Exclusive: WWE’s Daniel Bryan Talks WrestleMania XXX, Triple H, Total Divas and More

March 31, 2014

On Sunday, April 6th, Daniel Bryan will take on Triple H at WrestleMania XXX. If he takes down the Cerebral Assassin, he will get a shot at the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat Match against Batista and Randy Orton. Bryan sat down with DIRECTV for an exclusive interview to talk about The Show of Shows.

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How’s the shoulder? We missed you at RAW in Brooklyn last week.
It’s doing ok. It’s painful…but other than that, it’s ok.

You’ve had an eventful 6-9 months. How would you describe it?
I’d describe it as a roller coaster. Have had a lot of ups and downs, but that’s my career in general, I guess!.

What were some of the moments that have stuck out to you?
There has actually been a lot of cool moments. The high moments were things like main eventing SummerSlam and winning the WWE title from John Cena. The Occupy RAW moment was really fun and cool to me. I had also joined the Wyatts for a brief spell, about two weeks. When I turned on Bray Wyatt in that cage match…that was a really cool moment as well! I have had a lot of great moments over the past year, those are some of the most fun.

People have compared your clashes with the Authority to the ascension of Stone Cold Steve Austin. How do you feel about those comparisons?
I honestly don’t think they are accurate. There are some similarities, like anyone who has had issues with authority figures in WWE. But I think our attitudes and how we handle things are different. It was a different era when Steve Austin was battling Vince McMahaon. It’s kind of similar, but to me they are way different.

Assuming you get past Triple H, what does potentially main eventing WrestleMania mean to you?
That is what every wrestler who has ever wanted to step in the ring strives for. It’s funny, 3 years ago, I would do radio interviews and people would ask me what my goal is, and it was to main event WrestleMania. People you are talking to are like “Oh, that’s a nice little dream.” But now here it is and it’s within my grasp. That is literally – when you are lying in bed as a 15-year old kid, and you are dreaming of being a wrestler – that is what you are dreaming of. You want to be in the biggest match in the biggest show of the year. With 70,000 plus fans screaming. That’s what everybody wants when they start this.

Let’s talk more about Triple H for a second. He’s the Cerebral Assassin. He earned that name long ago. What makes him such a formidable opponent? And how do you plan to go against him?
The biggest thing is he’s just really smart and he knows what he’s doing. He’s been doing it for years. Not only that, but he’s also a big tough dude. He tore his quad and kept wrestling. He wrestled Cactus Jack in those Hell in a Cell matches and street fights. He is a multiple time WWE and World Champion. He knows what he’s doing and he knows how to win. Also, he’s been in those big matches and main evented WrestleMania before. I think all of those lend to his strengths.

How do you plan to counter all that?
The one thing is, he hasn’t wrestled a lot of guys like me. I keep going, and going, and going. Even someone like Shawn Michaels, he is fantastic, and I am in no way am I saying I am better than Shawn, but I keep a much faster pace than anyone else Triple H has ever wrestled. I will be interested to see if he can handle it.

So assuming you get past him, you are going to have to pull double duty and face Batista and Randy Orton. What is the plan there?
With triple threat matches you can’t really have a plan. All plans go out the window. That’s one of the fun parts for the viewer and one of the tedious parts for the Superstar. But, I believe in my cardio. I believe in my ability to wrestle five times in a night. I’ve had to do it on RAW when they send guy after guy after me so that sort of thing doesn’t faze me, doing two matches in one night. If I get the opportunity to do it, that’s what I’m going to do.

Do you think the Evolution connection will come into play?
I don’t know. They don’t seem to be getting along too well recently! I’m hoping it doesn’t. It will be interesting to see.

What is your favorite WrestleMania moment as a fan and as a competitor?
My favorite moment as a fan was WrestleMania XII. Bret hart vs. Shawn Michaels in an Iron Man match. It went over 60 minutes and then Shawn Michaels wins his first WWE Championship. To me, it was just an amazing moment. There are things that pay off when you are a wrestling fan. When you have been a fan since you were a kid and you see Shawn Michaels in The Rockers, and then you saw him be the Intercontinental Champion, and then just a bad guy in general. Then all of a sudden, he is universally cheered and goes out there with a guy like Bret Hart, who is just awesome. Those are the moments you live for as a wrestling fan. I was probably 15 when that match happened and I was just so excited for it to happen and it over delivered on my expectations. As a wrestler, my favorite WrestleMania moment was last year when Kane and I defended the titles against Ziggler and Big E. At the end of the match, 70,000 people chanting “YES! YES! YES!” is pretty amazing and surreal.

What is it like having Hulk Hogan around?
The first day he came in that I met him. He came up to me, I said “Hello sir, I’m Daniel Bryan” and he says, “Yeah I know who you are. The “Yes!” thing is awesome.” The little kid in you is saying “Holy cow! Hulk Hogan just said I’m awesome!” So that’s pretty cool. But I haven’t talked to him much beyond that.

If you could talk to him more, is there anything specific you’d like to talk about?
I would actually be interested to just listen to his stories. He has been around for some of the biggest moments in wrestling history. I’d love to ask him about WrestleMania III. That is an iconic moment, not just in wrestling, but in all entertainment – Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant. I’d love to ask about Rocky III! All the kind of stuff. Little things that you always wanted to know.

You’ve been on Total Divas here and there. What has that experience been like?
I’m actually filming right now! Brie and I are doing our cake testing and food tasting here today for the wedding. It’s actually pretty cool. Like, right now, we are in a little cottage by a beautiful creek. There are parts that are very frustrating, as you could imagine, but it has also allowed us some amazing opportunities as far as going to do things we normally wouldn’t be able to do. Also, another cool part – a lot of women say when they are proposed to, they lose sight of what’s going on and don’t remember anything that was said or anything. The neat part for Brie and I is that we actually have it all on film. If we ever want to go back and look at it, we can, which is kind of cool.

Have you set a date yet?
Yeah we have, but we are keeping that private. I mean, I’M at least keeping it private (laughs)! I don’t know about Brie. I think Brie might have done an interview or two telling everyone the date, the location, the time, etc. (laughs)!

What do you think of the Brock Lesner vs Undertaker match? Can Brock break the streak?
It’s hard. Undertaker at WrestleMania is just a legendary thing. But if anyone can do it, it’s Brock Lesnar. He is just a monster. Just look at his head! I mean it would be a scary head on a normal body, then you put it on his body and it just “Oh my gosh!” I am really interested in seeing that. Brock Lesnar is just a beast, just a monster. If anyone can take out the Undertaker, it’s Brock.

Have you ever wrestled them?
No, I have never wrestled Brock and I’ve never wrestled Taker. I’d actually love to wrestle either of them!

Any parting word for Triple H, Randy Orton, Batista, and the WWE Universe?
Triple H really put a beating on me…but that is not gonna stop me. I plan on leaving WrestleMania XXX the WWE Champion. And I also want to thank all of the fans who have supported me. Without them I wouldn’t be in the position I am in right now to have the opportunity to be in the main event at WrestleMania. It’s what I always dreamed of.

Catch WWE WrestleMania XXX on DIRECTV Pay Per View LIVE Sunday, April 6th!

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