Bryan Danielson Was Asked Why AEW Was So Popular By Vince McMahon

Bryan Danielson reveals that he looked into AEW and what they were doing differently from WWE at the request of Vince McMahon.
AEW Bryan Danielson Daniel Bryan

Bryan Danielson looked into AEW and what they were doing differently from WWE at the request of Vince McMahon. Danielson is one of the most respected wrestlers in the business. He is truly a wrestler’s wrestler. He also doesn’t sugarcoat the truth when asked for his honest opinion.

That is exactly why Vince McMahon came to Bryan Danielson when he needed to know the truth and get an honest critique of WWE. At the time, AEW was the hot new wrestling promotion, and they were gaining a lot of momentum very quickly.

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During a wrestling panel at SXSW, titled “Disrupting the Long-Monopolized Pro Wrestling Industry,” Bryan Danielson revealed that Vince McMahon asked him to describe what AEW was doing which WWE was not. Danielson then took a deep dive into AEW. He stated the following:

“Vince McMahon actually called me one night, I was part of WWE creative, and he called me one night and he said ‘What is AEW doing that we’re not doing?’ And so, I watched eight straight weeks of TV within the span of like six days and I was like ‘oh my gosh, there’s a whole list of things.’”

H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
WWE Bryan Danielson and Roman Reigns
Courtesy Of WWE

Did Vince McMahon View AEW as a Threat?

McMahon even being aware of AEW is big news. It is widely known that he doesn’t watch other wrestling promotions and he is usually singularly focused on WWE. WWE had previously indicated on the record that the company never viewed AEW as a threat. To think that McMahon saw them as enough of a threat several years ago to ask Danielson to look into them is interesting.

In May 2021, Danielson’s WWE contract expired and he decided to not re-sign with WWE. In September 2021, he made his way to AEW in a surprise debut. For Danielson, he believes it’s a good thing to look at oneself critically. He emphasized the need to identify what the promotion is doing well and what they need to improve on. However, according to Bryan Danielson, it is a tricky thing to balance new ideas with what made you popular in the first place. He continued during the panel:

“I think we just have to look at ourselves objectively, we have to find things that, ‘ok, I think we should try this.’ But we can’t mess up the things that have gotten us to this place to begin with. It’s a hard line to straddle as far as change, order vs. chaos. That’s the whole yin vs. yang thing as far as what do you change, what do you keep the same? And that’s something that we really have to look deeply into.”

H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
AEW Bryan Danielson Daniel Bryan and Daniel Garcia
Courtesy Of AEW

Bryan Danielson Defected to AEW

Since joining AEW Danielson has been one of the top stars in the promotion. His first feud in the promotion was against the AEW World Champion at the time Kenny Omega. Since that time, Danielson battled former and current champions throughout his time with AEW, including “Hangman” Page, Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF), and Jon Moxley.

Eventually, Danielson would join Moxley and William Regal to form the Blackpool Combat Club. Since then he has been an absolute menace to everyone who dares challenge him. Most recently he challenged Eddie Kingston for the Continental Crown Championship, in a losing effort earlier this month at AEW Revolution. Since joining AEW, Danielson is yet to hold the AEW World Championship even though he has challenged for it many times. During the panel, Danielson explained why not winning the championship is better for AEW. He continued:

“No, the champions we’ve had have been great. Hangman was a great champion. MJF was a great champion. It elevated these younger people, to now, these people are stars … It would be easy to just take stars of the past and make them your champion and make them your top guy, that’s the easy way. It’s much harder to take somebody like MJF, who had not been on national television, and turn him into a star that draws ratings. That was my bigger goal, to transfer stardom from one generation to another.”

H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
AEW Bryan Danielson Daniel Bryan and Daniel Garcia
Courtesy Of AEW

If Danielson is going to be champion he doesn’t have long to do so. He has revealed that is looking to step back from being an active wrestler. After this year he wants to be a special attraction wrestler like John Cena or The Rock.

Bryan Danielson shied away from using the word retire as he wanted to keep the door open for a return to the ring. However, AEW may want to give him a title reign before the end of the year closes out. Who better for him to take the title off of than an old rival in the AEW World Champion Samoa Joe.

RELATED: AEW Star Adam Copeland Doesn’t Want a ‘Triumphant’ Retirement, He Wants One Special Thing

Did you find it interesting that Vince McMahon asked Bryan Danielson to look into AEW? Was he just curious or do you think he saw AEW as a threat? Do you think if McMahon had not done that Danielson would still be in WWE? What is the number one thing AEW does better than WWE? What does WWE do better than AEW? Let us know on social media if you would like to see Bryan Danielson have an AEW World Championship reign before he steps away from the ring.

SOURCE: Wrestling Inc., SXSW, Wrestling Inc.

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Robert Watson

Just a guy reading comics, watching wrestling, and wondering if aliens exist