This year is the first WrestleMania that Daniel Bryan will work since transitioning into an authority figure and in an interview with Myles Galloway, Bryan said that it is a lot less fun then it was when he was a wrestler. He calls it more stressful and “a lot less fun,” but it is unclear if Daniel is talking in character or not.
“It’s the first weekend where I am SmackDown General Manager during WrestleMania. It’s weird because as a performer it’s only your thing you have to worry about, but as the General Manager, you have to worry about all the things on SmackDown live so it’s like more stressful and less fun.”
While Daniel Bryan is working as a general manager in the WWE, that is still a character he is playing and he doesn’t really have any responsibility when it comes to running SmackDown Live or WrestlaMania 33, so that part is definitely spoken in character. However, Daniel’s comments about not having as much fun seem to be partially based in reality.
Daniel Bryan hosts the post-WWE show Talking Smack and has made it a habit of mocking the WWE and a number of their ideas on the show. Bryan has continuously made fun of the motto “Ultimate Thrill Ride,” which is what the WWE is calling WrestleMania 33.
A few weeks ago, Daniel Bryan even questioned the WWE when The Miz made fun of him for not being able to wrestle anymore. Bryan simply asked if he can’t wrestle or if the WWE won’t let him wrestle. He then said we would find out in a year and a half. That makes it sound like Daniel will leave the WWE when his contract expires in 2018 and try to wrestle again.
The last time that Daniel Bryan was at WrestleMania in an official capacity was two years ago when he wrestled in a ladder match and won the Intercontinental Championship. The WWE forced him to retire a short time later when neck problems turned into concussion concerns.
The year before that, Daniel Bryan enjoyed his “WrestleMania moment” when he pulled off the biggest wins of his career. He beat Triple H to force his way into the world title match between Randy Orton and Batista and then beat Batista to win the WWE world title. It was the ultimate payoff for the story of Daniel Bryan and his rise to the top of the WWE.
Now, the WWE won’t allow Daniel Bryan to wrestle and he is working as the SmackDown Live general manager to keep his contract rolling. The WWE freezes contracts during injuries so this will ensure that his contract expires on time in 2018.
This year, Daniel Bryan has a hand in at least two WrestleMania 33 matches but won’t take part in either of them. The WWE posted a poll a few months ago that asked fans what a dream return match for Daniel Bryan would be and AJ Styles won. This year, Bryan was responsible for Styles losing his chance to fight for the WWE world title at WrestleMania but since Styles can’t wrestle, Daniel will watch as Shane McMahon fights AJ Styles instead.
The second match looked like the payoff to the storyline between The Miz and Daniel Bryan. For the last six months, Daniel Bryan has done everything to screw over The Miz on SmackDown Live while The Miz has mocked Bryan endlessly about not being able to wrestle anymore. It looked like the only way to pay off the storyline was to have Daniel Bryan find a way to wrestle The Miz.
Instead, it is John Cena and Nikki Bella, the sister-in-law of Daniel Bryan, who will fight The Miz and his wife Maryse. Daniel Bryan has tried to emphasize his part in the match, calling WrestleMania 33 the “face punching extravaganza,” saying he hopes to see Cena punch The Miz all match long.
However, while Daniel Bryan looks like he is trying to remain optimistic about WrestleMania 33, he has made it clear that he isn’t having as much fun as he did when he was a wrestler. One wonders when his WWE contract officially ends and whether or not this is his last WrestleMania.
[Featured Image by WWE]