Christopher Daniels recently appeared as a guest on the PodNasty Podcast and spoke about former ROH talent achieving success in WWE, Daniel Bryan’s retirement and more. Below are some of the highlights from the interview, which you can listen to above.
On ROH paving the way for smaller, independent wrestling talents to be WWE main eventers:
“I certainly think that ROH was a little bit ahead of the curve when it came to the changing of the perception of what constitutes a main event star. You can argue WWE has always been the land of the giants, and it is still, but at the same time you talk about men like CM Punk, men like Daniel Bryan, men like Stth rollins who all came through Ring of Honor and conceivably 10 years ago wouldn’t have been in the WWF range in terms of what they look at as a top-level guy. So as the perception changed, as what is considered a main event star became more of an athletic thing rather than a size thing you had guys like Daniel and Seth and CM Punk, AJ Styles is another example, these guys who are a little bit smaller but wildly athletic.”
On the success of Daniel Bryan:
“Once he got there [in the WWE], the ball was his to drop of to run with and every time he got in the ring, he delivered, connected with the fans. Obviously there wasn’t preferential treatment, it wasn’t like they protected him specifically, they let him go out there and rise or fall on his own merits, and that’s what he did.”
On re-signing with ROH and transitioning to a behind-the-scenes role in Ring of Honor:
“Ring of Honor has always been a home to me, like when I needed a place to wrestle, they opened their doors to me. So I felt like at this point in my career, in addition to what I do in the ring, Ring of Honor gave me an opportunity to sort of help behind the scenes as well. And this is an opportunity for me to not just continue performing at a top level in front of the fans, but for me to help build what can be considered the next crop of great talent that you’ll see in a Ring of Honor ring. And if I can do that, that’s a small repayment of everything ROH has done for me over the course of the 14 years that they have been in business.”
On which ROH alumni currently in WWE is having the best run:
“You can’t deny what’s going on with AJ right now, the impact that he’s made in such a short period of time, the opportunity to work with one of my personal favorite wrestlers Chris Jericho and the matches that he’s had over the past two weeks, that’s been a great run for him. You also have to point at Kevin, as a two-time Intercontinental Champion, a former NXT champion he’s certainly made an impact pretty quickly, the matches that he had with John Cena. Also too you have to look at someone like Seth Rollins who, for a long time, was just on fire with his performance. Like, everything he did was spectacular, the stuff that he did with Brock, the stuff that he did with John, it’s all big stuff and I can’t wait to see him get back in the ring and be healthy again.”
On concussions in pro wrestling:
“I’ve been very fortunate, I haven’t gotten many concussions, I can’t really think of any off the top of my head that I know I’ve gotten. I’m not specifically concerned for myself, but the way the marketplace has changed in terms of what is important on the pro wrestling landscape—it used to be where the major events were either house shows, or live events or pay-per-views and the television shows sort of drove the audiences toward those events. Now, in this day and age, everything seems to be catered towards pushing to the TV audience. And especially you look at Raw, every week they do three hours of television, plus two hours of Smackdown, and more guys are asked to do higher impact style of matches, or at least higher quality matches more often. You look at it like that and you realize that the law of averages is catching up with a lot of guys. That’s why the injury rate is so high, and the possibility of getting concussions certainly increases the more often you’re asked to perform at a higher rate.”
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