Daniel Bryan Speaks On WWE Pressure
When Bryan Danielson popped up on WWE TV to feature on the very first season of NXT in 2010, longtime fans were worried the juggernaut promotion may not look past his smaller stature to see the world class in-ring skills he possesses. As with many talents signed from the independent circuit, a renaming (to Daniel Bryan) and subsequent burial of his achievements out with WWE did nothing to quell fears the 13-year pro wouldn't last long in the company.
Fast forward to the present, and Bryan is one of the most over performers on the entire WWE roster. His duelling chants of, "Yes! No!" with the audience and overall blend of fantastic mat skills and personality in front of the camera have led to 2012 being an entirely memorable year.
Speaking to WWE Magazine, the former World Heavyweight Champion talks the pressure of performing for the biggest company in pro wrestling and whether or not he feels longtime fans will perceive him a "sell out" for appearing in a variety of wacky non-wrestling skits on Raw.
"The pressure (of performing in WWE) is actually from knowing there is still a strong contingent of people within WWE who feel people like CM Punk and I can't draw in a larger audience. There's this mentality that says, 'Oh sure, the hardcore people like them, but can the people in New Mexico like them?'. I've never felt the pressure that I'm not enough of a wrestler to go out there and grab the fans", Bryan said.
"No (I'm not worried about fans labelling me a "sell out"), because I think that especially the hardcore fans realise how much I put in just to get here. Many of them have seen me wrestle through retina detachments and a separated shoulder. A lot of those people don't turn against me because I'm getting married in the ring, because my wrestling hasn't changed. Like at Money In The Bank, I went out there with Punk and we beat the hell out of one another and contested a good, physical match. So my style hasn't changed. It's just the way my personality is displayed that has changed".