AEW star Bryan Danielson is one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. His rise from lowly midcarder to the main event of WrestleMania is one of the greatest wrestling stories ever told.
As Daniel Bryan, he took the wrestling world by storm. His “Yes!” chant became an instant hit, even turning up in basketball games all across the United States.
In an interview with Uproxx, Bryan Danielson revealed that he was told that he could never be the face of the WWE.
This helped him win the WWE Championship and culminate the story of Daniel Bryan vs The Authority that lasted from Summerslam 2013 all the way to the following year.
“After WrestleMania 30, when I had won the championship and just main evented WrestleMania, they had a meeting with me where it was like, ‘Okay, what we’d really like is to do is to set this other guy up to be the guy,’” he says.
“I think the phrase was the next John Cena. And I was like, ‘I would like to be the next John Cena,’ (and they said) nobody can be John Cena.”
He continued, “I literally just main evented WrestleMania, and you’re already telling me directly — and I actually appreciated that — that you don’t see me as the guy,” he continues. “That’s good for me because (I knew) this is what I have to overcome if I want to be that. I never got there in WWE as far as being the company’s guy. “
Bryan was injured soon after his big win and spent a year out. He was then forced to retire due to concussion issues. He returned to the ring again in 2018, although Bryan Danielson left WWE to sign for AEW in 2021
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.