Photo credit: WWE.com
Missed Part 1 of our EXCLUSIVE Daniel Bryan interview? Read it HERE!
Let’s talk about The Beard. What made you decide to grow it out?
Yea its bizarre because I will go signings and people will ask me when I’m going to shave my beard because they hate it. But it’s funny because I’ve become more popular since I’ve had the beard. My friend Christopher Daniels told me years ago that I am a slave to my whims. It was last year I just said I wasn’t going to shave for a bit and it just kept growing. Now I’m at a point where I don’t think I can shave it. It’s just part of the fun now.
You had a beard-off bet with Oakland A’s John Reddick. Is that true?
Yes! What I wanted out of the beard-off was for two men to grow their beard for a year and see who’s was better and the loser would have to shave it off. But that said, we were in England in April and I just finished a match and one of the guys from the YouTube channel came over to me and said, “Congratulations!” I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about. He said “you won the beard off with Josh Reddick!” and I was like, ”What?!” I’m not sure if he’s single or not, but if he is I’m sure it was quite a detriment to his game. I am not single. I’m dating Brie, one of the Bella Twins, which you’ll see on that Total Divas show that’s airing on E!, but yeah, for me, I can grow it as wild and crazy as I want. She might not like it, but I haven’t heard anything!
How did the “Yes!” and “No!” chants come about?
It was originally a take-off of UFC fighter Diego Sanchez because he was all about positivity and would just chant “Yes! Yes!” I always loved that and it was just something I started doing when I won the World Heavyweight Championship. I was very excited and I just started doing it. Then it just started to catch on. I remember the first time I noticed, we had done a RAW in Seattle and people were chanting “Yes!” and I thought it was because I was from Washington State but then it erupted at WrestleMania 28. It just happened organically.
What makes SummerSlam so special?
SummerSlam just has a completely different vibe to it. The LA crowd has a lot of fun and it’s a good time. It’s the biggest show of the summer and the second biggest show WWE does. Six months from WrestleMania, there is SummerSlam – it’s something you are building towards. Also just the history of it. There’s a litany of great matches.
Are there any matches from previous SummerSlams that you loved?
Summer Slam ’96 with Shawn Michaels vs. Vader. Vader was so cool with that mask. I was literally excited for that match a month before it happened. One of my favorite moments for myself for SummerSlam was in 2010 when they brought me back for the main event and last year’s SummerSlam when I wrestled Kane. It was just cool and surreal to be in the ring with Kane and winning the match. My friends couldn’t believe I was wrestling Kane.
Any favorite summer past times?
I love being at the beach. I’m from Washington State and even though its very cold there, the summers are nice, not too hot. I lived 30 minutes away from the beach. I love the sound of the waves, the winds and all the clean air. Although, I do not like the crowds.
You mentioned UFC earlier. Are you a fan of other sports?
I haphazardly follow football and even then only the Seahawks. But I don’t pay attention to what’s going on in the off-season or anything like that and I don’t know about anything else going on in the league. Like it will be playoff time and someone like the Atlanta Falcons will get the bye for the first round of the playoffs and I’ll be like “The Atlanta Falcons are good?! I remember three years ago they were horrible!” But I also really love UFC. I like to train in kickboxing and grappling and that sort of thing and I really like one-on-one competitions. Though, I never really got into boxing. However, I do enjoy watching Manny Pacquiao fights just because he is such an exciting fighter.
What’s your favorite way to pass the time while on the road?
There isn’t a lot of time to pass! We fly in, get to town, try to find the gym and then go to the building. From the building, we may have anywhere from a 150-300 mile drive ahead of us to the next town, sleep as much as you can, wake up, get some food, go to the gym, get some more food and then go to the next building. As far as time to just pass, there isn’t a whole lot of it. Besides that, I’m not very exciting. I like to read and I like to stretch. Brie will be like “what have you been doing for the last hour or two? I’ve been texting you!” And I’ll be like “Oh I’ve just been in a dark room stretching.“
If you were to win a Slammy this year, what would you like it to be for?
I’d like it to be for “Most Exciting” or something around those lines. Superstar of the Year? But there are so many great guys right now. Between John Cena, CM Punk, Randy Orton and all those kind of guys, that would be a very hard award to get. But that’s the one I would want more than anything.
Your dog, Asparagus, seems to have a lot of fans on the Internet. What can you tell us about him?
Asparagus is a yellow lab. He is now 11 years old so yeah, he’s getting older. He has been, let’s see, the Ring of Honor Champion, the GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, which is a big title in Japan, he has been the US Champion, the World Heavyweight Champion…
He seems very prolific.
Haha, yeah. I just have all these pictures with Asparagus wearing all the various titles I’ve won. Unfortunately he has arthritis really bad in his back hips so it’s hard for him to walk. But the benefits of doing what I do now, is that he gets treatment., which is something I couldn’t afford before. Before I may have had to put him down but now he does physical therapy. They put a treadmill underwater and he walks on it to strengthen his hind legs. You should see him do it, he is just so happy! The water takes some of the weight off and it strengthens his legs and he has his head above water and he’s just walking just as happy and excited as can be. It’s hard because my family are huge animal lovers and it’s difficult when a pet gets to that point and their quality of life starts to suffer. When is ever the right time to put a dog down? But Asparagus is such a happy dog and even though it’s hard for him to walk with his back legs, he is still so excited about life. He used to love to play fetch but he cant really run any more and he’ll bring me the ball because he wants me to throw it for him but it breaks his heart that I can’t throw it for him. So what we do is we hide the ball in a little towel and he just loves digging it out. Though, in my mind I imagine it being a very frustrating game for him, like “I keep bringing you this ball to throw and you keep putting it in a towel.” He’s such a sweet dog and really one of the highlights of my life.
Any parting words for the WWE Universe or John Cena specifically?
For the WWE Universe I just want to thank everyone for their support. My fan base is incredible and how these people have come to like me, I have no idea. But it’s a really awesome connection. I can really feel it when I walk out there. It’s strange and surreal. Just awesome. For John Cena, he has wrestled a lot of the very best his entire career, but I don’t know if he is ready for the Daniel Bryan that is coming for him at Summer Slam.
Missed Part 1 of our Daniel Bryan interview? Read it HERE!
SummerSlam LIVE on DIRECTV Pay per view, Sunday August 18 at 8 p.m. ET.