Bryan Danielson recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote tonight’s Winter Is Coming edition of AEW Dynamite on TNT, and his main event match against AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page.

Danielson said he believes he is the best candidate to shoulder the responsibility of carrying AEW as its champion.

“AEW fans want to be able to claim that the AEW champion is the best wrestler in the world,” Danielson said. “If I am the AEW world champion, then they can make that claim. That happened back when I was in Ring of Honor, too. A lot of AEW fans love ‘Hangman,’ and I’m going to get a lot of boos. But no one can deny that I am the best champion in the world if I become the AEW champion.”

Danielson said he kept an eye on talent while with WWE, and watched Page in ROH and NJPW. He said it’s crazy to see how much Page has grown, from an in-ring perspective and a character perspective. Danielson believes Page’s work and persona evokes the image of a modern-day WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin.

“I love his updated brawler style of wrestling,” Danielson said of Page. “To me, he wrestles a modernized version of the way Steve Austin wrestled, and that cowboy persona reminds a lot of people of Steve Austin. But in 2021, you can’t come in and be just like Steve Austin. He’s developed this nuanced cowboy character with a drinking problem.”

Danielson previously introduced an eco-friendly version of the WWE Title during his run as “The Planet’s Champion” back in 2019. He said if he’s able to defeat Hangman on tonight’s Dynamite special, an immediate priority will be modifying the leather belt AEW uses.

“I do not understand why we are still making anything out of animal skin,” Danielson said. “We don’t need to. The synthetic fibers are just as good-looking and just as durable as leather, and we don’t harm any animals. I don’t know if I’d go all the way to the hemp and naturally fallen oak [like the ‘The Planet’s Champion’ belt], but I’d love to get that changed.”

Danielson plans to create a masterpiece in the ring with Page tonight, constructing his first real defining moment in AEW. He commented on what we can expect from the bout.

“Excellent pro wrestling is f—— awesome, and my goal is to deliver excellent pro wrestling,” Danielson said. “I’m going to go out there and kick his a–. I 1000% think he’s going to kick my a–. It’s going to be a fight. It’s going to be everything we love about professional wrestling.”

Stay tuned for more and be sure to join us for live Winter Is Coming coverage at 8pm ET.

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