WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan was interviewed by the Masked Man of Grantland.com. Here are some highlights of what Bryan said about:
Does He Feel That He's "Made It" Yet? "To be honest, I don't feel like I've made it. But "making it" is different than being satisfied with what you've done. If I got hurt today, I'd be very satisfied with what I've done, but I would have said that before I even made it to WWE. I was happy with what I accomplished on the independent scene and internationally — it was already much more than what people ever thought I could do and what even I thought I could do. But one of the things that keeps me going is the pursuit of constantly being better, and I haven't "made it" like I'm at a point where I'm happy to stay at this level. I was actually talking to John Cena about this. He told me Steve Austin talked to him at one show and asked him how things were going, and John said, "The show's going pretty well." And Austin looked up at a part of the arena that was tarped off — the building was maybe 90 percent sold out — and he said, "Back when I was here, these arenas were full." And that motivated John. There's always something to strive for. So what do I need to do to feel like I've made it? I need to be the main-event guy, the top guy, and we need to be selling out every arena every night. Maybe then I'll feel like I've done what I need to do."
His Dream Opponent From A Past Era: "For me, the honest answer is Shawn Michaels. It's sad because I've always considered him the best — he trained me — and I've never wrestled him. But there's also the fascination of going back and wrestling somebody like Andre the Giant or the Ultimate Warrior — those guys you grew up watching as a kid just have such a special aura."
If He Gets Embarrassed Watching His Old Matches: "Oh god, yes. When WWE showed footage of me wrestling at Shawn Michaels's old promotion, I was like, "Please don't show this." It was cool for the story because they had some stuff with me and Shawn, but anybody who goes back and watches their first matches is going to be embarrassed. To put your 18-year-old self on national television — well, it lightens up your ego a little bit. But you know, I didn't just start out like this. I had to work hard to get good."
How Daniel Bryan is Different Than Bryan Danielson: "There are so many differences, but mostly I think it's in my approach to character. In Ring of Honor, I was doing a thing where I was a master wrestler — that was my character. Now in WWE I'm an underdog, and that's the way I have to approach my matches. I have to fight from underneath and overcome. It's the opposite of my last days in the indies, where anybody I wrestled was the underdog, because the fans always expected Bryan Danielson to win. In WWE, the size difference is so much greater, the guys are so much bigger, and that just wouldn't make sense."