Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, AEW star Bryan Danielson was asked to give his thoughts on WWE releasing talent in bulk over the past year, a difficult question for Danielson as his father-in-law, John Laurinaitis, is WWE’s head of talent relations. Even still, Danielson came down largely against the releases, feeling talents should be able to give 90 day notices the same way WWE does and calling them out for firing talent when they are more profitable than ever.

“In some ways I get it, in some ways I feel like it’s not right,” Danielson said. “It’s hard because my father-in-law is the head of talent relations there, he’s the one that has to call them all. One of the things that I’ve always had a hard time with, and I’ve been fired from WWE twice so I kind of get this, it’s one thing if somebody does something bad. But for example, if you’re under contract with WWE and you’re not happy or you’re not happy with the company or whatever. If they can fire you and give you 90 days, you should be able to give 90 days to be released from your contract. But on the flip side, if they’re only firing you because of budget cuts, when they’re more profitable than ever, I just don’t think that’s right. They signed a lot of people behind contracts when AEW kind of started, to keep people from going to AEW. But then they realized ‘oh, AEW can’t sign all these people.’

“So now the people that have too many high end contracts or whatever it is, if they feel they’re getting paid more than they should be getting paid, they’ll let them go. But you offered them a contract to be with you for three years or whatever. If you overpay them, that’s your bad, and you’re still a very profitable company. So that’s kind of my take on it. I wish they wouldn’t, you know what I mean? But I also understand it’s business in America. Profits can be the most important thing for companies, a lot of times. And you can even talk to the people within the companies. I love Vince McMahon, I do. I have learned so much from him. But companies are not people anymore. They’ve taken on this whole, legally they’re their own people, or corporation. But for whatever reason, even good people make decisions that benefit a company that hurt the people that work so hard for the company. I don’t know. That’s hard on me mentally, but that’s kind of the system that’s been rewarded financially here in the United States.”

Danielson also called attention to how wrestling had always been like this, until AEW came along. Danielson praised Tony Khan for not releasing talent the way WWE has, and revealed it was a big factor in him being interested in joining the promotion.

“I kind of just accepted that that’s just how it was, except for now I work for AEW,” Danielson said. “Tony Khan, I think he’s only let go of three people since the pandemic started, and they were all disciplinary reasons. And other people who are no longer with the company, if he didn’t want them, their contracts expired and it was ‘okay, we’ve chosen not to re-sign you.’ And then you kind of know. But that’s how he approaches it. And Tony kind of saw that and dealt with that. I always kind of thought it was unfair but ‘ah, that’s the way wrestling is and that’s the way the wrestling business works.’ Except Tony Khan came in and he doesn’t do that. And AEW, from a money standpoint, makes way less money than WWE. So there were some things like that too that led me to want to go to AEW as well.”

You can watch the full interview below.

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