Daniel Bryan Compares CM Punk's UFC Venture To Zayn & Neville Being In WWE

Daniel Bryan recently spoke with The Philly Voice to promote tonight’s post-Backlash edition of SmackDown Live at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

During the interview, the SmackDown Live General Manager explained why he feels CM Punk’s venture into MMA via the UFC is similar to their careers in the pro wrestling business via WWE. He also lumped in current WWE Superstars Sami Zayn and Neville to the analogy, as just the fact that they are in the company and working on the main roster is impressive.

In Bryan’s opinion, the fact that Punk had the guts to even step into the Octagon should be commended, regardless of the outcome of his fight, which saw him lose via quick first-round submission to fellow UFC newcomer Mickey Gall, who himself was only competing in his third professional MMA fight and his second UFC fight.

“I did watch the fight. Punk and I have never been best friends or anything like that. I don’t even think I have his number in my phone, but I really support him in that fight. I was really hoping he would win. The reality is that even though he lost, he was dead on in his promo afterwards. It’s the whole thing with me and him, and guys like Sami Zayn and Neville even trying to wrestle. Right? It’s just this idea of you have this dream that everybody tells you that you can’t do, but you just keep going after it. Sometimes, you’re not successful, right? He wasn’t “successful” in the fight. But he fought a professional fight in UFC. That’s crazy! You know? It’s crazy and it’s awesome and he may have lost and he may have gotten beat up, but hey, he tried it. How many people would be afraid because of their ego to not even put themselves out there like that? I like to train jiu jitsu and I like to muay thai and the number of people who train all the time but won’t put themselves out there to even do like a tournament and nobody knows who they are. The ego part of you that says, ‘Well, if I go and I do it and I lose, what does that mean?’ Well, [Punk] went out and did it, right? He’s a huge public figure. I have the utmost respect for him trying to go do it.

“It’s hard, too. At that age, and I know at my age and how many injuries I have, just getting up out of bed every morning, you know, for the most part, I feel really good. But then to get up and go train with killers – that camp is a great camp. And so you go in there and train with great guys and getting beat up every day. It’s tough. That’s the job. The job is getting beat up every day. And right towards the fight, then you have to lose a bunch of weight. So, it’s like, ‘OK I get beat up every day, now go lose 15 pounds. Oh, just like that? Oh, OK.'”

After retiring from the squared circle, Bryan hasn’t been able to do an interview without being asked for his thoughts on being back on the road with WWE in a non-wrestling capacity as the General Manager for the SmackDown Live brand. This interview was no exception.

Bryan explained why traveling with WWE again has its’ plusses and minuses, as he loves being around the business and all of his friends who work for the company. Regarding the minuses, Bryan admitted that he still feels the pull to get back into the ring, particularly when there’s an exceptionally enthusiastic crowd at a WWE show.

“It has its pluses and minuses. I love being around it. I love that part of it. I love being around my friends. I’ve grown up wrestling, right? I started when I was 18. So my friends are wrestlers. Which is how it works. I still have friends that I grew up with, but those friends are people that you see a couple times a year as opposed to these people that you see 200 days a year. So, yeah, it’s good to be around my friends. I like getting out in front of a live crowd and that sort of things. Sometimes when a crowd reacts too good, then now I just want to wrestle. So, yeah, it’s got its plusses and minuses, but it’s been really fun being back.”

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