Daniel Bryan's clearance to return to wrestling this week has set the world on fire, and rightfully so.
Arguably the most organically popular wrestling superstar since the heyday of Steve Austin, it's been tough to watch Bryan be unable to do the thing he loved to do the most: wrestle. Watching Bryan as part of SmackDown on an almost weekly basis step through the ropes and only being able to talk on the microphone was an awkward situation and for nobody more-so than Bryan.
Bryan talked about serving as SmackDown's General Manager over the last year and a half during a recent interview (which took place before his medical clearance became public).
"Part of me sometimes is like, what am I doing here. I would just rather be... What's really hard for me is my passion for wrestling. A lot of fans love the Rock, right? When they grew up, they loved watching the Rock... so they were like 'smell what the Rock is cookin'!' and all that kind of stuff. I was always like, ugh, get me past all these long interview segments I want to see the wrestling. I liked Dean Malenko right? They were complete opposite ends of the spectrum," Bryan said.
He continued, "I got better at talking because it was a requirement for the job. That's not my passion - my passion is for the in ring stuff. Doing the GM stuff - it's good in the sense that it's helped me learn how to become a better talker, but it's not necessarily something that I'm passionate about."
"What's the lady's name who wrote Eat Pray Love? She wrote another book and I forget what it's called but I read that. I really liked it. What she said is, every job has a bad part. Being a writer - a lot of people want to be writers, because they think about the writing part. But it's not just the writing part. It's writing, and submitting it to somebody, and having somebody tear apart your writing that you spent two years writing this book and they're telling you that it's not good, and then doing it all over again, and submitting it again - the people that are successful at writing put up with the parts that are really hard. There are parts about being a wrestler that are really hard. The constant grind of the travel, and all that kind of stuff. As a wrestler, I was very good at putting up with the parts that are very hard because I love the wrestling so much. Putting up with the parts that are really hard, when you're doing the part that you don't like isn't as easy. That's kind of my thoughts on being GM."
It's unknown at this point what will become of the SmackDown GM role following Bryan's return to the ring, which is likely to happen in a tag team match alongside Shane McMahon at WrestleMania to take on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
We've got to assume that Bryan will relinquish the GM job once he's back in the ring full time, as we assume he is going to be. Plus, there's that match with The Miz that WWE has to give us at some point, which would require either Bryan to be traded to RAW or for the Intercontinental Champion to drop the belt and head to SmackDown.
There's a roster shake-up scheduled to take place following WrestleMania, so anything is possible. Either way, it's still exciting to see Bryan cleared to return to his number one passion while being able to ditch the GM role that he was not passion about.