AEW’s Bryan Danielson: I Had Fun Working With WWE’s Writers
“There's a real fear of the blank page. You have to craft your own story.”
WWE’s practice of heavily scripting all their wrestlers and segments has been much maligned by fans and former WWE superstars alike, but Bryan Danielson has revealed he enjoyed his time with the writing staff.
Now part of AEW, Danielson was talking to the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast about the differences between AEW and WWE’s way of handling promos, saying the following in support of ‘the WWE way’:
"I was never handed a sheet of paper or told what we're doing. We kind of sit down and decide what we're doing. I was like, 'Oh.' Then there's this overachieving fear for me a little bit because some people don't like working with the writers. I love working with writers. I like collaborating. I had a really good time with that.
“One of my favourite times was when I was the Planet's Champion. The writer I worked with was named Robert. We had so much fun. He would present me with a piece of paper. I had a lot more leeway than a lot of people in WWE. I would work with the writer and say, 'what if we say this?' Robert was great because he would pull me back from the edge, sometimes I'd go off on a tangent and he would say, 'Hey, this is too far environmental and maybe not focused enough on the show we're actually doing.' Robert helped me stay on track. Eventually, I wasn't allowed to say anything about the environment at all, but Robert was great because he would throw in little things there. I loved collaborating with the writers. There's a real fear of the blank page. You have to craft your own story. You want that freedom, but then all of sudden it's like, 'Oh no, here is this blank page, you can create whatever you want' and you're like, 'Uhhh,' and that's a little bit nerve-wracking.”
Danielson continued by saying, "My last couple of months with WWE, I would get scripts, but my time with WWE was pretty much that; always working with a writer but always collaborating. In the last couple of months, I was part of the creative team a little bit. Very rarely would I do my own stuff, but I was like, 'What if I said something like this?' I might have said that on a Tuesday then show up on Friday and it would be somebody else's words, but a version of what I mentioned. We'd flesh it out, work together, and it'd be fun."