Bryan Danielson Comments on Why He Signed with AEW

Posted By Caroline Walsh on 09/23/21

AEW star Bryan Danielson recently joined WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/660AM New York’s Moose & Maggie earlier this week to promote Dynamite Grand Slam and discuss his signing with AEW. Below are some highlights (via Audacy):

On why he signed with AEW: “There are a lot of very complicated decisions that aren’t great sound bites, but AEW seems like a lot of fun, and there are a lot of matches like the one I have tomorrow that I looked at and wanted to have.”

Bryan Danielson on his thank you message to WWE he wrote for The Players’ Tribune: “I just felt like I needed to say thank you to WWE publicly, because not only the people within WWE, but the WWE fan base, some of them may have felt a little betrayed,” he said. “There is a level of tribalism in wrestling, and I wanted to transcend that, because I had many incredible moments, and I wasn’t able to say goodbye to a lot of people that I love behind the scenes, good people you form great relationships with from spending so much time with them – like the catering people who specifically made vegan meals for me for years and years! The hard thing was my loyalty to Vince McMahon; I love him and he’s done so much for me and my family, and that was the hard thing.”

Bryan Danielson on the other options he considered besides AEW and WWE: “A lot of people think in terms of two options – but I could’ve done an independent schedule, or not come back to wrestling at all for a bit. But, I wanted to take the summer off because my daughter started preschool. Her whole life, I’ve left almost every week, but me being home every night, she loved it and I loved it. Now, when I FaceTime her, she’s like, ‘Daddy, I miss your cuddles, mama doesn’t cuddle me like you do!’ and that kind of stuff. That was part of the idea of maybe stepping away until my son starts preschool, but then you wonder if I’m missing years of my productive career, and I might not be the same at 45 as I am at 40.”

His thoughts on Kenny Omega: “Kenny and I have wrestled before, a long time ago, and he wasn’t were he’s at now. I watch all sorts of wrestling, and I’ve watched what he did in Japan and it was awesome. He was doing some of the best wrestling in the world, and when I came to AEW I said ‘this is the match I want.’ Doing it at Arthur Ashe Stadium feels like it could be a huge momentum shift for AEW.”

On working with CM Punk again in AEW: “I think we’ll work really well together, but even if I didn’t come to AEW, Punk would’ve been successful there, and here’s how I know: I first met him an at independent show in New Jersey years ago, and he fractured his skull that night, but his passion for wrestling was easy to see. I’d see him in WWE and it just wasn’t the same guy. Now I see him in AEW and he’s so happy, and you see an energy about him that bleeds through again.”

His thoughts on competition: “I’m sure there’s competition, especially at a higher business level, and eventually, it will go the other way where someone who feels underutilized in AEW will go to WWE and show what they can do, but of course, if I see someone do something incredible in WWE, I’m going to want to do something better!”

Bryan Danielson made his AEW in-ring debut on last night’s Dynamite Grand Slam, wrestling world champion Kenny Omega to a time limit draw.