Cody Rhodes Inspired Bryan Danielson To Join AEW

Cody vs. Penta El Zero Miedo made a big impression on Danielson

Bryan Danielson has revealed Cody Rhodes inspired him to join All Elite Wrestling.

Danielson had been with WWE since the summer of 2010 but he departed the company earlier this year after his contract expired. The American Dragon then made his AEW debut on September 5 at All Out and he went one on one with Kenny Omega last night inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated ahead of the match, Danielson revealed watching Cody Rhodes vs. Penta El Zero Miedo inspired him to join AEW.

"I appreciate the job that I've had, but I'm ready to try something different. There is a part of AEW that scares me and makes me nervous. I haven't felt that way in a long time. I was very comfortable in WWE. Sometimes, you need to do the things that scare you a little bit," Danielson said. 

"And I just knew this was right. I remember watching a random Dynamite, and Cody [Rhodes] was wrestling Penta. Penta was standing on the top rope, and Cody did a springboard up to the side and then a top-rope Hurricanrana. It was amazing, and my jaw just stopped. I know Cody, I rode with Cody, Cody and I are friends. At least I thought I knew him until I saw him do that. I asked myself, 'What on Earth is going on over there?' In my mind, I was thinking, 'I can't do that.' Then I started thinking about it, and I thought, 'Yes, I can.' So the idea of pushing myself past comfort zones I've been accustomed to, that really excites me."

The American Dragon also noted why he decided to sign with AEW while speaking with the New York Post

"Gosh, I made the final decision pretty late in the game. (Laughs) My wife (Brie Bella) was actually the one who kind of pushed me in the sense of, 'Hey you have to make a decision at some point.' I was really enjoying the summer with my kids. I was really putting it off because it was a hard decision for me. I think at the end of the day there were two main things that put AEW over the edge. It is one, what would be best for the wrestling business in the sense of, 'Hey, could I make a big impact in AEW?' If you have two really strong wrestling companies that's good for the fans, it's good for the wrestlers, it's good for everybody. Sometimes I contemplate things in the idea of service versus selfishness. Especially since we've had our daughter, I've tried to focus on service more than selfishness," Danielson stated.

"There's the service aspect. When I went back and forth, where would I be of most use or that sort of thing, I kind of decided that the best place for the entire industry would be for me to be in AEW. But then from the selfishness aspect, there's just so many people I want to wrestle there (Laughs). I've been in WWE for 11 years. I'd wrestled a lot of the people on the roster. You look at all these fresh matches, you look at the ability to do outside stuff. Also, the next three years are probably the last three years of my career that I'll be able to go as hard as I want to be able to go," he continued.

"Vince McMahon was very protective of me in the sense of protective of my health kind of stuff and I get that. I believe I'm more capable than... he protects me in a caring way. I feel like I can go harder than sometimes they would want me to in WWE. AEW will allow me that freedom to go as hard as I want."

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons