– AlternativeNation.net recently spoke with Daniel Bryan to promote the WWE Royal Rumble 2015.
Will you alter your in ring style after your injury?
I will, but not necessarily because of my injury. It’s something where your style has to constantly evolve. I like to look at wrestling as the most artsy of all the martial arts. It’s a very creative process, what we’re doing is artistic creative combat. So as such, it needs to evolve. Being able to sit at home for the last 8 months and watch the product, and I see things where there’s too much of this, or there’s not enough this, and here’s what I can bring to the table that’s different, and more exciting for the fans. So yes, my style will be changing. Will it be any easier on my neck? I have no idea (laughs). Yeah, my style will be changing, but it’s not necessarily going to be physically easier.
How long do you see yourself being able to continue to wrestle, and who would you like to wrestle before you retire?
Those are very difficult questions. I would like to wrestle as long as my body is physically capable of it. I love what I do, I used to do this for very little money (laughs). It’s one of those things where, I do this because it’s fun, being with WWE is the first time I ever made any real money doing it. It’s just a blast, it’s my passion. It’s like asking a musician how long do they want to play music for. It’s very difficult to grapple with the idea of not being able to wrestle any more, but you also have to come to the realization that this is a very physical business, and your body will only last you so long. So I would like to say that at some point I would have the mental intelligence, or maybe the mental support from my wife or somebody, to know, ‘Okay, it’s time for you to stop, because if you don’t, you’re going to have to replace your hips, your knees, all that kind of stuff.’ So I don’t know when that time will be, but I’d like to wrestle as long as I can, but at the end of it still be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle afterwards.
What was your take on Vince McMahon’s interview a couple of months back on the WWE Network where he encouraged talent to reach for the brass ring?
(Laughs) You know it’s funny, because one of the things that he had mentioned was, he said something about the Millennials not having any ambition, right. It’s funny, because the WWE does this personality test with some of their more successful superstars, where they rank you on all of these scores, like your desire for power, and your personality, and all that kind of stuff. One of the things they ranked was ambition, and it’s funny, because in this personality assessment, I got the lowest score for ambition that the lady had ever seen. So they do it on a percentile basis, so from 0 to 100, I was in the bottom 1 percentile of ambition.
(Laughs) It’s funny because the lady was like, ‘How on earth are you so successful given that you seem to have no ambition?’ I said, ‘Well, that’s where there’s a flaw on the test. I have no ambition for what society says is important as far as things like money, and all that kind of stuff.’ What I am ambitious about is I want to be the best wrestler that I can possibly be, and I think there’s some sort of mistake in generations, as far as what he thinks as far as our generation lacking ambition. Our generation just wants different things than what his generation wants, and I think that’s a societal thing as well. There’s an older generation of people who say, ‘No, you guys should want this, you guys should want this, you guys should want this.’ Whereas our generation, a lot of us say, ‘No, we don’t want that, we want something different, and a lot of the things that you guys wanted, are the reason that the world is messed up. We need to change our value system.’ So that’s it, that’s a very different take on what’s going on.
But people do need to stand up and say, ‘No, this isn’t what I want, I want to do this. This is me, this is how I want to present myself on television. This is how I want to be within WWE, this is how I view professional wrestling, this is what I would like it to be.’ People have to have the courage to come up and say that. But the hard thing is, he was talking about the Attitude Era and how things were different, well things wouldn’t have been that much different if there wasn’t a WCW. Like guys could say, ‘Hey, I don’t want to do this. If you want to fire me fine, because I’m going to go to WCW and make just as much money.’ That doesn’t exist right now. It’s people who are okay with like, ‘Hey, my life without WWE, is as good as my life with the WWE.’ They have to be able to say, ‘Okay, if I’m going to say this is what I want to do, or else I’m taking my ball and going home.’ They have to have some sort of plan for when they take their ball and go home, they have something else to do, which is hard, especially when you have a family, and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, I have very interesting thoughts on that whole podcast. It’s a very interesting look into the mind of Vince McMahon, so it was fascinating.
Triple H’s role in WWE management has been expanding in the last couple of years, especially with him spearheading NXT. What do you think about Triple H’s work with the NXT talent he’s selected, and have you talked to him about what his vision is for the future of wrestling?
I have never actually talked to him about his vision for the future of wrestling, and that is actually something I should talk to him about, because we think a lot alike in a lot of ways. I like what he’s done with NXT, I think NXT is an awesome show. That last special that they did was an awesome product. I think Hunter is very intelligent wrestling wise, like he knows wrestling, he knows what works wrestling wise. I’m not exactly sure what are his ideas, and what aren’t his ideas within the WWE, but I want to say two of the most successful current acts that happened in the last year, like The Shield and the Wyatts, I think those are Triple H ideas, but I’m not exactly sure, as far as their execution and that sort of thing. The only way I can really gauge him is by what happens on NXT, and NXT is a wonderful product, it might be the best wrestling product out there. I love watching that show, and I think they’ve chosen some pretty awesome guys to be the stars of that show: Sami Zayn is incredible, Adrian Neville is incredible, Finn Balor is incredible, Hideo Itami, who used to be KENTA, and I wrestled on the independents and Japan, he’s incredible. So they’ve got some incredible talent down there, and they’re doing some really good stories.