This Sunday, Daniel Bryan will challenge CM Punk for the WWE Championship at the Over the Limit PPV in what believe could be an instant classic. Brian Fritz spoke with Bryan about the upcoming match, the YES phenomenon and how it has changed his life, the reaction he has received from Vince McMahon about it, if he was disappointed in the quick match at WrestleMania 28 against Sheamus, Brock Lesnar's return to the WWE and if he would like to have a match against him and more.
On whether or not he ever thought a word as simple as 'yes' could change his life the way it has:
(laughs) Yeah, you'd never think it. All the years I spent toiling on the independent scene, really learning my craft, being as good of a wrestler as I could possible be and the thing that makes me the most popular is probably the first word I learned as a kid.
If he was disappointed for his match at WrestleMania which only lasted 18 seconds or if that is just part of the job:
You have to look at it as part of your job but you can also be disappointed. I've always wanted to go out there and steal the show, every show that I'm on. That's how I got to where I'm at. I didn't get here by being a nice guy or going out there and being a character or anything like that. The WWE noticed me because I put on great matches. That was my thing. Now, I've developed into somebody who has some personality on TV and that sort of thing but that isn't what brought me to the dance. What I love and what I enjoy doing is going out there and wrestling and going out there and entertaining people with what I do in the ring. So to not be able to do that to the best of abilities what disappointing but everything that has come from it has actually been very good so I guess I can't complain.
On if it will be special to face CM Punk on a big stage at the Over the Limit considering where they came from and knowing each other for such a long time:
It is, especially because nobody expected either of us to get to this point. When we were both on the independent scene and stuff like that, there were knocks against Punk's looks against my looks and how we don't look like prototypical WWE superstars. And ever when we both signed here, Punk, he has that character, he has that quality that you think if they would just give him an opportunity he could really connect with the WWE Universe. For me, even the people who really liked me, kind of doubted whether I would be able to succeed here in the WWE. And it's cool that two guys who really paid their dues and worked hard on the independents just to get opportunities like this or having this chance. This isn't a small opportunity. This is a WWE Championship match at an Over the Limit pay-per-view. It's unreal. This is more that I even dreamed of.
On his thoughts of Brock Lesnar's return to WWE:
I think it's great. I think he brings a lot of added interest to the company and I'm hoping some of those UFC fans will come and watch some of out pay-per-views, especially that last pay-per-view Extreme Rules was awesome. It was an awesome show. I hope they stick around and watch Over the Limit and they're going to see another awesome show. This is going to be a great night of wrestling for everybody involved. I think it's great and I would love to have a match with Brock Lesnar. I know that's probably not in the cards but I'm petitioning for it right now because I feel like me and him could have a match unlike any other pro wrestling match in North America probably ever.
You wouldn't shy away from the physicality of that match would you?
No, not at all. And actually I like that sort of thing. My skills, especially as a grappler, lend itself to that kind of thing. When he's ground and pounding, like doing the kind of stuff he was doing with (John) Cena, there's not a lot of guys who have any counters for that. Well, I have a million. There would be a lot of things that would be really fun about a match like that. I think people would be excited to see it too.
Other topics discussed:
– if he regrets not going to WWE sooner so he could have a match against one of his mentors Shawn Michaels
– if this is the most fun he has even had in his career
– if there were a lot of people around him that thought going to the WWE would be bad for his career
– what he will do – if he remembers – if he wins the WWE Championship on Sunday