Daniel Bryan loving WWE roller coaster ride
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
|Daniel Bryan. © 2010 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride for Daniel Bryan the past few months.
But the WWE star (real name Bryan Danielson), who will be appearing on a WWE Canadian tour -- in Lethbridge, Alta., on Sunday on RAW in Calgary on Monday, in Winnipeg on Oct. 23 and in Montreal on Oct. 31, is loving the thrill of of it all these days.
After getting dumped from WWE for an improvised attack on a WWE announcer during a RAW show, Bryan, with a groundswell of fan support, re-emerged and has already won the U.S. Title from The Miz.
"I had never had to work on a PG show before, I got caught up in what I was doing," says Bryan. "I got to the back and they told me that we weren't allowed to do that kind of stuff. Vince (McMahon) called me himself and explained they were letting me go because they were a PG company and they couldn't have that kind of behaviour. But (after I was gone), the fans, the WWE Universe. was awesome. There were Daniel Bryan chants at shows. A main event of Randy Orton and John Cena and the fans were chanting for me.
"When I got the news they had let me go, I was obviously devastated. For the next 24 hours, I thought, 'What am I going to do, I was setting up wrestling dates ... I was working on that.
"Then three or four days after a whirlwind of activity, I just thought, 'What just happened?' I just sat there and ate cupcakes for a couple of weeks."
Bryan went back to doing indy shows, where he'd gained such notoriety, especially as a Ring of Honor champion, as one of the world's best wrestlers. But WWE came calling again.
"I was at the vet, ready to foster a really fat beagle," says Daniel. "And I got a call from (WWE executive) John Laurinaitis saying they'd like me to come back. It was amazing.
"I was really nervous coming back, at SummerSlam. I was going to be the seventh guy (on Team WWE against The Nexus). It was a big spot to be in. SummerSlam was the highlight of my career to that point."
Bryan laughs when he talks about his wrestling beginnings.
"I've heard it called backyard wrestling," he says. "But backyard wrestlers jump off roofs. Me and my buddies were throwing punches on a mattress. It all started when we had to do a Spanish video for a high school class. We wanted to do wrestling, with Spanish commentary."
After getting his start more than 10 years ago, the 29-year-old Bryan has proved many naysayers wrong over his career.
"I'm 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds. So many people tell you that you shouldn't be wrestling. I've had a lot of people who have really been supportive, too. But I've had people tell me that I wasn't big enough to be a wrestler, who were all giants. Wrestling is something you can do well if you work really hard at it."
Bryan has goals while he's in the ring.
"I want to main event Wrestlemania," he says. "The main event in the biggest show of the year. That's the apex of anybody's career. But I know that a lot of people have had that goal and a lot of people never got there."
Bryan actually made his WWE debut back when it was still the WWF and he was a kid.
"At the time, I'd only been wrestling for a year and a half. There were other guys who were let go and came back ... Brian Kendrick, Joey Mercury ... It just took me a bit longer to get back here than most."
And the fans, with their Daniel Bryan chants, are glad he's back.
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Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.email@example.com.