When former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan decided to hang up his boots back in February, nobody — including Bryan himself — really knew what was next for him. He’d been a professional wrestler for the entirety of his adult life, and, at the age of 34, he was being forced to step away from the only thing that he’d ever wanted to do.
Daniel Bryan was pulled from several events — including one where WWE was planning to honor him at Madison Square Garden — immediately following his retirement. At the time, nobody knew why he was being pulled from all of his scheduled appearances, but we’d later come to find out that he was having trouble coming to grips with the fact that he could no longer be a pro wrestler, and he didn’t want to be around the business if he couldn’t actively compete.
Over the summer, WWE announced that they were bringing back the brand split, and that they would name each brand’s general manager before the brand extension draft in July. In the weeks leading up to Shane and Stephanie McMahon choosing their respective GMs, we heard rumors that names from the past like Eric Bischoff and Edge would come back to run either Raw or SmackDown. But, ultimately, WWE decided to bring in Mick Foley as the GM of Raw, and Daniel Bryan as the GM of SmackDown.
After Bryan was named the general manager of WWE’s Tuesday night show, he did several interviews where he pretty much said that he only accepted the GM job because he’s under contract to WWE, and they wanted him to do it. But, if it were up to him, he wouldn’t be the SmackDown GM.
During his appearance on Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast, Bryan talked about being one of WWE’s general managers, and what his role is as the blue brand’s GM. In the interview, he essentially told Roberts that his role is to get the most out of everyone on the roster in their segments together. Basically, he’s there to get everyone over, and not to one-up the men and women who are active wrestlers.
“Part of our job — and this is something I’m really trying to learn — is bringing stuff out of it, but then leaving it on these guys. Leaving it on Baron Corbin, don’t try to one-up him. He says something, and then challenge him a little bit. But then, man, he has a really good point and just leave it like that.”
Bryan was also asked about his candidness on Talking Smack, which is the SmackDown post-show on the WWE Network, and if he enjoys doing the show every week.
“Sometimes [I enjoy it]. Sometimes I just like, say things, and then sometimes in my ear piece it’s like ‘why are you saying this?'”
In the interview with Roberts, Bryan said that one of the reasons he’s so candid is because he’s not really afraid to lose his job as the general manager of SmackDown, and the co-host of Talking Smack. So, that pretty much gives him the freedom to say what he wants to say during the show.
It’s unclear how long Bryan’s run as the SmackDown general manager will last. As of this writing, him and his wife — Brie Bella — are expecting have a baby in the next couple of months, and he’s questioned whether or not it would be a good thing for him to be on the road with WWE instead of being home with his wife and the baby. So, he could leave WWE temporarily after Brie gives birth.
[Featured Image by WWE]