Jan Murphy of Recorder.ca recently conducted an excellent interview with current SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan.
During the discussion, Bryan opened up about having a nervous breakdown while filming Total Divas during the few week period he and his wife were staying at John Cena and Nikki Bella’s house. The time period was such that he had just done his emotional WWE retirement speech on RAW and while at Cena and Bella’s place in Florida, Total Divas cameras were on him almost 24/7.
As Bryan points out in some of the excerpts below, it was the combination of being in a big city and having cameras on him constantly so soon after he was forced to say goodbye to the sport he loves that resulted in him having what he referred to as a “horrible mental breakdown.”
Also revealed in the interview is the man Bryan claims he wanted to have one match with — Brock Lesnar, as well as the reason why he says he can’t accept when people tell him that he should have changed his in-ring style of wrestling.
Below are some of the highlights from Jon Murphy’s interview with Daniel Bryan, which was done to help promote this Sunday’s WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view, which goes down live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
On having a mental breakdown while he and his wife stayed with John Cena and Nikki Bella shortly after his WWE retirement speech, with Total Divas cameras around all the time:
“I had to go out to Florida (to shoot Total Divas) and we’re in John Cena’s house for four weeks or whatever and there’s cameras just on you all the time,” Bryan said, adding that it was there that the toll that the stress and uncertainty around his livelihood came boiling to the surface.
“I just had this horrible mental breakdown,” he said. A lifelong outdoorsman and environmentalist, Bryan did what came most natural to him, he found nature to help him cope with his extreme sadness.
“That’s what I needed. I needed to get away from all of that and just get out to be by some trees,” Bryan said, emotion bubbling to the surface. “It’s hard for me. I don’t do really well in cities, which is crazy given that we’re flying in and out of these major cities every week. Brie (Bella, his wife) describes it as anxiety. And she would be accurate. I get this anxiety in cities and places like that. When you grow up in kind of a small town and when you grow up around a lot of green and trees and nature and that sort of thing, sometimes I think it’s a little mentally disconcerting to be around this concrete.”
On wanting to wrestle Brock Lesnar before he was forced to retire from his career as an active wrestler:
“What I really wanted was I wanted a match with Brock Lesnar, that was my thing,” Bryan revealed. “But I didn’t want to go into the match with Brock Lesnar (having) that be the first time I ever take a German suplex (following) my neck surgery. So, I wrestled Luke Harper and he German suplexed me on my head and everybody was like, ‘Oh my gosh, why did you do that?!’ ”
“It’s because I have this mentality of, ‘Well, I don’t want to go in there against Brock knowing he’s probably going to give me one zillion German suplexes and not having taken a German suplex before and not having known that my neck was going to be ok.’ ”
On the reason why he can’t say looking bad on things he would have changed his in-ring style of wrestling:
“Really, there are a few minor tweaks that I would make, probably, but on the whole, I needed to wrestle a certain style to even get noticed by WWE, and then once I got to WWE, I needed to wrestle a certain style to break kind of that glass ceiling of where they thought that I should be. So I wouldn’t do much different, I don’t think.”
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