrestlers of all time.
“A Bryan match would be cool. He’s maybe my favorite wrestler of all time, at least top three. He is somebody who I have studied for years, even before I knew I was studying. I would pick up on little nuances that he does. I feel like our wrestling styles aren’t as similar as some people like to say they are, but I feel like the little things that we do are a lot more similar than people like to notice.”
Even though he gets a lot of comparisons to Danielson, Garcia actually feels like he has a more old-school style and believes he wrestles like Arn Anderson or Tully Blanchard.
“A lot of people say I’m a technical wrestle and I get a lot of Zack Sabre Jr comparisons and the Bryan comparisons, obviously. But I feel like, from a purely stylistic stand point, just like, moves, I feel like I wrestle like an Arn (Anderson) or a Tully (Blanchard). Just moves-wise, and (Minoru) Suzuki, but just because I steal all of his moves.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit One on One with Jon Alba, with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.