Bryan Danielson wants to be able to push his limits in All Elite Wrestling.
On Sunday, September 5, AEW held its annual All Out event. Following the main event, Bryan Danielson debuted for the company, coming to the aid of Christian Cage and Jurassic Express after The Elite and - the also newly signed - Adam Cole beat them up.
During the post-show media scrum, Bryan was asked about comments he recently made about not feeling a spark when he headlined WrestleMania 37 and whether or not he felt anything tonight. He said the following:
"Yeah, for sure. You know, it was interesting, but for the first time in a really long time, Tony put me in a trailer. I was hiding in the trailer. So I had to go back to the trailer after and then, you know, I talked to my wife and everything. Then I was sitting there and just kind of meditating after and you can just feel it. So many times we just like bypass cool things. I kept sitting there. I don't know how many of you meditate? I know, it's bullshit mood stuff or whatever. But, just feeling the sensation of it, it still resonated. That's one of the very unique things about pro wrestling, is that you go out there and you can feel -- For the most part, most of my career, almost every time I've gotten out there and really felt something, and tonight it was a feeling that wouldn't stop until they came and got me out of the trailer. Then you disconnect from it and you're just like, Oh, where am I going?"
As for when the flip switched and he decided AEW would be his next home, Danielson says the Brodie Lee Tribute Show was special to him. Furthermore, he shared that Vince McMahon can sometimes be overprotective and he wants to be able to push himself. All that said, he is grateful for his decade-plus with WWE and reiterates just how hard of a decision it was to leave.
"So I heard something over the past week that one of the things that really turned Punk was the Brodie Lee show. It was also one of the things -- I saw it and so many of us loved him so much and so we saw it and saw how special it was and we saw, like okay, we're gonna stop what we’re normally doing. I thought that was really special to me," Bryan said.
"So that was when I really started kind of thinking about my contract coming up," he continued. But the final decision, honestly, was just like, I started thinking about things -- WWE was so gracious with me as far as the offer that they gave me. They were gonna let me go do some other stuff on the outside, but, I hate to say this, Vince sometimes -- He and I have a great relationship. I love him, I do. Sometimes he's overprotective of me. I want to be able to push my limits. That's one of the things that I love about this, is like the physicality of what we do out there and being able to push my limits and being able to do that here in a safe manner is one of the things that really drew me here.
Then there's also, I just think there's an excitement, you know what I mean? There's just an excitement. You see the crowd. I mean I think you all see it, probably were all out there and you felt it. You felt how excited people are about this product and it feels vibrant. Even just watching it through a TV screen in a trailer. I'm sitting there going, ‘God this is awesome. I want to be a part of this.’ So that was it. Although it was -- I don't know, I really battled back and forth because there's a lot of people there that I consider family, that actually are legitimately my family, and you know, people that I love there so it was a really tough decision."
Bryan departed WWE earlier this year. His final match came on the April 30 edition of SmackDown. On that night he challenged Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship, one final shot at the belt after already having lost in the main event of WrestleMania 37. Bryan would lose to The Tribal Chief and saw himself banished from the show, a stipulation he agreed to in order to secure the match.
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