AEW star Bryan Danielson says he warned people backstage about the disastrous reaction that greeted Roman Reigns after winning the 2015 Royal Rumble.
In 2015 WWE seemed hell-bent on making Roman Reigns into the biggest and most beloved star in the company despite the crowd reaction seemingly growing more negative towards him every week.
Bryan Danielson had been on the other side of that coin in 2014 when crowd support carried him all the way to the main event of WrestleMania 30 where he defeated Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton all in one night to ultimately leave as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
However, fate soon intervened and injury meant Danielson had to soon relinquish the title and spend time on the sidelines. With a return to action coming shortly before the 2015 Royal Rumble, the man then known as Daniel Bryan was surely going to be the people’s choice to win the landmark match as he had been in 2014 only to be overlooked in favour of Batista.
However, the WWE machine had other ideas and Roman Reigns was their man. On the night Bryan Danielson entered the Royal Rumble and was eliminated in just over ten minutes by old rival Bray Wyatt. The crowd soon turned on everything and everyone as they could see the future before them.
Kane and Big Show drew ire for working together to eliminate any last fan favourites with the crowd even getting behind Rusev as he attempted a last-ditch sneak attack on Reigns to claim the win but it was The Big Dog’s night.
With Kane and The Big Show attacking Reigns, The Rock made the save and even The People’s Champ’s presence could not stop the boos and jeers from raining down on the man who now calls himself The Tribal Chief.
Speaking to Renee Paquette on The Sessions at Starrcast Bryan Danielson explained why he warned those in WWE that his own quick elimination in the match could have an adverse effect on Roman Reigns:
“So I knew, and I had just come back from neck surgery. When they told me what I was doing in the 2015 Royal Rumble and that I was only going to be in there for a few minutes, I said to them ‘I think this is a bad idea. This isn’t necessarily great for Roman.’”
“They kind of ignored that, stuff happened, and then yeah, that was that. All of that said, I think that Roman has done a great job and he is the biggest star in wrestling. He has performed at such a high level for such a long time, he has done a really good job.”
Roman Reigns went on to defeat Bryan Danielson in a singles match at Fast Lane following the Royal Rumble to cement him as Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania challenger. Both Reigns and Lesnar ended up thwarted however as Seth Rollins intervened in their main event to cash in his Money In The Bank contract and become WWE Champion.
Bryan Danielson also discussed his monumentally popular ‘Yes’ chant and says he was sometimes forced into doing it in WWE.
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