Interview Highlights: Daniel Bryan talks about genesis of his New Daniel Bryan character, how it’s more about judging himself than others, dream matches in WWE right now


The following are highlights of last week’s interview with CBS Sports’ “State of Combat” podcast with Daniel Bryan where he discusses his “New Daniel Bryan” heel character, how it came about, and how he feels about aspect of it. He also talked about some opponents he’d really like to wrestle in WWE…

Click Here:

•On how he feels about his career now: I really feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been and I’m really enjoying it… When I came back, there were such expectations of people wanting me to be the old Daniel Bryan. “We want the ‘Yes!’ chant and the same moves we had before.” Those kind of expectations, the weight of that can kind of crush you [as can] the expectations you have with yourself. Wrestling was always my greatest outlet and to go out there and do wrestling the way I want to do wrestling instead of other people’s expccrtations. I thought the old Daniel Bryan was getting stale as the same character it was in 2014. This is a completely new Daniel Bryan with is why I ‘m called “the New Daniel Bryan!” (laughs)

•On wanting to make sure his character evolved: It was almost like we were telling the same story that was already told. This is a completely new story. What I love about the art form of professional wrestling is the same thing – sometimes it happens in comic books, sometimes it doesn’t, the ability for character to evolve. Some characters don’t evolve and stay the same year after year, and that’s never been my interest. Since 2012 I’ve really been interested in character development and the evolution of character and why those things would happen. I had been frustrated with the lack of evolution of my character. This new character really stimulates me mentally.

•On how the New Daniel Bryan came to fruition: You have to understand that this was a day-of decision. Me being a bad guy was a day-of decision. I had been thinking about it because I had been doing stuff with Miz and I started to realize that, hey, the tide is turning on this whole thing of me being a good guy and eventually it’s going to be people getting tired of me in the same way people had gotten tired of John Cena and all that stuff. The tide is going to turn on this stuff and eventually I’ll be another [inaudible] good guy… and that’s the last thing I wanted to happen. I get there the day of and things are happening and it was a day-of decision After that, wow, I get a completely clean slate, I can do whatever I want now. Well, I have to get the company to agree to it! Ha. But I do know, like, this is my opportunity. I really imagined how I wanted to wrestle and all that kind f stuff, as I age, I had to reimagine the way I wanted to wrestle and the character I wanted to create and stories I wanted to tell and this was a way to do all of that. So it actually has been really fun because the character has evolved since the turn happened because it’s morphing into what works and doesn’t work. That’s fun for me. What worked this week, what will and won’t work next week, that whole process, that’s fun and engaging to me and that’s what really gets me excited.

•On whether “white meat babyfaces” work in this era: No, I think 100 percent there is a place with that but it has to be presented the right way. A good guy, white meat babyface that you’re talking about can’t be presented as a loser or a dork or where an authority figure tells them that “we’re going to fire you if you do this” and they hang their head and go “Awwww.” If you want a good character that people like and he has something you believe in, and they’re going to fire them, then say, “Fire me, fine, I’ll go get a job somewhere else.” Eventually with those kinds of characters, it’s still a white meat babyface character in that sense, but you have to present it properly. I don’t think it’s impossible, but I think we don’t present them in the best way possible.

•On if his new heel character is pulling from his past run as a heel in ROH or if it’s completely new and reinvented: Well, so it is character-wise a complete reinvention, but it would be impossible to not pull from the past. Hey, that thing here really works so I’m going to do it here. Nobody completely reinvents themelsves, not even Chris Jericho, the king of reinventing himself. I think it’s a completely fresh character. What’s interesting for me, a lot of the things the character of Daniel Bryan says are things that I actually think, they’re not about other people, they’re about myself. The environmentalist stuff, being hard on people about environmental stuff, I don’t sit there and think, like, [inaudible]. I’m like, man, we just moved and look at all the waste we have. I’m suppose to be environmental conscious and this is the best I can do? It’s more so getting down on myself.  Using that mindset to tell people that they’re the problem, fully well knowing that I am also the problem. (Laughs) And maybe that’s why I’m such a fun, hatable character, because I’m telling people they’re the problem and “I’m clearly not the problem, I am the solution.” All of this that I’m saying is when I say it, I think about it about myself more so than anything else. One of the things I’ve been really been disappointed in myself is [moving from] veganism to vegetarianism. To most people it’s a very minor difference, but to me it’s a major difference. That’s one of the things I’ve been trying to be back to, is fully 100 percent vegan, just knowing the horrible – like, we’ve done the stuff with hot dog stuff with A.J. Styles the last couple of weeks.  Just the idea that key, even though you’re not killing the chickens to get the egg, a lot of the eggs in this country, the chickens are kept in such horrible conditions and all that kind of stuff. A lot of these things I’m saying I don’t yell at other people, “Hey, stop heating eggs!” I say to myself, I should stop eating eggs on the road. I mean, it’s an easy excuse or whatever it is, a lot of these things are frustrations with myself because I know the consequences and the other stuff. The whole thing’s been interesting.

•On wrestlers he’d like to wrestle in WWE: It’s impossible to narrow it down to two or three. I’d love to do a story with Brian Kendrick because we have such an incredible history together. My first match was with Kendrick. He’s on 205 Live. I’d love to do something with Cesaro. I’d also love to do a whole thing with Andrade. I think Andrade is just awesome. Andrade and Rey Mysterio had an incredible match last week. I’d love to do a mask vs. hair story with Rey. What about Gran Metalik, Then Ricochet. Then you run this gamut of people because WWE has signed such incredible performers. There are so many talented people on the roster, it’s impossible to name just a couple. I listed off several. (laughs) So there’s many more, you know waht I mean?

RECOMMENDED: Interview Highlights: Eric Bischoff says WWE losing Dean Ambrose makes no difference and explains why, what Jeff Jarrett is phenomenal at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *