Seems like a good time to get AEW World champion & Executive Vice-President Kenny Omega to talk about the pair of indie greats-turned-WWE legends, no?
That’s exactly what Dave Meltzer & Garrett Gonzalez did on Wrestling Observer Radio:
“Two very different athletes, two very different performers. I respect both of them in similar but also very different ways. Danielson - I still call him Bryan Danielson - Daniel Bryan, I always knew that he was incredibly intelligent. He’s ridiculously smart, especially as it relates to professional wrestling. And for him to kind of create a movement, an actual legitimate movement with the Yes Movement and all that. For him to come up with that, he created it. And there’s absolutely no way, you could find written documented evidence saying ‘oh, we always planned to have your WrestleMania moment, be the champion’, I wouldn’t believe it. Even if I saw it in front of my face, I don’t think that was ever the plan.
“But he made it the plan because he’s just that smart... he was able to turn it around and emerge as a mega-star, because he is smart enough in a wrestling sense, in a business sense, and just like in ROH how he was able to have those fans in the palm of his hand, he’s able to have the entire WWE Universe in the palm of his hand with one word. Really the only other person I can think of that did that was maybe [Stone Cold Steve] Austin with the “What?” You know what I mean? There’s really no one else I can think of that had that much power with one word. And wrestling ability, of course, it’s second to none. One of the most crisp, one of the most technically sound athletes to ever step foot in the ring. Especially in the current age.
“And CM Punk, a guy who just has again, he probably has a different line of thinking than your current day performer and the average performer, and he has this incredible reputation. He has fans to this day who would follow him to the end of the earth. A very dedicated fanbase. And that fanbase believes that he is the best in the world, and will be the best until the end of time. And if you’re able to have people like that follow your career so passionately, you probably have something very special about you. And it just goes to show you that the way he presented himself, the way he spoke to his opponents, how he performed in the ring, entrance music, his image - it was all very meticulous, and he was very intelligent about how he went about it.
“Two extremely intelligent people who found a way to sort of - I don’t want to say cheat the system, but it was a system that was not created for them there, and they were able to break every ceiling that was placed in front of them and emerge as an actual legend that will never be forgotten.”
Omega’s historical perspective on Danielson and Punk is great and all, but what about the future?
“So it’s cool for me to think that I’m going to be able to be in the ring with these two - possibly. But I think because they were so prominent in the WWE, and a lot of that is featured with segments, angles, character work. You know, for me, as exciting as the wrestling part is, the ability to tell a story is more exciting for me.”
The Belt Collector can barely be bothered to put a “maybe” caveat on this. It’s really gonna happen, isn’t it?
While we wait for more, let us know what you think of Omega’s comments. And how you’d book feuds between him and The Best in the World and The American Dragon.