Daniel Bryan apparently has recovered from the third-degree burn that The Miz dropped on him on Talking Smack because he showed his face in public long enough to do a WWE.com interview with Michael Cole on Friday. Oddly enough, Cole never once brought up the segment with The Miz despite referencing his “newsworthy week,” which would seem to further fuel speculation that the segment wasn’t 100 percent scripted.
Although Bryan didn’t address The Miz’s promo, he did say several interesting things during the sit-down, including:
- He would give his first month on the job a “C,” because he’s hard on himself.
- The Cedric Alexander/Kota Ibushi match from the Cruiserweight Classic gave him goosebumps because Alexander gave up a lot to be in the tournament and knocked it out of the park.
- The filming of Total Bellas came right after his retirement and he said it was a “really tough part” of his life.
- Cole and Bryan joked about a documentary coming out soon about Bryan’s hypothetical match with a Bear at WrestleMania 32 (would watch).
The two most noteworthy parts of the interview, though, were when Bryan spoke about Brock Lesnar and former WWE Universal Champion, Finn Bálor. Regarding Lesnar, Bryan told Cole that his dream match was always to go up against The Beast, and that he had a unique strategy planned for that match if it had ever happened.
“One of the things that appealed me to the fans was that I’ve always been an underdog, and what bigger underdog match is there than Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan. That’s like David vs. Goliath. I also think he’s never wrestled or fought anybody like me before. Especially I was working on this new style before they told me I couldn’t wrestle anymore that’s really unlike anything else, just with the way that I move, and I don’t really think Brock would know how to handle it.”
Bryan also spoke about Bálor’s injury, and he used it as a jumping off point to critique WWE for leaving guys like Bálor, Samoa Joe, and Shinsuke Nakamura down in NXT for too long when they could be spending more of their prime on the main roster.
“That kind of stuff happens. The most tragic thing is it happened as soon as he gets up here. The thing that really upsets me about the whole situation is that Finn Bálor should have been up here a year and a half ago. I understand that NXT is very important part of our programming and a very important part of the network. But he was a superstar when we signed him. Some people have to adjust to the WWE style, and for a guy like Finn Bálor, that takes no more than six months.
He’s in the prime of his career right now, he just turned 35 the day he debuted on Raw. He should have been here a year and a half ago. Samoa Joe should already be here. Shinsuke Nakamura should already be here. Those are guys in their primes, and they’re down on NXT right now and they should be here either on Smackdown Live or on Raw. The longer we wait, the more bumps they take, the more bruises they get, the more susceptible they are to injuries. Everybody knows there’s a finite amount of hits you can take in your career. You don’t know what that number is. And the more time you take those hits down on NXT, the less hits you’re going to be able to take when you’re here.”
Bryan might have a point, but the alternative argument is that Bálor probably wouldn’t have been ready to jump directly into the main event of Raw if he hadn’t spent the time he did on NXT. Also, with the brand also doing things like selling out the Barclays Center and touring in Europe, it now has to rely on having at least one or two big names down there at all times to help sell tickets.
Plus, Daniel, can’t you just let us have NXT, man? Be cool about this.