Bryan Danielson took a leap of faith when he left WWE and joined All Elite Wrestling. The American Dragon admits that it was a “scary” decision to step outside of his comfort zone and wrestle a more physical style in AEW.
During a recent appearance on Ron Funches’ One Fall podcast, Danielson spoke about WWE always wanting to portray him as an underdog and his drive to continue testing his body at this stage in his career.
You can listen to the full episode here, with highlights below:
Playing the Underdog
Danielson was one of the top stars in WWE over the past decade. He did it all there, including five world title reigns and countless other accomplishments.
He understands the company wanted to portray him as an underdog early in his run. It made sense for him to be the underdog against monsters like Brock Lesnar. But he eventually grew tired of that role and think fans did too.
“It was hard for the fans a little bit too, I think to connect with somebody who is an underdog, who, at this point, had won the title multiple times … Married also this beautiful woman who’s got a reality TV show. I’m really not an underdog in life anymore, right?”
He ultimately made the decision to leave WWE and join AEW. Danielson admits the change came with some fears and uncertainty.
“The scary part of it was stepping outside of this comfort zone that I had in WWE,” he said. “In AEW, you see them doing some pretty risky things. I was like, I don’t know if physically I can do that anymore. Over the last year-plus, I’ve proven to myself that I can.”
Danielson remains driven to continue testing himself physically. Some people, including his wife Brie, question why he feels the need to push himself to the limits at 41 years old.
“I don’t know why I have that desire, but I do.”