– WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan spoke with Phil Strum of The Poughkeepsie Journal this week. Here are some highlights:
Phil Strum: First of all, what are you doing at SummerSlam?
Daniel Bryan: Well, we have nothing announced right now, but I will be at SummerSlam in Los Angeles and I will have my Money in the Bank briefcase. What I’m hoping for is a match with Wade Barrett.
PS: You’ve said that you’re wrestling for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania in Miami. What does it feel like to have that opportunity?
DB: It’s an incredible opportunity that I’ve dreamed of since I was a little kid — to be in the main event of WrestleMania. I’m hoping this year that I can do it.
PS: You’re someone who can go out and have a great match with Tyson Kidd and then go out and still have an interesting and totally different match with The Great Khali. How do you view each match and how do you individualize them? What makes that possible?
DB: For me, I can adapt my style to anybody. My style is based on kicks and submissions. It works with big guys, fast guys. I can work with someone as strong as Mark Henry and someone as small as Sin Cara. There’s nothing I do that I can’t do to anybody.
PS: When you left last summer before you returned to WWE at SummerSlam, you spent a few months traveling around to various independent promotions. A lot of people liked that you brought attention to the indies. Is that what you were trying to do?
DB: That was actually my main focus. One of the really nice things about getting released by WWE is that they pay you for 90 days. I didn’t need to wrestle. Financially, I was fine. I’ve saved my money for years.
I wanted to capitalize on that opportunity to bring attention to where I was. I couldn’t go wrestle for places that had a television show, but I was really helping out friends who helped me out when I was on the independent scene.
PS: You mentioned before that you only take advice from a few people in wrestling? Who do you go to now?
DB: Who do I go to now? The main person I go to for advice is William Regal. He has been a mentor for me since the first day I stepped foot into developmental in February 2000 in Memphis.
In June 2000, William Regal was the main trainer there. Instantly, we had a connection. He saw that I was a hard worker and that I loved technical wrestling. Even when I got fired from them in 2001, I kept in contact with him. He was the main guy that got me work in Europe and England and he was the person who was constantly trying to get me into Japan, which eventually I did get into Japan. He was always telling me, ‘Send me your matches. I want to see what you’re doing.’ He would tell me his honest opinon of things that he liked and things that he didn’t like. It was nice to have an honest critique. On the independents, you don’t get that and it’s nice to have that guidance.
PS: I want to ask you a question about someone who’s local to the Journal’s coverage area, Michael Cole, who is from Northeastern Dutchess County. He’s constantly been ripping you on TV ever since you debuted. What are your thoughts on that?
DB: The interesting thing is that even though people dislike Michael Cole, they buy into his whole thing that I am a nerd. Recently at a show, Pat Patterson came up to me, and I said something and Pat said, “Oh what do you know about that? You’re just a nerd.” I said, “Pat, you do realize that it’s just Cole saying that and I’m not really a nerd?”
If you look at my life, there’s really nothing nerdy about it. I go out and I do grappling and kickboxing. I don’t own a TV and I don’t watch TV, so I don’t know how that’s construed as being nerdy. I have a very active lifestyle, so I’m not really sure how that construed into me being a nerd. I think it’s because I read a lot. I read a lot and I’m a vegan.