If you're one of the many fans who believe WWE doesn't see money in Daniel Bryan, despite the fact that he consistently gets the loudest crowd reactions in arenas across the world, you're not alone. Actually, the man himself agrees with that line of thinking.
He said so himself in an interview on 97.9 WGRD:
"They never aspired for me to be where I'm at. There are certain guys, they see somebody and they say 'I see money in that guy'. I don't think they ever looked at me and said 'I see money in that guy'. And to this day, even with the loud fan reactions that I get, I feel like the company still doesn't see money in me. And that's, you know, it's just interesting because you go out there and you do your best and sometimes it can be very, very frustrating. That's probably one of the biggest frustrations of this job because this is not an objective business. It's not like football where if you're a running back and if you go out there and you get five yards a carry every time they give you the ball they're going to keep putting you in because stats don't lie. This is not that. This is 'well, he's getting a good crowd reaction but is he actually selling tickets?' And that's the company's bottom line, you need people who are going to sell tickets. I can get the crowd to react very loudly but does that transition into people buying pay-per-views? Does that transition into this or that? 'Oh, I don't think he's very marketable. He might have a niche appeal', or this or that or whatever. And to me, none of that matters. I just go out there and do my best. Sometimes it's been frustrating just with dealing with the political stuff. I am not a politician and I never have been. I have never been somebody who is like 'oh no, you need to do this with me or you need to do that with me'. My whole career, I'm pretty, like, easy going. As far as being successful in WWE, that is probably my biggest downfall, actually."
So Bryan doesn't believe WWE thinks he can be a big drawing card for the company and, put simply, he's not tenacious enough to walk into Vince McMahon's office and demand anything like say, a CM Punk would (and has).
It should be noted that recent rumors suggest McMahon "loves" Bryan, though that wouldn't necessarily mean he sees money in him. Sometimes it's hard to argue with the numbers. Bryan's main event title chase did little to pop ratings or buyrates on pay-per-view while Batista's return to Monday Night Raw drew over five million viewers.
Bryan is world's better than Batista in nearly every conceivable way but "The Animal" is a draw. So who do you think McMahon is going to push?
Here's the rest of the interview, which features Bryan talking about getting over big despite not being protected in booking like bigger stars such as Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin.