WWE News WWE NEWS: Daniel Bryan talks to Jericho - when did WWE finally get behind him?, Punk's exit, WWE personality test results, what upsets laid-back Bryan?, "Buddy Peacock," more
May 14, 2014 - 11:50:47 AM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE World Hvt. champion Daniel Bryan says he believes WWE decided to give him the big WrestleMania spotlight and title victory only after C.M. Punk left WWE in January.
Bryan was asked by Chris Jericho on the latest "Talk is Jericho" podcast when he felt there was a shift in WWE finally getting behind him as a top star.
"It wasn't necessarily that I felt a shift. It was essentially after Punk quit. It was like, 'Well, we've got John and we've got eeeeeeeh,'" Bryan said before discussing his good timing and fortune in WWE.
"When I first won the World Title in December 2011, I had Money in the Bank and Mark Henry was champion. I honestly think the plan was for me to lose MITB, but then Mark got hurt... It was more of a thing where, 'Well, what are our options here?' And, all of a sudden, I'm World champion. It's those kind of lucky breaks where you can show what you can do as a performer that helps turns the tide. A lot of that is just circumstance. And, the only reason, I think, why I was MITB champion is because they didn't want two heels winning it that year. And, Alberto (Del Rio) was the other one. It's a little series of things that add up to a whole lot."
Bryan noted his World Title run is equally astounding because of how low he scored in the categories of "ambition" and "power" in a personality test administered about two months ago.
"WWE did these personality tests for guys they considered successful or who had good runs here in WWE. They ask all these different weird questions. But, apparently it gives you an idea of some sort of personality. The lady who did the testing said I had the lowest ambition score she had ever seen," Bryan said.
Bryan continued: "She asked, 'How did you even get to where you are?' I said, 'I don't know. It's pretty much just because I love doing this."
Bryan noted he is typically very relaxed and goes with the flow in WWE, but the main thing that upsets him are short TV matches.
"The hardest part (about wrestling in WWE) is how do you even do a three-minute match?" Bryan joked. "As guys who enjoy wrestling - and I get worked up about wrestling - most of the time I'm excited to go out there and wrestle. It's like a letdown for myself. The worst to me is when a crowd is really good and you're out there for only three minutes. There's only been a couple times I came back through the curtain hot. It's been because, 'Oh my gosh, that could have been so much more. Why was it only three minutes? It could have been an awesome experience.'"
This led to Jericho and Bryan discussing their first-ever match on the first NXT episode in 2010. Jericho noted at the time that he complained about being a "Pro" on NXT because his schedule was already packed as World champion. But, he got excited when he was scheduled to face Bryan on the first show. Until he saw they were only scripted for six minutes.
"I was so disappointed in that because I knew we could have gone 60 minutes if we were given the opportunity," Jericho said. Bryan added, "I go with things pretty well. But, it's just frustrating when you see something like that. But, it's good that I get upset over that kind of stuff because it means I still love to wrestle. I almost dread the day where I see four minutes and I'm like, 'Thank goodness.' (laughs)"
Bryan and Jericho also discussed the challenges for new WWE signings going through NXT and the Performance Center if they did not wrestle on the independents.
"It's so strange that if you pluck a football player - for example, someone like Titus O'Neil. I think Titus has a lot of upside. He is very charismatic and has a personality. But, one of the things that is going to be hard for him going forward is that he has only learned one system and one way of doing things. So, even if you sign someone to a Developmental contract, I think it would behoove everyone to send them to Europe for six months or to Japan for a couple months to learn different things."
The interview closed with a discussion of how Bryan arrived at his WWE ring name moving away from Bryan Danielson. Bryan noted he came up with a list of names that included "Buddy Peacock," while William Regal came up with the "Daniel Bryan" name that stuck.
[ LINK: Bryan's full interview, which was recorded after the death of his father and before this week's neck injury news, can be heard HERE at PodcastOne.com ]
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