Bryan Danielson

Bryan Danielson Comments On Vince McMahon Being Very Protective Of Him In WWE

Bryan Danielson recently spoke with the New York Post for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling.

During the discussion with the major media outlet, the AEW star spoke about whether or not he talked with Vince McMahon before signing with the company, McMahon being very protective of him and more.

Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview.

On Vince McMahon being very protective of him: “Gosh, I made the final decision pretty late in the game. (Laughs) My wife (Brie Bella) was actually the one who kind of pushed me in the sense of, ‘Hey you have to make a decision at some point.’ I was really enjoying the summer with my kids,” Danielson said. “I was really putting it off because it was a hard decision for me. I think at the end of the day there were two main things that put AEW over the edge. It is one, what would be best for the wrestling business in the sense of, ‘Hey, could I make a big impact in AEW?’ If you have two really strong wrestling companies that’s good for the fans, it’s good for the wrestlers, it’s good for everybody. Sometimes I contemplate things in the idea of service versus selfishness. Especially since we’ve had our daughter, I’ve tried to focus on service more than selfishness.

“There’s the service aspect. When I went back and forth, where would I be of most use or that sort of thing, I kind of decided that the best place for the entire industry would be for me to be in AEW. But then from the selfishness aspect, there’s just so many people I want to wrestle there (Laughs). I’ve been in WWE for 11 years. I’d wrestled a lot of the people on the roster. You look at all these fresh matches, you look at the ability to do outside stuff. Also, the next three years are probably the last three years of my career that I’ll be able to go as hard as I want to be able to go.”

“Vince McMahon was very protective of me in the sense of protective of my health kind of stuff and I get that. I believe I’m more capable than … he protects me in a caring way. I feel like I can go harder than sometimes they would want me to in WWE. AEW will allow me that freedom to go as hard as I want.”

On McMahon limiting how much he worked to avoid running him into the ground: “No, no. Protective in the sense of like things that I could or could not do that were very specific to me,” Danielson responded. “You also have to understand that WWE’s relationship with my health is different. So, Tony Khan knows all the information, but he didn’t have to experience it in real time. So when the doctors say, ‘Bryan’s clear to literally do anything,’ right, and these are the best doctors in the world, right? He doesn’t have any residual pain of these others things that had happened to me the way that WWE does. And you say that and there’s the freedom argument, but the WWE perspective is coming in a very loving way. It’s not a negative way.

“(Vince) used this analogy with me a lot. He likened me to a racehorse who needs a bit in their mouth because some racehorses need a bit in their mouth because you need to be able to control the racehorse. If you don’t, they’ll run themselves into the ground. When he said that in the back of my mind I’d always think, ‘Yeah, but I’d kind of rather be a wild horse rather than a racehorse with a bit in my mouth.’ That was a big point too as far as signing with AEW.”

On whether or not he had a conversation with McMahon before signing with AEW: “Besides my wife, he was the first person I told,” Danielson revealed. “He and I have a great relationship. That was actually one of the harder things about leaving. Because I had such a positive experience in WWE.

“From my perspective, I have a lot of respect and love for him and that was one of the hardest things. Like, I don’t want him to think I’m betraying him or anything like that. It was really hard. One of the main reason’s why it took me so long to make the decision was my loyalty to Vince.”

Check out the complete interview at


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