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In an interview with Grantland, Daniel Bryan said he still doesn’t feel like he’s “made it” in WWE. Here are highlights:
On if he’s made it in WWE: “To be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve made it. But “making it” is different than being satisfied with what you’ve done. If I got hurt today, I’d be very satisfied with what I’ve done, but I would have said that before I even made it to WWE. I was happy with what I accomplished on the independent scene and internationally — it was already much more than what people ever thought I could do and what even I thought I could do. But one of the things that keeps me going is the pursuit of constantly being better, and I haven’t “made it” like I’m at a point where I’m happy to stay at this level. I was actually talking to John Cena about this. He told me Steve Austin talked to him at one show and asked him how things were going, and John said, “The show’s going pretty well.” And Austin looked up at a part of the arena that was tarped off — the building was maybe 90 percent sold out — and he said, “Back when I was here, these arenas were full.” And that motivated John. There’s always something to strive for. So what do I need to do to feel like I’ve made it? I need to be the main-event guy, the top guy, and we need to be selling out every arena every night. Maybe then I’ll feel like I’ve done what I need to do.”
On what went right this year: “I think teaming with Kane in Team Hell No was really entertaining for the fans. I think WWE fans have always appreciated my wrestling, but they wanted something more as far as personality goes, and Team Hell No really gave them that. And just being given the opportunity to be seen as a main-event guy. For John Cena to pick me as his opponent for the SummerSlam main event was huge for me. That was the biggest opportunity I’ve ever had. Very few people are given that kind of opportunity.”
On why WWE fans took to him: “I think fans always want something new, but they want somebody who can deliver — to go out there and really entertain them and have good matches. And they’re not stuck on big guys anymore. I think people are slowly realizing that some of the smaller guys are really entertaining as far as what we can do in the ring. One of the cool things about wrestling is that it takes a mix. If everybody wrestled like me, it would be boring. If everybody was John Cena’s size and wrestled like him, it would be boring. You need a cast of characters — you need people like the Big Show, CM Punk, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and the Divas, too. You have to have that mix. It’s like a variety show.”