As he approaches the age of 40, Daniel Bryan looks to scale back his in-ring contributions. For some time now, the multi-time World champion has been somewhat influential behind the scenes in WWE, and has been a regular at production meetings.
Bryan has received a fair amount of credit for the elevation of underrated or underutilized talents, but he believes that credit is slightly misplaced.
Speaking with talkSPORT, Bryan downplayed the amount of influence he wields behind the WWE curtain.
“It’s interesting because, one, I don’t have that big of a say [laughs]. Sometimes something really great will happen on SmackDown and somebody will say ‘oh, that’s Daniel Bryan!’ Like, that’s not me!
"One part is our performers -- we have incredible superstars. Cesaro is a no-brainer. When you say ‘Daniel Bryan helped Cesaro’ -- no. All I did was ‘hey this guy is really good. We should put him on TV and use him!’ [laughs]. Apollo Crews, I don’t have anything to do with Apollo Crews stuff. He’s just great. But it is rewarding to see people that you know are talented get opportunities and knock it out of the park. There’s a certain joy to that."
Bryan noted that there is a sense of fulfillment in helping others whenever he can, and that he gets that from a mentor of his own.
"William Regal has been my mentor in wrestling for years and one of the things he has told me is that being a mentor to a handful of people has been more rewarding than the actual wrestling," Bryan adds. "He said don’t get me wrong, he loved the wrestling part and wishes he could still do it, but being a mentor is very fulfilling. So yeah, there is something to that, the idea of helping people and from a human perspective we all want that.
"For a long time, when you’re young you’re like ‘I want to achieve this, I want to achieve this!’ but as you get older it’s ‘I want to help here, I want to help here’ and it’s just a different perspective.”