Bryan Danielson Talks Other Options He Had Instead Of Signing With AEW

In an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, AEW star Bryan Danielson talked about his decision to leave WWE for AEW earlier this year. Danielson talked about the numerous options he considered, and was asked by Helwani if he had made up his mind before his last match on Smackdown with Roman Reigns earlier this year.


"No, no I hadn't," Danielson said. "I thought it could be, and it wasn't even like, 'I'm leaving and going to AEW.' I was legitimately thinking, 'This might be my last full-time wrestling match. I might do things here or there, whatever.' But I honestly didn't know. I took the summer to decide, and it took me a long time to decide. I had a lot of fun in WWE and there's a lot of people that I love and respect there that made it really hard for me to leave. A large portion of my family actually works there. I just have a lot friends, there's a lot of great people that work there.

"So I was contemplating that. I was contemplating AEW. I was contemplating just not signing a contract with anybody and just doing shots here and there, and I was also contemplating staying at home and being a full-time dad. I love being at home with my kids, so those were the four options on the table."


Danielson revealed there were good arguments for him to both go to AEW and stay with WWE. Ultimately he went with AEW because it allowed him to stretch out of the comfort zone he found himself in.

"There was just something exciting about it, and a little scary," Danielson said. "You know how you get comfortable doing something for too long? There was just something exciting about [AEW], and there was just also this idea in my mind. I tried not to, and for the most part I didn't, but in my WWE matches. I could go out there and kind of sleepwalk through them if I wanted to. In AEW, you can't, because everybody is doing so much. So much so that I was watching one of their shows and I was like, 'I don't even know if I can wrestle here. These guys are doing so much and I think this might be dangerous for me.'

"I had mentioned that to Jon Moxley, we were just texting about something or whatever, and I just said that to him. He said 'dude, you're Bryan Danielson. You can do any of this. You don't have to do what these guys are doing, you can create your own thing.' But there were a lot of reasons why I went to AEW, there's a lot of reasons why I wanted to stay with WWE. So it was just kind of, it was a really tough decision."


Another thing Danielson was asked about was if his run with AEW had been smooth sailing thus far. Aside from adjusting to not having his promos scripted, Danielson revealed it has largely been smooth sailing.

"I feel like it's been pretty smooth," Danielson said. "You also have to understand that, for most people, jobs are like, 'Okay, it's getting into a new office or it's a new whatever.' A lot of these people at AEW, I've known for years. I just haven't seen them in a long time.

"So it didn't really feel like any sort of, 'Oh no, weird adjustment period', except the first time I had to do an interview segment and nobody handed me a script. I was like, 'What do you mean there's no script?! What am I saying?' 'Well say whatever you want.' 'What do you mean say whatever I want? I can't do that. I could talk about dinosaurs or what my daughter just said.' There was a little bit of an adjustment there, but the wrestling is the kind of wrestling I love to do. So it's been a lot of fun."

You can watch the full interview below.