It may seem hard to believe, but Daniel Bryan will enter the 2021 Royal Rumble next Sunday as a five-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Bryan recently admitted that his days working as a full-time wrestler are numbered, and in a new interview with SoloWrestling he was asked which of his reigns was his personal favorite. Surprisingly, it wasn't his iconic victory at WrestleMania XXX over Randy Orton and Batista, but rather his reign as the Planet's Champion from November 2018 up through WrestleMania 35.
"Being the Planet Champion was by far my favorite," Bryan said [translated into English via Google Translate]. "It's interesting because in WWE my reigns have never been very good (laughs). I won the championship at WrestleMania XXX but had to vacate it some time later due to a neck injury, and I also won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011 but lost it in 18 seconds at WrestleMania XXVIII. Those reigns didn't feel as special as when I was the Planet Champion and the bad boy. I loved the way it started, and everyone who competes hates losing a championship, but if we're going to lose it, let it be in a great match at WrestleMania against someone who really deserves it, and that's what happened when I lost that one. fight against Kofi Kingston. I had a lot of fun with that reign and I loved the hemp championship. "
"Being good and being bad is a relative perception," he continued. I will probably still be myself, and from one day to the next — which is one of the things that I find most interesting in life and in the world of wrestling — is that people evolve... you don't expect it. I'd love to say that everyone thinks I'm the good guy and they want to cheer me on in the fights, but sometimes my ideology is unpopular, especially in the US (laughs). Probably in the rest of the world I can be a good boy and they think 'good! He fights for the environment!'
That reign started when Bryan infamously turned heel during a November Championship match with AJ Styles. He then redesigned the title using stones and wood on a hemp belt and began campaigning about the importance of conservation. Kofi Kingston, despite Bryan's insistence that he was a "B+ player" and didn't deserve a title shot, beat Bryan at WrestleMania 35 in an emotional bout.