Bryan Danielson has discussed his decision to leave WWE and head for new pastures in AEW and discussed the role Vince McMahon played in that choice.
Danielson shocked the wrestling world when he made his presence felt inside the NOW Arena at the end of AEW All Out. The former WWE Champion confronted The Elite who were bolstered by the presence of a debuting Adam Cole.
At the post-show media scrum, Bryan Danielson discussed his decision to join All Elite Wrestling after a decade-plus attached to WWE. According to Danielson, his interest piqued by the same thing that drew CM Punk to the company – The Celebration Of Life Of Mr. Brodie Lee:
“I’d heard something I don’t know over the past week or something that one of the things that really turned Punk was the Brodie Lee show. That was also one of the things that I saw it and I mean, so many of us loved him so much, right? And so we saw it, we saw how special it was. And we saw like, okay, we’re gonna stop what we’re normally doing and do that and I thought like, that was really special to me.”
Danielson then discussed his relationship with Vince McMahon, saying that he loves McMahon despite feeling that the WWE Chairman has a tendency to be overprotective:
“But so that was when I really started kind of thinking about it knowing that my contract was coming up, but the final decision, honestly was just like, I started thinking about things in WWE, [WWE] was so gracious with me. As far as the offer that they gave me, they were gonna let me go do some other stuff outside. But there’s just I hate to say this, there’s some times that 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 that I love about this is the physicality of what we do out there and being able to push my limits. And being able to do that here in a safe manner is one of the things that really drew me here. Then there’s also I just think there’s an excitement, you know what I mean? There’s just an excitement, you see the crowd, I mean, I think you’ll all see it, probably, we’re all out there. And you felt it, you know what I mean? And you felt how excited people are about this product, and it feels vibrant, and it makes you feel like, even just watching it through a TV screen in a trailer. And I’m seeing that God, this is awesome, right? Like, I want to be a part of this.”
“Right and so that was, you know, that was it, although it was, I don’t know, I really battled back and forth. Because there’s a lot of people there that I consider family and, you know, people that I love there. So you know, it was a, it was a really tough decision.”
Bryan Danielson also discussed if there were any plans to be joined in AEW by his wife and WWE Hall Of Famer, Brie Bella.