Daniel Bryan discusses his recent heel turn and getting fans to hate him.
Many fans were stunned on the Nov. 13 episode of SmackDown Live when Daniel Bryan won the WWE Title by low blowing AJ Styles and then adding insult to injury by repeatedly kicking Styles in the face. On the following episode of SmackDown, Bryan declared that the "Yes Movement" and "Old" Daniel Bryan were dead, introducing the "New" Daniel Bryan to the WWE Universe.
Speaking to Newsweek, Bryan discussed turning heel and how it's hard to get people to hate him after being beloved for so long.
"It’s an interesting dynamic because this was my thinking going in and it worked. Get people at first, because I want to be the most hated guy in the company. I want to be more hated than Brock Lesnar," said Bryan. "Some people want to cheer for the bad guy. I don’t want them to cheer, I want to be hated. So far I’ve had two jumpers at live events [laughs] and that’s an old school kind of mentality. You don’t want those guys to jump but you want them to hate you. You want them to pay to see you get beat. Or pay to see you get beat up or at the very least enjoy seeing you get beat up. That’s my thing."
Bryan continued, discussing his goal going into his Survivor Series bout with Brock Lesnar.
"In the Brock Lesnar match, specifically, before we got to do much, I wanted people to see Lesnar kick my ass. But then I want them to be concerned about Brock Lesnar kicking my ass, and then I kick Brock Lesnar’s ass. And then when I lose, I still want [the fans] to be like 'I wanted to see him win but you know what, I hate him. What a despicable human being this guy is'"
Bryan added, "And I feel we accomplished that very well [laughs]. It’s funny too, because a lot of people give Lesnar a lot of crap especially from wrestling fans. But man, what an incredible performer that guy is. I’ve been wanting to do the Brock Lesnar match for a long time and I was very satisfied."
Bryan is set to defend the WWE Title this Sunday against AJ Styles at WWE Royal Rumble.