We’d pointed out that Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole’s comments after their AEW debuts were refreshingly free of grievances against WWE.
Not that people with grievances shouldn’t air them (or that tell-all shoot interviews aren’t really interesting). But especially when tribalism has turned almost everything into an “us vs. them” proposition for a decent chunk of the wrestling community, it’s nice to hear that a few of our favorites weren’t miserable at their dream job.
If you agreed that Cole & Danielson’s post-All Out answers were a breath of fresh air, you’ll probably really enjoy the article Bryan wrote for The Players’ Tribune ahead of his AEW debut match tomorrow night (Sept. 22) on Dynamite.
Entitled simply, “Thank You, WWE” ... well, you get the idea.
Danielson starts with some hype for his showdown with Kenny Omega at tomorrow’s “Grand Slam” event in New York, then runs down the things he’s grateful for from the 12 years of his career: the men & women in the locker room, the behind-the-scenes crew, and the fans.
Vince McMahon, so often demonized by the public - and perhaps rightfully so in some cases, gets special (if indirect) mention. Turns out he’s a heck of a hugger!
“Thank you to the Big Man, who I know hates to be acknowledged. I won’t say much, but thank you for the conversations, the life lessons (about both what to do and what not to do), and the best hug I’ve ever received. I wish more people could see you how I see you.”
His list of favorite WWE moments also includes a touching anecdote about Bryan’s late father:
“Thank you for hijacking that show in Seattle — the last time my dad ever got to see me wrestle. He signed his first autograph that night: Buddy Danielson, Daniel Bryan’s dad.”
It’s a classy piece of business all around. Check it out in full here.
And thanks for Daniel Bryan, Mr. Danielson. Can’t wait to see more American Dragon, but I’ll always love the goat-faced YES man.