-- After making a dramatic, but unsurprising debut at AEW's All Out last night evening, Bryan Danielson spoke of his decision to jump over from WWE, citing no one reason for it except that he had a desire to push himself to his limits. Below are some highlights of what he said:
On when he knew he was going to go to AEW
"Honestly, it was an internal battle the whole time. I loved where I worked before and the people. But there was never a moment where I was like "now, I know"...when you have a wife and kids, your life becomes a little bit tame. I love it, but it's a little bit tame. need one part of my life that's a little bit wild, right? You see these guys doing these crazy things and I'm like, ‘Oh my God, can I do that?’ Yes, I can. I don't care. Like, I'm going to go out there and I'm going to show everybody here what "elite" really looks like this, this is what "elite" looks like. I'm not, you know, Punk can come in and said like,’ Oh, I want to help the young guys and all that kind of stuff.’ Nah man, I'm going to kick their fucking head in."
On the possibility of Brie Bella joining him in AEW
"So...that would be very difficult. It was hard for me to go, because I have so many ties within WWE. She's happy there, she has so many business connections there, so I don't know."
On bringing the "Yes" chants to AEW
"I don't know, we're going to have to talk about what I can and cannot do. One of the the things I do try to respect...I appreciate the people I worked for before and respecting their intellectual property. So making sure I don't contradict any of that. The fans doing that is great, but I'm not sure if I'm going to do it." [ At this point, AEW President Tony Khan was quick to point that the "Yes" chants aren't necessarily WWE's intellectual property. ]
On leaving WWE & his relationship with Vince McMahon
"The final decision...I started thinking about things. WWE was so gracious with me, as far as the offer they gave me. They were gonna let me do some other stuff outside. I hate to say this... Vince and I have a great relationship. And I love him, I do. Sometimes he's overprotective of me. And I want to be able to push my limits. That's one of the things I love about this, the physicality and being able to push my limits here in a safe manner is one of the things that drew me. And there's an excitement, you see the crowd, you al see it and felt it. And you felt how excited people are about this product. It feels vibrant, even just watching through a TV screen. I want to be a part of this. I really battled back and forth, there are a lot of people there that I consider family...that actually are family...and people that I love there. It was a really tough decision."