Smackdown General Manager and CWC broadcaster Daniel Bryan sat down with IGN to promote this Sunday’s Summerslam LIVE on the WWE Network. The full interview is available here and below are just a few highlights:
IGN: Once upon a time, people would say Daniel Bryan, or Bryan Danielson, was an amazing wrestler but was lacking in the personality department or the charisma department. Is it strange now that your job is solely based on your personality? You’re now a commentator and an on-air presence.
Bryan: Yeah, it’s really really weird. It’s funny because the personality aspect of wrestling has always been a struggle for me. It’s not on my natural wheelhouse. It’s also the part that I enjoy the least. My favorite part of the entire thing, of course, is getting in the ring and wrestling. That’s what I love. So I had to work really hard to develop the other parts. People say a lot of things, like “You can’t teach personality” or “You can’t teach charisma,” and I find that it’s not true. Because I have no natural charisma or personality, really. [Laughs]
If you would have met me when I first started wrestling — or even five, six, seven, eight years into wrestling — you wouldn’t be like “This person is a dynamic personality on the screen.” That would have never happened. That’s something that’s evolved. You just keep putting yourself out there and you keep working at that sort of thing and you can get better at it. By no means do I consider myself this great sparkling personality. I still think most of my success came from the audience’s reaction to me. it’s weird when that happens but a lot of it came from what I did inside the ring.
IGN: Speaking of John Cena, I watched the trailer for Total Bellas and he seemed kind of crazy with all the house rules he was setting down. What was it like to do this spinoff of Total Divas and did being on Total Divas get you more comfortable in front of the camera?
Bryan: Total Divas helped me become comfortable in front of the cameras because the cameras are there all the time. So it’s this non-stop barrage. And also, I think it’s really helped me with things like Talking Smack because sometimes with Total Divas, the cameras are there so much that you just say things to entertain yourself. And I really have to stop doing it. [laughs] Because it can be taken out of context and they can edit it however they want and put it anywhere. But you get comfortable enough that you do and say these wacky things just to entertain yourself. But yeah, the Total Bellas stuff was really weird and really hard. Because that was a hard place in my life. I mean, it was only a couple of months ago but it was right on the heels of my retirement. But then all of a sudden we’re going to Florida and we’re going to live in this house that’s not our house. And John does have these rules, right? I’d say John is very regimented. I’ve seen the trailers too and it makes it all seem crazy, but it’s not. He’s just very regimented. He likes his house clean and that sort of thing. We all know people like that, it’s not crazy. But they can cut it certain ways and put music behind it and then get my facial reactions where I’m like “Oh no.”
IGN: At SummerSlam, what are the matches you’re most looking forward to?
Bryan: I’m really looking forward to the Dean Ambrose/Dolph Ziggler match. I think they have a real opportunity to show what they’re made of. It’s interesting because Dolph Ziggler hasn’t had a real high profile role in WWE for the last year, really, and all of a sudden we do the brand split and he’s in one of the main matches at SummerSlam and I think he and Dean Ambrose have gone out there and done a great job. As much of a great job as you can do in three weeks building to this PPV from Dolph not having much TV time or many opportunities in the last year up until this point. But I think Dean Ambrose is doing an amazing job just finding his role as champion, as the top guy. His interviews over the past few weeks have just been off the charts. I have the utmost respect for him and I love watching him work so I’m really excited about that match. I also love watching AJ Styles and John Cena so I think that’s going to be a fantastic match. I’m really excited for a guy like Apollo Crews, even though I accidentally called him Apollo Creed. [laughs] This is his first major PPV and he’s getting a shot for the Intercontinental title against Miz. And that to me, that’s fun. Watching someone get their first real big opportunity. I’m excited to see who breaks through.
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