DirecTV recently spoke with Daniel Bryan to promote WWE’s SummerSlam pay-per-view. Here are some highlights:
What were your initial thoughts when you found out you would be facing John Cena for the WWE title at SummerSlam?
It was incredible and humbling. I have been wresting for a long time and most of the time it was in front of very small crowds who couldn’t care less about who was coming out there. I have wrestled in front of 13 people! And just hearing the reaction of the people in Brooklyn who were shouting “Yes! Yes!” – it was very surreal. Like “is this really my life?”
What’s your game plan against John Cena for SummerSlam?
I can’t stray too far from what I normally do. I’ll make sure to do a lot of my kick boxing and grappling for training but then also just prepare cardio-wise for what’s going to be happening. A lot of the John Cena’s matches go about 30 minutes so a lot of that is just being prepared physically for something like that. Nerves are always good and play a factor in big WWE match but Summer Slam is by far the biggest event of my career so I’m really excited about it.
Can you talk a bit more about your relationship with CM Punk?
It’s interesting because CM Punk and I have a lot in common personally, yet we are very different. He is very brash and kind of says whatever he feels. I’m more laid back and not the most outgoing person. But we have a certain respect for each other. I have been on shows that Punk drove 14 or 15 hours for from Chicago to get paid 100 bucks. We’ve done those shows in front of 30 people together. It’s a long road for guys like us to get here. I’m always astounded. There was that December PPV when I had cashed in my Money in the Bank contract to beat Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship and Punk had retained his WWE title that same night. We used to work on the indies together and then there we were, both champions. No one really thought we could do it. It’s very cool and surreal.
What was it like working with Kane?
It was incredible. I was watching him when I was 16 and it’s crazy that we were Tag Team Champions for 9 months. I have always had a tremendous about of respect for him but seeing how hard he works night and day takes it to another level. The anger management skits we did were great. It was a lot of wackiness. I was in charge of his birthday celebration in Russia and he ended up in the ring with his eyes closed with two Russian hats on before I abandoned him in the ring. He was such a good sport about it. We had so much fun together.