I’d be lying if I said I was among the many who have followed the former Bryan Danielson since he was making other toddlers tap out in the babysitter’s crib. Man, I wish. I didn’t get on the Daniel Bryan bandwagon until he was on WWE TV, but when it happened it was fast. During the Nexus’ debut rampage Bryan, the smallest and angriest man in the ring, shouted “You! Are not! Better than me!”, exclamation points and all, into the face of a very KO’d John Cena. Shortly thereafter he spit on Cena’s face before kicking it to friggin’ Argentina. That was all it took for me. I was 100% #TeamBryan.
Currently Bryan and WWE are scrambling to reinforce his character’s nastiest traits as he experiences a wave of sudden acclaim from pissed-off fans who were screwed out of a no-joke Bryan Wrestlemania championship match. And Bryan does cowardly jerk as well as he does everything else, so it’s working.
However, it’s working because he is trying really hard at it, as demonstrated in an interview of Bryan by GQ that confirms he is indeed the sort of funny, dorky, quietly personable guy who would name his dog Asparagus and sing backup on indie rock tracks in memory of Lou Albano.
“They don’t want bad things to happen to me, like an 18-second loss at Wrestlemania, especially the hardcore fans, which is mostly who comes for Wrestlemania. People come from all over the world. They travel to Wrestlemania, and a lot of those people know my story, how long it took me to get a Wrestlemania match. And then for my first one to be an 18-second loss, it actually generated a lot of anger,” said Bryan of the defeat in the conversation.
“I was World Heavyweight Champion for four months. I wanted to go out there and steal the show. I was trained by Shawn Michaels, and that’s what he’s notorious for. I’ve always had the mindset that my wrestling is as good as or better than anybody out there. I was really looking forward to going out there and showing everybody what I can do on the biggest stage of them all, and then I just wasn’t able to do it,” the veteran continued, revealing he understood where the fans’ animosity was coming from.
Also, if the “Yes” chants seem familiar it’s because UFC welterweight Diego Sanchez used to do it as a psychological mantra while walking down to the cage. He is probably–sad face–not going to come to the ring to “The Final Countdown” anytime soon. And, as we probably should be reminded pretty often, touring nearly nonstop with the nagging anxiety of the 30 wrestlers who will happily fill in your screen time should you ever get injured really sucks.
He also says that one day he hopes to have a match with Sheamus. I agree, that would be pretty cool.