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Hello fellow Yessamaniacs! Here's your fix for the week, all new D-Bry interview!

Bryan spoke with the Times Thursday and discussed that match, winning the World title the last time he was in Baltimore, losing in 18 seconds at WrestleMania, the "Yes!" chant, his theme music, why he's jealous of Ted DiBiase Jr., nearly quitting wrestling, and -- just in time for Father's Day -- the best advice his dad ever gave him.


So Baltimore was pretty good for you the last time you were here for TLC, cashed in Money in the Bank and won your first World Championship. Can you talk about that night and what was going through your mind?

It was interesting, because I think the only reason I was actually on that show was because I had a signing at a K-Mart (laughs). The pay-per-view before, Survivor Series, they did the thing where Big Show and Mark Henry had superplexed each other and the ring collapsed and people were chanting "Daniel Bryan" and I wasn't even there. I was sitting at home in Vegas, they didn't even bring me to the show. In Baltimore, I think I was just there for a signing, and then the whole thing happened and it's just amazing and surreal. It was one of those things where it just kind of happens and you just can't believe, "Wow, I'm actually holding this title." The people were awesome that night. They were cheering and everything. That's a hard position to be in to go out there and cash in Money in the Bank contract when someone's already down when you're a good guy and win and people cheer and everything. But it was really cool.

That was also the night the Yes! chant was kind of born, right?


It was the following night, or maybe I did start it that night, if I did, I did it without even thinking about it. As soon as I won the World Heavyweight Championship, every time I'd come to the ring I'd start doing the Yes! thing and slowly it caught on. And then all of a sudden, WrestleMania came around and it turned huge.

Where did the idea for the Yes! chant come from?

Well, the idea behind it is I'm as happy as I can possibly be to be the World Heavyweight Champion. There's this MMA fighter named Diego Sanchez who used to come to the ring and he would say it to pump himself up. He'd be like "Yes. Yes. Yes!" And it was kind of, I love Diego Sanchez as a fighter, but it was almost kind of annoying, a little bit, so I was like, that's perfect. (laughs)

Did you have any idea it might catch on the way it did?

No. There's no way. A lot of things you just can't predict the way things are going to catch on and that sort of thing. Sometimes, you just start doing stuff and people, it just catches on. Ther'es tons of guys doing a lot of stuff hoping it'll catch on and alot of times it never does. So, this one just did.

What did you think when you walked out there and heard everyone chanting "Yes! Yes! Yes!"?

It was just very surreal. Walking out in front of that many people, any time that you do it, it almost feels, kind of like an out of body experience. You're like "Wow, I can't believe this is my life and these people are cheering for me." I mean, three years ago I'd wrestle in front of 75 people and sometimes they'd look on with apathy. For 70,000 people to be chanting something like that is pretty cool

Did you have any idea when you walked out there you'd get that kind of reaction?

I didn't, no. But WrestleMania usually attracts the more hardcore fan base. And amongst most hardcore wrestling fans, I'm pretty popular. So I kind of hand an inkling there might be some but not nearly to the extent there actually was. I didn't expect that at all.

Do you think, if management thought you were going to get that kind of reaction, you still would've lost in 18 seconds?

(Laughs) I have no idea. I have no idea a lot of times what's going on in management's head, so I couldn't say.

So do you think losing so quickly actually worked out better for you?

Realistically, it probably did. It's something that's disappointing because I always want to go out there and have the best match possible. And especially WrestleMania, this is my first opportunity to go out there and have a real WrestleMania moment and then just not being able to have a chance to do that ... you know, it's hard for someone like me who's worked hard just to even get here. But then, all of a sudden, it morphed into something else that it wasn't even supposed to be. So now, it's turned into a completely different animal where the [next] pay-per-view I had another World Heavyweight Championship match, the following pay-per-view I have a WWE Championship match, I got another WWE Championship match this Sunday at No Way Out, so it's worked out really, really well.

You've worked as both a heel and a babyface. Which do you prefer and which one do you think is easier?

I love being the bad guy. I honestly do. I've spent most of my career being the bad guy and to me it's fun, because it's so unlike me as a human being, and it's fun to go out there and be something you're not, you know what I mean. And I love going out there and I love when my music hits and everybody just boos. And there will be a lot of boos and then a lot of Yeses! and just a very mixed reaction. And I think the mixed reaction is my favorite thing of all because there's the small pockets of people who really like me, then the vast majority who really dislikes me, and it creates a very fun atmosphere.

You mentioned your music, Ride of the Valkyries. Did you get any input with that or did they just kind of say, here's your music?

No, I chose that. (laughs). It's interesting because the first night that I used it, it wasn't the version I have now. The version I have now is way more suited to WWE Universe as far as their tastes go. But the first time I used it, it was the actual Ride of the Valkyries and I had suggested it. I had said I'd really like to change my music because my music was kind of generic hard rock, which doesn't suit me at all. I said I'd really like to come out to something like Ride of the Valkyries. And theyy didn't even have me listen to it or anything like that; all of a sudden I'm wrestling Edge live on Monday Night Raw and Edge is in the ring and all of a sudden my music hits and I'm like 'Oh my gosh,' and I walk out and I can just see on Edge's face, he's like 'What the heck is this?' And not only that, the audience was dumbfounded. They just looked at me like, 'What is this guy doing?' So yea, originally, especially as a babyface, it was a hard sell with the fans, but now that I'm a bad guy, it's perfect.

Let's go back to your early days for a bit. You started wrestling at a very young age, right out of high school. What pushed you to give pro wrestling a try?

Well, for years, wrestling had been dominated by huge guys. Even a guy like Shawn Michaels is 6-feet tall, you know what I mean? But WCW started using the cruiserweights, guys like Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio. That started happening around 1996, and I was 15 at the time, and I'd always loved pro wrestling, I always wanted to be a pro wrestler. And that gave me no excuse not to try it. Here are guys like Dean Malenko who's 5-7; here's Rey Mysterio who's 5-3 or 5-4. If these guys can succeed in this industry there's no reason why somebody like me can't unless I don't have the ability. But there's no way of knowing unless you try, you know. So yeah, it's always been my passion and I just decided to do it.

I know you were trained by William Regal and Shawn Michaels. Was there anyone else who was really influential on the kind of wrestler you became?

Oh, so many people. William Regal is probably the most influential person in my career. I got signed by the WWE actually at a very young age, at 18, and then I was fired by the time I was 20. I met William Regal during that process. And even after I got fired, he was my mentor still. He would still call up and ask how I was doing, he'd ask me to send him DVDs of my matches and he'd help me get booked in places like England that made me a better wrestler and that sort of thing. He was probably the most influential person in my career. And he still helps me to this day. If I have a problem or if something's wrong I always go to him first. But there's countless guys, and a lot of them are people that the normal WWE fan wouldn't even know. A guy like Robbie Brookside, who's in England, he helped me so much when I was young and every time I'd go to England he'd help me out; he's been wrestling for 20-plus years. Guys like Rudy Boy Gonzales who helped train me at Shawn Michaels' school, guys like that. And then the other independent guys who helped me grow along the way, guys like Brian Kendrick, who was was with WWE for a long time, there's Low Ki and then there's a guy named Nigel McGuinness -- all guys who most casual WWE fans don't know but who were very instrumental in me becoming the wrestler I am today.

Was there ever a point in your career you weren't sure this was going to work out and considered doing something else?

The biggest thing was in 2007, I detached my retina in a match. It was one of those injuries that just -- I had just the year before separated my shoulder and torn two tendons, making decent money as an independent wrestler but not great money. Not enough obviously where you would be able to retire when you were done. You spending a few years as an independent wrestler, cause I was going to Japan, Mexico, Europe all that kind of stuff. I had very little time to see my family or anything like that, and then all of a sudden I detached by retina and I had to go have eye surgery, and my mom was just like 'oh my gosh.' It was really hard on my family and that was the one time, the one time, where I thought I don't know if I really should be doing this.

But then I talked to my dad, and my dad at the time was working at the paper mill, and he was like, 'you know, it's a good point, you're not making the best money or anything like that, but you're doing something that you love. I go in to work at the paper mill 12 hours a day, you know. You only get to live this life once and this is what you always wanted to do.' Which was probably some of the best advice I ever got, so ...

If you hadn't continued wrestling, what would Bryan Danielson be doing today?

I would probably be some sort of teacher. I don't know, I've always gravitated toward, when thinking about what I do outside of wrestling, some sort of teacher. I'd like to be a math or science teacher, something like that. I've always had a passion for that kind of a stuff. And helping kids, that sort of thing, especially in the area where I grew up a lot of people don't have a lot of money or anything like that. So just being able to put kids on the right path, I think, is a great career.

When you finally got to WWE, you were cast on NXT as the Miz's rookie. What were you thoughts when you found out that's who they were pairing you with?

You know what, I was actually thrilled. Because, even on the independents, I became popular with the fans over an extended period of time because people saw how hard of a worker I was. I would go out there and put on the best matches possible, yadda yadda. Well, in WWE it's more about personality. And there's nobody who is more of a polar opposite than me than the Miz, which creates, which automatically gives me more personality than I actually have! (laughs) So when they told me that, I was hoping actually that Regal would be my pro on NXT, but when they told me the Miz I was thrilled. I was like, wow, that can create some really interesting television.

So you think that worked to your benefit?


Yeah, I definitely think so.

Can you shed some light on the now infamous necktie incident that lead to your firing after the debut of the Nexus? What was your reaction when you got the news and did you think you had blown your chance at being in the WWE after that?

No, actually, not. And this is really funny. When they called me and told me I was fired the first thing I thought was 'I'm going to make a lot of money this year.' (laughs) And the reason I thought that is because there is no better way to get fired than by being, one, in one of the biggest angles on TV of the year. And two, being fired for being too violent. Right? For independent fans, a lot of them go to the independent shows to see some of the more hardcore stuff that they used to see in the Attitude Era and that sort of thing. So it actually made me more like a renegade type. And, oh man, after that I had so many independent bookings I didn't know what to do with myself.

When did you find out they were bringing you back to main event SummerSlam?

I actually found out maybe two weeks before SummerSlam. I was actually at an animal hospital when I found out. (laughs) Yeah. [Then-Executive Vice President of Talent Relations] John Laurinaitis had called me and told me that they wanted to bring me back and I was thrilled. Part of me -- and this is the part of me who has been doing this for a long time and has been told a lot of things and whatnot -- part of me didn't actually believe it was going to happen. You know, OK, they resigned me, that sort of thing, but this whole main eventing SummerSlam thing, that's not actually going to happen. Lo and behold, I show up and it did. It was sort of cool.

Can you talk about being a vegan? When did you decide to adopt that lifestyle and why?

Yeah, 2009, shortly after I'd gotten signed by WWE -- WWE does extensive health exams before they sign you -- and they actually found I had a lot of health problems. And I kind of known that, I've always had a really weak immune system. In 2009, I had three different staph infections, and shortly after they had signed me and I had gotten some of my other medical issues cleared and they had finally had signed me after that, I had gotten another staph infection. It was while I was under contract but they weren't using me yet, and it was like on a Thursday that I had gotten it, and I was like, oh my gosh, if they call me on Saturday and say I'm needed for Raw, and I say, look, sorry I can't come in I've got this staph infection, they are just going to send me home and not ever use me again.

So I talked to my doctor and asked him 'what can I do to stop being so sick?' And he said, well, with your issues I'd recommend going vegan. Meats, cheeses, milks, all the kind of stuff is very hard for your body to digest. So by eliminating that and eating foods that are very easy for you to digest it boosts your immune system, you have energy to fight off bacteria and that sort of thing. So starting then I went vegan and I haven't had any issues since. You know, it's a little rough sometimes when you're on the road and it's 11 o'clock at night and you can't find any food, but health-wise it's been great for me.

Does it make life on the road more difficult? Other wrestlers have told me that they tend to eat a lot of fast food and waffle house and what not. How do you manage the vegan lifestyle with life on the road?


It's bringing a lot of food with me and being comfortable starving. (laughs) It literally is when everyone else is eating McDonald's after the show, it's me having to have a protein shake and some nuts and seeds, or trying to stop at a grocery store or something to get some fruits and stuff to keep with me in my small little cooler. And you find things. Now, McDonald's sells oatmeal 24 hours a day. If you just need something hot, that oatmeal will get you through it, you know. Taco Bell has fresco bean burritos. It's not the tastiest thing in the world but again if you need something hot and you can find a Taco Bell, you can kind of get something. There's ways to maneuver it, with other restaurants and stuff you can usually find something decent, but late at night, it's very difficult.

Speaking of life on the road, do you have any good road stories?

It's interesting. People think a lot of fun, crazy stuff goes on on the road. I mean, we do have fun, but it's more just the personalities that are involved as opposed to us doing crazy stuff. It's legitimately, I hopping a red eye flight tonight, I'll get into the town tomorrow morning, I'll go to the gym, I'll go grab some food, I'll try to find a hotel, sleep a little bit before the show, go do the show, drive another 150-200 miles to the next town, try to sleep as much as I can and recycle the next day, you know. So it's not a lot of craziness that goes on.

Can you compare the day-to-day and travel in WWE to what it's like on the indie scene? Is it better, worse?

I find it to be better and easier because we have our own rental cars. So on the independent scene, it's different because in WWE we pay for our own rental cars, our own hotels, that also gives you a certain amount of freedom when you have your own car to go do other stuff. When I would do the independents and that sort of thing, it was legitimately you fly in, they have a hotel for you that they pay for, and they give you transportation to and from the show and everything. But a lot of times you're stuck at this hotel. There's not food close by and you're stuck there. And so, having the freedom to go do this kind of thing and make your own schedule, it's really, really nice.

Back to your medical conditions, one of my friends wanted me to ask about your vitiligo (a skin condition involving loss of pigment resulting in irregular white patches) and was wondering if you've done any work with foundations to raise awareness or help fund research?


No, it's interesting, because I've never had any issues with my vitligo. Some people have issues with it, like I don't like this way this looks or something. As far as I know -- I don't know a whole lot about vitiligo other than my doctor saying it's not necessarily bad for you other than you have no protection there from the sun as far as UV rays go, so you're more susceptible to skin cancer. But for me, it's never been an issue -- oh I have this white patches on my skin, you know? Vitiligo, it really doesn't bother me.

Back to being vegan, did you have any idea you could use that to get heel heat the way you've been able to?

You know what, I had an inkling that it would make me a more unique personality, but I didn't necessarily think it would make people boo, right? But anything that you kind of shove in people's face is going to make them dislike you, so maybe the way it was done is what and the way I was saying it is what made people boo. Because really, eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and not eating animals, is not something a whole arena should be booing really.

What's your favorite match you've had in WWE so far?


Oh, that's tough. I had a series of matches with William Regal on a European tour, in England and stuff like that, that was just so much fun. But probably my favorite one that people have seen would've been my match with CM Punk at Over the Limit last month. It was a chance to go out there and be in a WWE Champion match on a pay-per-view with a guy I've known for years and it was just a lot of fun. It was a fun, hard-hitting wrestling match.

How about your favorite match for any promotion?

See, that one's tough too. The match where I detached my retina was a match against a Japanese guy named Takeshi Morishima in 2007, that was for Ring of Honor. And even though it was a brutal, painful match, it's something that I'm proud of because I detached my retina five minutes into the match and wrestled another 15 minutes or so. There was a match in England that I had with a guy named Nigel McGuinness that I'm very proud of because he's from England and those people hated me that night. We went out there and busted our butts and put on a great match. Crowd experience is so much a part of wrestling, as far as how you perceive a match to be, and those are two of my favorites.

Who is one guy on the current roster you are most looking forward to stepping into the ring with that you haven't yet?

I'd actually really love to wrestle John Cena. I attacked him that one time in the Nexus thing, I teamed with him at SummerSlam in 2010, and other than that we've never ... we actually wrestled a match on, I want to say it was, Velocity, in 2003. I was just an independent guy who'd come in to do the show, and he was in yellow pants and was a rapper, and that match has floated around the internet somewhere on YouTube. But that's the only time we've ever actually touched in a match, and so it'd be fun to go out there and wrestle John Cena. Especially with how the crowd reacts to him and how the crowd reacts to me, it would be a very interesting match.

We should push for that one at this year's SummerSlam.

Yeah, I'd love to have that happen.

Piggybacking on that, who is the one WWE legend you'd like to step into the ring with?

Oh, to me it's gotta be Shawn Michaels. I mean, he trained me and, I was very disappointed I never got to wrestle Shawn. And to me he's the best, as far as in-ring performer goes, he's the absolute best. And Ted DiBiase Jr. always rubs it in my face that he got to wrestle Shawn like 100 times, him and Cody Rhodes, with the whole DX thing every night for months and he just rubs it in my face and I'm like "Argh! I'd love to punch you right now!" But yeah, Shawn Michaels has got to be the guy.

Let's talk for a minute about your match on Sunday, what sort of dynamic does Kane bring to the match between you and CM Punk?

Kane is a monster, he's a big guy and he's gonna throw us around and three-way matches or Triple Threat matches are always a little more difficult because you always have to watch out for that third guy. He's going to bring the violence. It should be interesting.

AJ looks like she's going to play a key role in your match this Sunday. When they put you guys together, did you have any expectations for that?

No, I actually thought it was going to be horrible. (laughs)

So needless to say it's worked out better for both of you?

Yeah, yeah, it's turned out very well, it's an interesting story. I would actually prefer if the match was focused more on the championship and the wrestlers, but WWE is entertainment and, you know, that's what they bring to the fans. So it should be very interesting to see what happens.

Final question -- you've won the World Championship, but the WWE title is the big one. What would it mean to you to hold that championship?


Oh my gosh, it would literally be a dream come true. I mean, especially in the same year to have been the World Heavyweight Champion, and the WWE Champion and everything that means as far as being the guy in WWE. I mean, John Cena is always probably going to be THE guy, but to be the guy who is holding the top championship in WWE would be a dream come true
 

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Very cool interview. Thanks for posting it.
 

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Couldn't he have just gone gluten free,no wheat no dairy and no processed foods,sugar,high corn fructose syrup. LOLvegans

Would love to see shawn vs bryan. Never thought Samoa Joe vs Angle would happen so there is hope.
 

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Screw Lesnar. Bryan to attack Shawn on 1000th episode, would be GOAT. He'll be all like 'thank you sensei', goes to shake hand, wham YES! lock. Epic Summerslam feud.
 
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