As noted, Daniel Bryan recently appeared as a guest on the Why Not Now? podcast with Amy Jo Martin. Featured below are some additional highlights from the interview.
On being a vegan but not liking the term: “I’m vegetarian and I don’t like using the term ‘vegan’ anymore. I’m mostly vegan, but I think the term ‘vegan’ turns off a lot of people too. And some people, very few, there’s a part of the vegan community that are very judgmental. And so I was a strict vegan and I was the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and I was getting all this criticism because the championship belt that I would wear to the ring was made of leather and they were like, ‘why are you wearing that belt? It’s leather!’ And it’s like, ‘well, I don’t have control over that.’ So yeah, and I also really like the term ‘plant-based’ more than anything else because more so than judging people or anything like that, for healthy lifestyles, the more plants you eat, the better and I just think the better for the planet too, so yeah, I prefer the term ‘plant-based’ or ‘vegetarian’ or whatnot.”
On struggling with motivation to this day and having a hard time expressing himself when he was getting popular and WWE wasn’t pushing him to the top of the card: “Despite what it sounds like, I’m not very motivated, right? I’m very much somebody who just accepts things as they come for the most part. So in wrestling, I was getting very popular and the WWE still didn’t want to push me to the top level because of my size. I’m a smaller guy. A normal person looks at me, when I’m coming down the ramp to the ring, a normal person doesn’t gravitate to looking at me unlike a John Cena who is enormous or some of the bigger guys like a Hulk Hogan, or a Steve Austin, or The Rock, who as soon as they come down, it’s like, ‘wow! Look at that guy,’ right? And that’s what WWE typically wants in their top stars and I’ve never been very good at being like, ‘hey, you guys should do more with me’ or ‘you guys should do this or do that with me’. I’ve never been someone who is motivated by that or pushes himself towards that, or pushes myself towards financial goals, or pushing myself towards anything other than what I love to do. And I’m constantly having to remind myself, like, ‘hey, if you want to get to the next level where I want to be, you do have to do some pushing here.’ And so yeah, that’s a constant thing that I struggle with.”
On scoring the lowest ambition numbers on a personality test that WWE gave to top WWE Superstars: “WWE did this personality test with some of their more successful wrestlers to see, like, ‘are there some common traits amongst these people that makes them successful, so when we are recruiting people we can look for these traits to make them more successful, and so, they ask you all these questions, yada, yada, yada. I got my test results back and the lady was just baffled. She was like, ‘you have the lowest ambition score I have ever seen!’ In percentiles, I was in the bottom one percentile for ambition. And she was like, ‘how on Earth are you successful at this?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know – I just really love to wrestle.’ So yeah, I have to push myself sometimes to be more ambitious.”
On living in his car in the past and growing up poor: “I was living in Santa Monica [California] and sleeping on a dojo floor, like, on a mat, and interspersed between that, and sleeping in my car, and stuff. And so, this was for an extended period of time and people have said to me, ‘wow, that must’ve been really tough.’ It wasn’t. I never thought of it as tough. It was actually a very fun period of my life and I never thought of it as, ‘oh man, that sucks. I have to sleep on this dojo’s floor or I have to sleep in my car,’ or anything like that. It was a wonderful experience and those sorts of things never bothered me.
“I feel very fortunate that I grew up without very much money and my mom was a huge, huge inspiration. She starts going to school, and working two jobs, and all this kind of stuff. And, at the time, we didn’t have very much money, but it didn’t matter because we felt loved, right? I never felt like, ‘oh no, we don’t have very much money!'” Bryan said, “she celebrated every little accomplishment. Do you know what I mean? And just made us feel really loved, so that material things were never the point, were never the things that made me feel like they made me happy.”
Check out the complete episode of the Why Not Now? podcast featuring the Daniel Bryan interview at AmyJoMartin.com.
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