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By Mike Johnson on 2023-09-29 13:29:00

Mike Johnson: I know you won't give this away but given that at one point it appeared your career was going to be over without you having a proper farewell, in my opinion, inside the ring, have you mapped out in your brain how you would like this era to end for you?

Bryan Danielson: A little bit but I also try not to map out too many things because the landscape of professional wrestling is always changing and by doing... Having ideas in your head is great, right, but being stuck to those ideas is not healthy. So yeah. That's one of the things that I have some ideas of how I would like it to end but none of those are set in stone and I'm pretty much open to anything. My biggest thing is to enjoy this last year. Enjoy not only just the wrestling but enjoy being around my friends, right? Because honestly, once you kind of leave wrestling, you're not in contact with them as much anymore, right? These people that you've loved and I've turned into an adult and a father with these people, right? I first met Claudio, I've known Claudio for 20 years plus now, right? And so we were kids when we first met essentially and then now we're both fathers and grown adults, right? So just appreciating these people that I love so much that I get to be around on a weekly basis.

Mike Johnson: Two more questions and then we're out of here. Number one, you had an awesome autobiography that was released when you were under contract to WWE. Would you want to maybe do a sequel and cover the AEW era?

Bryan Danielson: I mean, never say never but honestly when I'm kind of done, I just want to be done and out of the spotlight. I don't crave, I don't need... I don't feel the need to tell the story of my life. That was actually an idea that was brought. I didn't come up with that idea. WWE actually pitched that to me. They were like, "Hey, we've got this book deal. Would you be interested in doing it?" And I wasn't sure if I'd want to do it or not. I didn't feel like it was a great time, that sort of thing. But then I ended up deciding to do it and in some ways kind of regret it actually. But yeah, I don't have any deep desire to tell my story. So yeah, I don't know. That's not to say I wouldn't do it. It might strike me that I'm like, "Oh." I don't know. But now there's no interest from my side.

Mike Johnson: Well, in a lot of ways your story has been told by your exploits in the ring anyway. So if fans want to follow it, I mean, everything you've ever done is pretty much documented from your first appearance under a mask for Shawn Michael's TWA promotion in Texas, so everything is documented.

Bryan Danielson: Yeah. Yeah. And that's the thing. And then you do these interviews and stuff like that and people have access to most of my thoughts, right? So it's one of those things where it's not like my life is a mystery or my wife had a reality show, right? You've seen aspects of my life that you wouldn't have seen with any other pro wrestler before our generation. So yeah, I think it's all out there if people are interested.

Mike Johnson: I'm guessing you don't miss the reality show all that much.

Bryan Danielson: Nope.

Mike Johnson: We'll leave it there. Final question. As someone who loves professional wrestling as much as you do, what at WrestleDream this weekend are the matches that you are personally looking forward to seeing other than your own obviously that you believe are the reasons that fans should order the show?

Bryan Danielson: So one, I just think AEW has put together a string of pay-per-views, I mean, really since its inception where... I mean, I can't even remember a pay-per-view that was like, "Oh, that was so-so or that wasn't worth my money," right? If you love pro wrestling, AEW pay-per-views are where it's at, right? They're always great shows. But that said, the things that I love about pro wrestling specifically, I mean, there's so many things to love about it. But the idea of reactions in people's hometown, right? And AEW, this is the first time ever really us in pro wrestling history that I can remember other than the Pacific Northwest territory days, right, Portland Wrestling is when we have so many stars that are from this area, right? So it's like, how is the crowd going to react to Darby and Christian in two out of three falls?  The one that I'm actually looking forward to the most because it's the most intriguing from a character standpoint is Hangman and Swerve, right? Because swerve is from this area. And it's just like you expect in any other city in the country, you expect Hangman to be cheered and Swerve to be booed, and that's likely going to be turned on its head on Sunday. And seeing those guys who are both incredible performers, that's really cool.  But one of the things that I look forward to even in the Seattle shows is how the crowd reacts to Aubrey, our referee, right, the female referee that we've got, because last time we were in Seattle, I mean, there were huge Aubrey... I mean, realistically, there were Aubrey chants last night on Dynamite, right? But even her coming home to Seattle and performing here as a referee and she was there when I... She was in the crowd when I announced my retirement at Key Arena in 2016, right? And it was actually a funny one. The first conversations we ever had is she said, "I don't know if you ever saw this but there's a meme of a girl crying when you retired, that was me." I was like, "Oh my gosh."  So, I mean, those are the reasons why it's hard for me to go back into a fan mindset to be like, "Okay, what would a fan be excited about or what should a fan be excited about?" I go into my mindset of the things that I really want to watch and the things I really want to see. And those are the things that are really exciting to me. And I think all the performers love seeing the other performers on the AEW roster wrestle in front of their hometowns because it's so much fun. I mean, seeing Daniel Garcia win the Ring of Honor PURE Championship from Wheeler Yuta in Buffalo was really cool, right? It was just a cool moment to see that. And so there are so many cool moments like that to be had on Sunday.

Mike Johnson:  Bryan, always a pleasure from the first time I met you back in 2002 to now. Wish you and the family nothing but the best. Hope you have a great match with Zack Sabre Jr. and hope you come out with everything all healthy and you personally happy with the bout.  Bryan, thank you so much for your time, sir. Appreciate you.

Bryan Danielson: Yeah, what you didn't say is that you also hope that I'm not in the main event, which is what you should have said.

Mike Johnson: Well, you already said it. I don't have to say it. All right.

Bryan Danielson: I know, but I was hoping you were going to say, "I also hope you're not in the main event."

Mike Johnson: I officially hope Bryan Danielson is second on the show this Sunday. There you go.

Bryan Danielson: Yes. There we go, there we go.

Mike Johnson: Because that way Darby Allin can open and then Bryan can go on second. How about that? All right.

Bryan Danielson: Yeah.

Mike Johnson: We'll see what happens!

Bryan Danielson: Well, then, thank you, Mike.

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