Bryan Danielson, formerly Daniel Bryan, was teasing that his days as a full-time wrestler were quickly coming to an end as his final WWE contract reached its last few months earlier this year. However, the former WWE Champion decided to make the jump to All Elite Wrestling, and is now claiming he has three years left as a full-time competitor in what he believes is the "climax" of his career. He'll make his in-ring debut for the company at AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam, taking on Kenny Omega.
"I see these next three years as my last three years as a full-time wrestler," Danielson said while on WFAN on Tuesday (h/t Fightful). "I don't want to see it as, 'Okay, he's tapering off.' This is the climax of my career. This is the climax of my career, these next three years. It all starts tomorrow."
Danielson has said in multiple interviews that there was never just one reason that made him decide to jump to the Jacksonville-based promotion. He told fans following the All Out pay-per-view that it had to do with the company's roster, the passionate fanbase and the focus on wrestling rather than sports entertainment. He then elaborated in a post-show press conference.
"So I heard something over the past week that one of the things that really turned Punk was the Brodie Lee show," Danielson said. "It was also one of the things that I saw it and so many of us loved him so much and so we saw it and saw how special it was and we saw, like okay, we're gonna stop what we're normally doing. I thought that was really special to me. So that was when I really started kind of thinking (it), knowing that my contract coming up. But the final decision, honestly, was just like, I started thinking about things and WWE was so gracious with me as far as the offer that they gave me. They were going to let me go do some other stuff on the outside. But, I hate to say this... Vince (McMahon) and I have a great relationship. I love him, I do. Sometimes he's overprotective of me. And I want to be able to push my limits. That's one of the things that I love about this, is the physicality of what we do out there and being able to push my limits and being able to do that here in a safe manner is one of the things that really drew me here.
"There's just excitement," he continued. "You all see it. You were probably all out there and you felt it. You felt how excited people are about this product and it feels vibrant. And even just watching it through a TV screen in a trailer. I'm sitting there going, 'God this is awesome. I want to be a part of this.' So that was it... I really battled back and forth because there's a lot of people there that I consider family, that actually are legitimately my family, and you know, people that I love there. So it was a really tough decision."