During his feud with 'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan has gone back in time. He brought back the "Yes!" chants, which is when he was at the peak of his powers in 2014 when he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30. He also shaved his beard and cut his hair, thus resembling Bryan Danielson from his ROH and early WWE days.
Despite the changes, Bryan wasn't necessarily looking to go back to his old look or character during this feud.
"I honestly wasn't really ready to go back to the ‘yes’ chants yet. I was really enjoying the stuff that I was doing as the ‘Planet’s Champion’ and environmentalist type of stuff," Bryan told MySanAntonio. "But sometimes you do what duty calls for, right? There's the switch, and I still enjoy doing that. But it's weird, because it almost feels a little bit unfinished. We were starting a story with me and Sami Zayn, and to me that was very compelling. It was, ‘Do you want to go backward with these people and go back to being the 'yes' guy, or do you want to go forward with us?’ And to me, that's a very interesting real question in my life and in my career. Do you want to go back to this? It's easy to get reactions as the 'yes' guy and be the guy who goes out there and does the 'yes' chants. Or do I want to push things forward? Which is more interesting to me creatively? In this particular instance, it was kind of like, ‘OK, we're ready as a company for the 'yes' guy to be back.’ And I really enjoy doing that. I do. But, I like to also push my own creative boundaries, and so one of the things that I'm trying to do with this, although I haven't necessarily done a great job of it yet, is evolving the 'yes' character from what it had been before. But one of the cool things to me that we are doing now that I really have enjoyed is the Bray Wyatt Fiend character is so interesting, and this idea that he legitimately changes characters on TV. I think that's a very compelling story. It's been a lot of fun. And it's hard for me when you ask, like, how has it been planned? My week to week goes by so crazily, like everything's so crazy that it's hard to remember. I don't really know.”
As far as his look goes, Bryan revealed that he didn't have a problem with his beard being shaved, but wasn't ready to lose his hair. Unfortunately, due to the under-the-ring circumstances, Bryan had little choice but to get rid of his hair as well.
“Actually, it was my idea," Bryan said when asked about shaving his beard. "And my idea was not the hair, it was just the beard. I had kind of pitched this to them as this idea of, ‘OK, how do we extend this story with Bray Wyatt,’ which is what they wanted to do, because he's already defeated me cleanly, right? How do we do that? One of the things to me was that he's changed people's character so much when he's faced them. And by him ripping out or cutting my beard, it would be this idea that he's stripping me of part of my identity. That was my kind of pitch to them."
He continued, "What actually happened? They said, ‘Well, yeah, then he can cut your hair, too!’ And I was like, ‘No, I don't really want that. I don't want my hair to be cut.’ I kind of wanted my hair to be longer. Just wrestling wise, I like that. But then, the day of, we're like, ‘OK, well, he will rip out some of your hair.’ You'd have to understand the mechanisms that are going on while this is happening. We're in a live TV show, right? So, they pulled me under the ring, they've got two barbers there who are in charge of like, getting my beard off and getting hair off so there can be this appearance of him ripping out my hair and all that kind of stuff. And we have a minute and a half of TV time left on the live show. And there's also a producer down there, who's saying, ‘We need more hair, we need more hair, we need more hair!’ And it's completely dark under there. We were all so crammed in this little area because there's also like real stuff under the ring that needs to be under the ring. It’s just all in this crammed little area and these guys are cutting my hair and cutting my beard really quick and they're supposed to just to cut X amount of hair off, which wasn't as much as they ended up doing. But the one guy on one side did a great job. They actually both did a great job considering the circumstances. But one guy just went a little too tight and a little too high. And then, after the show, they did their best … they tried after the show for like 45 minutes to make it like not just a shaved head. But that was the best we could do under the circumstances."
Bryan went on to say that his wife, Brie Bella, hates shaved heads and she was initially angry over Bryan's new look, but it quickly blew over.
Bryan is set to challenge Wyatt for the WWE Universal Championship at WWE Royal Rumble in a strap match.