Ahead of next week’s Royal Rumble PPV, Daniel Bryan has been doing the interview rounds and started off talking about the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Speaking to the Metro, Bryan talks about watching the Rumble match itself and how vocal the crowd was that night. Rumour had it that he would be in the match and would go on to WrestleMania to challenge for the title, so when the final competitor was revealed to be Rey Mysterio and not Bryan, the crowd voiced their displeasure.
“We were sitting backstage watching the monitor and I could feel the temperature of the audience. I was like, “ooh!” I didn’t know exactly what was gonna happen in the Royal Rumble or anything like that. And then when Rey came out and he got booed because he wasn’t me, I felt so bad because Rey is one of my heroes and he’s also one of the best wrestlers of all time, and one of those guys who still – despite having wrestled for as long as he has – still puts everything out there, constantly working hard and all of it. That’s the last person you should boo! So, really there was this weird sort of, “Yeah this feels good that people want me, but I feel so bad for Rey!”
Not only did they boo when Mysterio came out, they cheered when he was eliminated, purely it seemed because he ‘wasn’t Daniel Bryan.’ Bryan still managed to get his way into the Championship match at WrestleMania XXX and after beating Triple H one on one in the opening match of the landmark event, he went on to beat both Randy Orton and Batista to become the new WWE Champion.
A few years later in 2018, Bryan went up against the then WWE Champion A.J. Styles and won the match and the title following a low blow, effectively turning him heel in the process.
‘The New’ Daniel Bryan took to calling himself ‘The Planet’s Champion’ and in a conversation with Miguel Uceda of SoloWrestling, he explained why this was his favourite time with the title.
“Being the Planet Champion was by far my favourite, it’s interesting because in WWE my reigns have never been very good [laughs]. I won the championship at WrestleMania XXX but had to vacate it some time later due to a neck injury, and I also won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011 but lost it in 18 seconds at WrestleMania XXVIII. Those reigns didn’t feel as special as when I was Planet Champion and bad boy.”
Also in the interview he was asked about his recent comments about the possibility of becoming a part-time superstar and looking to the future.
“I’m still a full-time wrestler today but I don’t think I’ll be a full-time wrestler for much longer, but it’s weird because I’ve never considered the option of retirement. I want to fight until I’m old, and I mean very old. I love wrestling and have always been inspired by people like Jerry Lawler and Terry Funk, and even European wrestlers like Jonny Saint, who was fighting in his 60s and 70s, and not because they needed the money, they did it because they loved to do it.”
“You have to adapt and evolve. I still have a passion. very profound about this and I enjoy it very much, it is very difficult for me to accept the idea that I will not be able to do this again. Why ?! Why ?! Even if it is fighting in a veterans hall before 75 people, I would just do it for fun. It’s something I really like, so the idea of a full-time retirement is very boring for me.”
Bryan is one of the favourites to win this year’s Royal Rumble match and fans are eager for him to go on to WrestleMania to face Roman Reigns for the WWE Championship. Winning the Rumble is one of the things he’s not managed to tick off of his list, yet.
“I’ve accomplished a lot in WWE and I’ve accomplished a lot in my career in general. That’s one of the things that I’ve never really been able to do, that’s one milestone I haven’t been able to accomplish. To me, I’m always interested in trying to accomplish new things and new goals and that sort of thing. To me, winning the Royal Rumble would just be the cherry on top of my career.”
h/t to WrestlingInc for the transcription