August 12, 2011
MITB suitcase makes Daniel Bryan one to watch
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Daniel Bryan knows holding the Money in the Bank suitcase could be a huge stepping stone to a WWE career that's been a bit of a rollercoaster ride.
And there's a bit of a buzz leading into Sunday's Summer Slam pay-per-view with two championship bouts -- CM Punk vs. John Cena and Christian vs. Randy Orton -- that Bryan could cash in his title shot early.
"I've said I'm going to cash in at Wrestlemania, but nobody really knows if that is a ploy or not," said Bryan. "I can tell you I will be at Summer Slam with the Money in the Bank briefcase.
"When I grabbed the briefcase, all I could think about was that I had won in Chicago where I had wrestled so much. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, with a lot of hard work to get to that point."
The briefcase has been a springboard to titles for others.
"It really gives you a chance to elevate yourself to main-event status," said Bryan. "Everybody wants to be that guy. I want to be an impact player."
How about facing Punk, an old nemesis from their days together in Ring of Honor?
"I would love to be able to wrestle CM Punk in a big stage," said Bryan. "We actually hooked up a bit in the Royal Rumble. Our styles complement each other very well."
Being at Summer Slam is all very good for Bryan.
"We get very amped up," he said. "For the most part, (all the wrestlers) give it their all at each show. But there are shows you really want to be on. Not everybody gets a chance to be on Wrestlemania. Not everybody gets a chance to wrestle on Summer Slam. And once you get on the show, you want to have the best match."
Bryan has spent a lot of time with William Regal, refining his skills on the microphone.
"Since 2006-07 or so, I've felt very comfortable on the microphone," said Bryan. "People used to rag on me, but if you watch my promos, they've actually been good. It seems like you always remember your failures and there was one night, in NXT, in England where they gave you a word and you had to give a 30-second interview using that word. Other than Wade Barrett, we were all bad. Wade got the word wind and he was great.
"I'm shy and reserved so I always have to work on it."
While Bryan is riding high right now, it hasn't always been that way the last couple of years.
"It's been a strange experience," he said. "I'm one of those people where life is so interesting. WWE hired me in February of 2000 and fired me in June or July of 2009. They rehired me in 2009, then fired me again. I was rehired in August of 2010 and I've been here a year now.
"There have been some ups and downs. But things are really good right now. I've been hurt. I've been frustrated. But I know I can handle anything."
And that anything could include a WWE title reign sometime soon.
Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.email@example.com.