WrestleMania 28 was a show where all the big matches delivered except for one, Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus. You couldn't blame the participants for this, as they were booked in a one move match to start the show with the bang of a quick World Heavyweight title change. This was the fault of the WWE creative team who felt that the time that could have been spent allowing Bryan to have a top notch performance on the biggest show of the year was better spent on Brodus Clay dancing with his momma and her bridge club. To be honest, the main event would have been improved by trimming off several minutes too, as it was too much to ask The Rock, in his first singles match in almost nine years, to wrestle for half an hour, especially when John Cena wasn't the best worker to carry him through such a long bout.
So it wouldn't be surprising if Daniel Bryan was genuinely upset at getting such short shrift at Mania, even though hardcore WWE fans have managed to turn that negative for Bryan into a positive by rallying to his cause with chants of "YES! YES! YES!" at every available opportunity. Indeed, Danielson told GQ.com in an exclusive interview, which is well worth reading in full, that he shared the fans' anger at that unexpected booking decision:
Of course I do. I was World Heavyweight Champion for four months. I wanted to go out there and steal the show. I was trained by Shawn Michaels, and that's what he's notorious for. I've always had the mindset that my wrestling is as good as or better than anybody out there. I was really looking forward to going out there and showing everybody what I can do on the biggest stage of them all, and then I just wasn't able to do it.
But like the consummate professional that he is, Bryan didn't complain or belly ache to the producer who told him the news, instead focussing on making the best of the bad hand that had been dealt him:
I mean, there wasn't much of a conversation. This is my job, you know? You have to do something, and even if you don't like it, that's what you do. But you go out there and do the best that you can. I went out and did the best entrance I could possibly do. You just do your best; that's all anybody can do.
It's that positive attitude that should help guarantee him a spot near the top of the WWE card, even when he is inevitably removed from the World Heavyweight title picture.
MMA fans might be interested to hear that the inspiration for Bryan's "YES! YES! YES!" chant was Diego Sanchez's bad habit of uttering exactly that on his way to the Octagon before a big fight and that he might even steal more ideas from him in the future:
It was really just, "How do I be as obnoxious as possible?" The "Yes!" thing came from a UFC fighter named Diego Sanchez. He's a tremendous fighter, but he also has these little obnoxious aspects to his character. One thing that he used to do-he doesn't really do it anymore-is that when he would come to the cage, he'd say "Yes! Yes! Yes!"-not the same way I do it, but as some sort of positive affirmation that he could win the fight. I thought, "I love this guy, but that's so annoying!" And then when I became a bad guy, I started doing it, and it really worked out. Speaking of Diego Sanchez, he also did something ludicrous in his last fight: Brandishing a cross in front of him like he was warding off a vampire. If my character has to change at all, I might do that [laughs].
Speaking of gimmick infringement, apparently CM Punk didn't clear usage of Bryan's old ROH "Best in the World" catchphrase with him beforehand, but he has no hard feelings about it:
No, not at all. Chris Jericho had done something similar after I had done it. The only thing that I find really funny is that the "Best in the World" font on the back of his T-shirt is almost identical to the "Best in the World" on the back of my Ring of Honor shirts. It's just funny.
Hopefully Diego Sanchez feels the same way!