Bryan Danielson, also known as Daniel Bryan in WWE, has established himself among the top talents in the wrestling industry. He has showcased his in-ring skills to the fullest extent during his time in AEW. Recently, Bryan reflected on the early days of AEW and what stood out to him.

During a recent panel talk at SXSW, Danielson discussed the debut of AEW in 2019. He noted a particular encounter between Cody Rhodes and Penta El Zero Miedo on AEW Dynamite that left a mark on him. Danielson felt challenged by risk-taking displayed in the match and wondered whether he could meet the standards set by AEW wrestlers.

“I see Cody [Cody Rhodes] wrestling Penta [Penta El Zero Miedo] on Dynamite and he does a top rope hurricanrana. Both men are standing on the top rope and Cody jumps and puts his legs on Penta’s shoulders, and flips him off the top. Knowing Cody, at first I was like, ‘Holy shit. This is what Cody is doing now?’ This is what you have to do. My reference point for that was not ‘this is what AEW guys are doing,’ my reference point was, ‘I don’t know if I can hang.’ That was the thought. Going back to the awareness in WWE at the time when AEW started, everybody was aware. Different people had different takes on it. The same thing whenever there is some kind of challenge or start up happening.

Danielson also talked on the industry’s understanding of AEW’s rise and the various reactions it prompted from wrestlers. While some wanted AEW to fail, Danielson highlighted that most wrestlers, like himself, wanted it to succeed. He emphasized the necessity of competition in the wrestling industry, stating that a growing alternative like as AEW benefits both talent and creative persons.


You have some people who want them to fail right away. Just to prove whatever it is. ‘There’s only one way to do this’ and that sort of thing. Most of us, most of the wrestlers, wanted AEW to succeed. That’s better for everybody. You look at any industry, if there is just one bring on top and there is no competition, that’s not good for talent, that’s not good for people working on the creative side. It’s not good for a lot of people. For a lot of us, we were watching and hoping that it would succeed. Little did we know, any of us, four years in, they’d sell 81,000 tickets to Wembley. Everyone was watching it, and everybody had different opinions,”

Despite early concerns, AEW’s quick rise to the top and establishing itself as a direct competitor to WWE, as evidenced by its successful events like selling 81,000 tickets to Wembley, has pulled the interest of wrestlers and fans alike. Danielson’s comments highlight the importance of competition and diversity within the wrestling industry.

Meanwhile, Danielson debuted in AEW back in 2021 and has yet to claim a title for himself. That might change as he prepares to square off against Will Ospreay at AEW Dynasty next month. Stay tuned to Ringside News for more!

What do you think of Danielson’s comments? What’s your take on AEW’s rising dominance in the industry? Let us know in the comments!

Shubham Banerjee

Shubham Banerjee is a computer science student. Shubham's love for technology, gadgets and coding pushed him to pursue a career in this field. Shubham's personal interests include photography, exploring all kinds of music and football. Being disappointed with Barcelona's performance in Europe is the only constant in his life.

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