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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: Talk is Jericho with Daniel Bryan on his retirement and how he handled the news, who Shane McMahon’s backup was if he couldn’t make WrestleMania, the advice Steve Austin gave him and the wrestler he should emulate, Cody Rhodes contacting him

Talk is Jericho

Release Date: 05/09/2018

Recap by: Caitlin Lavelle

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN

Timestamps

0:00 Introduction (Podcast starts at 0:33)
1:52- Interview Starts
3:10- Chris Jericho & Daniel Bryan on Jericho almost replacing Shane McMahon in his WrestleMania 34 match
7:08- Daniel Bryan on his pre-retirement diagnosis
12:15- Daniel Bryan on his retirement
14:08- Advertisement
17:15- Daniel Bryan on his initial post-retirement plans, being Smackdown Live GM & trying to get cleared
27:40- Daniel Bryan on his current concussion protocol, his schedule going forward
31:35- Daniel Bryan on being cleared to return to WWE
34:15- Daniel Bryan on wrestling independently at the end of his WWE contract
42:46- Advertisement
45:27- Interview Resumes
45:40- Daniel Bryan on Cody (Rhodes)
47:40- Daniel Bryan on Ryback
48:45- Daniel Bryan on All In
1:01:45- Daniel Bryan on allowing his daughter to be filmed
1:03:30- Daniel Bryan on John Cena’s house rules on Total Bellas
1:04:17- Daniel Bryan on his current WWE run
1:07:33- Daniel Bryan on the Yes Chant

0:00 Introduction (Podcast starts at 0:33)

On today’s podcast, Chris Jericho is talking to Daniel Bryan. This is Bryan’s third time on the podcast, and this interview was recorded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia just prior to the WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble event.

1:52- Interview Starts

3:10- Chris Jericho & Daniel Bryan on Jericho almost replacing Shane McMahon in his WrestleMania 34 match

Chris Jericho says he got a call from Vince McMahon just prior to WrestleMania 34, explaining that Shane McMahon was having several health problems and that the WWE wasn’t sure whether Shane would be able to compete. Jericho says Vince asked him, “What would you think about coming to New Orleans?”

Daniel Bryan says Shane McMahon called him from the hospital to update him on his health condition, and assured Bryan that he’d be at WresteleMania. Bryan says WWE told him they ‘had a backup’, but wouldn’t tell him who it was. Bryan says he assumed it was Jericho, due to Jericho’s history with Kevin Owens.

7:08- Daniel Bryan on his pre-retirement diagnosis

Bryan explains that he had suffered from four post-concussion seizures early on in his WWE career, which he hadn’t shared with WWE, and that his wife Brie (Bella) was present for one of these seizures. After Brie & Bryan were married, Brie advised that Bryan should tell the Doctors about his prior seizures the next time he got a concussion.

The next time Bryan was concussed, he told a doctor in Phoenix (Dr. Cardenas) about the seizures. Bryan says he was simultaneously hoping his disclosure wouldn’t get back to WWE and assuming he would never wrestle for WWE if they were given this information. Bryan says the Dr. Cardenas actually cleared him, but that WWE and Dr. Maroon lost trust in him at the news of his undisclosed medical history.

In February 2016, Bryan started working to get medically cleared, and was approved for an in-ring return by several doctors. However, when Bryan went in for reflex testing, doctors found a reflex delay and a lesion on his brain. Bryan called WWE and Vince McMahon to share this report. Two days later, Vince McMahon called Bryan and asked him to retire in just two days at RAW in Seattle, Washington.

12:15- Daniel Bryan on his retirement

Bryan says that during his retirement speech, he did not want to present himself in the way that he felt. He says he felt devastated, but he wanted to express his gratitude, assuming this would be his actual retirement. He tried to make himself feel grateful and to push the devastation away.

14:08- Advertisement

17:15- Daniel Bryan on his initial post-retirement plans, being Smackdown Live GM & trying to get cleared

Bryan said, “I literally had this mental breakdown where I just lost it.” Bryan says he went back to Washington, and his plan was to go back to college and attend a course to learn about sustainable agriculture.

Bryan says Triple H called to ask him to do commentary on the Cruiserweight Classic, and that Bryan excitedly agreed. However, he says no one asked whether he was interested in becoming Smackdown Live’s on-screen General Manager.

After Bryan retired, Dr. Cardenas in Phoenix called Bryan and said, “What happened? Your brain is fine.”

Bryan sent Dr. Cardenas the report about the lesion in his brain, and Dr. Cardenas explained that he was fine for a normal person, and that the results would only deter an ‘elite athlete’ who needs ‘fast reflexes’ from competing.

Even with these results, Bryan says he had accepted WWE’s decision until they brought him back and made him be Smackdown Live’s on-screen General Manager.

Bryan says he, “could not get out of this mental space of, ‘Gosh, I hate coming here.’ I literally disliked going to work every week. There’s times I would get a script for the show and would push as many people as I could to just leave that night. That’s when I decided, ‘I’m not going to accept this anymore, I’m going to come back.’

“I was trying to do everything I could to just show, ‘Hey, I’m good to go’. I was trying to go above and beyond.”

27:40- Daniel Bryan on his current concussion protocol, his schedule going forward

Bryan says he talked to Vince, and that he offered that he could have a different concussion protocol than everyone else. Bryan said that after every match, he could go straight to the trainer’s room to get checked, and that if he didn’t do it, there could be a fine.

Bryan says this is actually what he’s doing now, and that he and WWE are revising this policy as they go as they see fit.

Bryan says, “We haven’t really talked about the schedule much, and they’ve just thrown me into live events. Now I’m on that full European tour.”

31:35- Daniel Bryan on being cleared to return to WWE

Bryan says, “They made the (return) announcement on Tuesday. I found out at 9:30 pm Monday night the night before. Apparently, it was still being talked about Tuesday morning whether or not they were going to do it.

“I was in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi doing the Special Olympics. I flew back to Dallas where the show was. Went to Dr. Maroon’s office in Pittsburgh. There were four Doctors there, waiting for me, going through all of these tests and scans. At 9:30 at night, Dr. Maroon has already left, but he left me a sheet of paper that said, It’s been a long time. Finally, you’re cleared.

“I cried. I was preparing myself to not be cleared. For me, in the moment, it felt like they’re just going to send me to doctors until someone says no.”

34:15- Daniel Bryan on wrestling independently at the end of his WWE contract

Jericho asks Bryan whether, before he was cleared by WWE, he was planning to wrestle on the indies after his current contract expires on September 1st. Bryan says, “Yes. 100%.”

Bryan reveals that he, “wanted to go to New Japan, Ring of Honor and CMLL.”

Bryan says Steve Austin called him and encouraged him to change his style to be safer. He encouraged Bryan to be like Jerry Lawler.

Bryan says he got deep into the 1980’s Lucha style and was interested in doing mask vs. hair matches.

Bryan says, “Bullet Club especially is very hot, but they need something to go against. As far as something that would make money, draw interest and bring independent wrestling to another level, I thought ‘that’s it!’”

42:46- Advertisement

45:27- Interview Resumes

45:40- Daniel Bryan on Cody (Rhodes)

Bryan says he’s happy for Cody, and that he admires that he didn’t jack up his booking fee based on name value, because Cody wanted to work every weekend. Bryan says he thinks post-WWE success has a lot to do with why you leave, and that Cody left because he wanted to leave, and because Cody knew he was better than what WWE was giving him.

47:40- Daniel Bryan on Ryback

Bryan says, “There are very few road stories I feel comfortable sharing. Ryback is a very funny character. I love him. He’s such a nice human being, but he’s so easy to rile up. You would think with being such a positive thinker, you’d just be okay with everything that happens, but that’s not how it is.”

48:45- Daniel Bryan on All In

Cody texted Bryan to talk about All In before the date had been announced. Once the date was announced, and Bryan realized it was the exact day his WWE contract was set to expire, he didn’t think working All In would be possible.

1:01:45- Daniel Bryan on allowing his daughter to be filmed

Bryan says, “I’m very concerned about our baby being filmed all the time. That greatly, greatly concerns me.” Bryan explains that he doesn’t want his daughter to think they’re ‘special’ because they’re filmed all the time.

1:03:30- Daniel Bryan on John Cena’s house rules on Total Bellas

Bryan says, “Some of the things were, he made these rules to make things more entertaining for the show. But they were legitimate rules. You know how John is, he’s kind of stern.”

1:04:17- Daniel Bryan on his current WWE run

Bryan says, “I’m a goalless person. My goals are to be a good father, be a good husband and enjoy my life for as long as I get to live it. We never know what’s going to happen from day to day.

“My goal has always been this in wrestling. I really just want to be the best I can be in this thing I love so much and do stuff that I’m proud of.”

Bryan explains that there are some matches that he had before he left that he’s very proud of although they didn’t gain a lot of notoriety. Bryan specifically names a match he had with Sheamus shortly before his concussion.

Bryan says he wants to do the wrestling he likes doing. He explains that now that he’s had this experience of having wrestling taken away from him, he knows what it’s like to lose it.  

1:07:33- Daniel Bryan on the Yes Chant

Bryan says, “It’s weird because it’s neat, but it almost made me want to wrestle more (before his WWE return). The point for me isn’t to get a reaction. What gives me joy is when people are already invested in you like that.

“I looked at it as a wasted reaction. It feels good, but we could transfer it into more than, ‘Yay, we’re so excited to see this guy!’ We could transfer it.  

“Now, it’s more than wrestling. You see it in stuff that’s not connected to me, and I think that’s super cool.”

1:10:54- Outro

Rating 8/10

If you’ve been closely following Daniel Bryan’s career, a lot the content of this interview, especially the medical stuff, is going to be repeat information. However, there’s also some new information, like details on Bryan’s independent wrestling plans before he was cleared, descriptions of his ongoing conversations with Vince McMahon, and WWE’s current concussion protocol for Bryan, that make this podcast worth a listen.

Writer Bio

Caitlin is a wrestling fan who hopes to one day discover that she is the illegitimate daughter of Vincent Kennedy McMahon and the rightful Anonymous RAW General Manager. Until then, she’ll keep on living in Orlando, Florida with her husband and son.

 

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