Bryan Danielson made an appearance on Casual Conversations with The Classic and talked about why he decided to make the jump to AEW. The former WWE Superstar also discussed his favorite part of his run with WWE.
Danielson noted his move to AEW wasn’t for a single reason. He recalled the tribute to Brodie Lee and wanting to try a very different style in the ring was partly why he made the switch.
“It’s not necessarily a moment or anything like that, although I was particularly moved — like many people were — by the AEW tribute show of Brodie Lee,” Danielson began. “He was a good friend of mine and to me they went above and beyond, especially for his son you know what I mean? For his wife and all that kind of stuff.
“That really touched my heart and so there was that, but also I watch a lot of Zack Sabre Jr. — I like him a lot. I think he’s my favorite wrestler to watch, I think because before I started in WWE I was doing some very aggressive technical wrestling with combining different submissions. Then I watched Zack wrestle more and more and he was just like, ‘woah.’ He was just blowing away the things that I thought were really cool.”
Having the freedom in AEW to change up who he is in the ring was appealing to Danielson, who at times felt “trapped” by what WWE wanted him to do.
“WWE obviously wants ‘Yes Guy’ Daniel Bryan because that’s marketable,” Danielson said. “Doing the ‘yes’ chant. To me, it felt a little bit like it trapped me in certain ways. Somebody who yearns for freedom. My favorite part of my whole WWE run was when I was the planet’s champion and I wasn’t doing the ‘yes’ chant at all.”
As noted previously, Danielson said he was trying to look to where he could best service wrestling and give back. After talking to different people, including Eddie Kingston, Danielson felt AEW gave him the best options.
Since Zack Sabre Jr. was mentioned in the interview, Danielson was asked if New Japan was in his future.
“WWE would have let me do some shows in New Japan, I don’t know how much,” Danielson stated. “It’s interesting because given the pandemic in the way it is now it’s not really urgent and humans, like myself included, aren’t great at looking at the long-term picture of things. I was like in 18 months I’ll be able to go to wrestle in New Japan when the pandemic is over because I’m mostly thinking like, ‘Okay, what does my next week look like or whatever.’
“On both sides, I probably would’ve been able to wrestle in Japan, but then there’s this idea of spending more time at home with my kids. Although it was a very difficult decision there were times that I at different points was going one way or the other.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Casual Conversations with The Classic and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Have a news tip or correction? Send it to [email protected]