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Backstage news on why Bryan Danielson left WWE for AEW and WWE’s attempt to make a deal with NJPW

Dave Meltzer had more details on Bryan Danielson’s decision to leave WWE and sign with AEW. Several months back, Meltzer talked about WWE reaching out to New Japan to try to make a deal for Danielson to work some dates for them, as a way to appease him. Meltzer provided additional details on what was offered to Danielson.

Meltzer said, “Both offers (from WWE and AEW) were money wise similar and both would have allowed him to do New Japan. WWE was going to allow him to do New Japan and he was trying to open the door for other people in WWE that wanted to go to New Japan to be able to do that but that seems to be a dead issue right now from a WWE standpoint. I haven’t heard anything about WWE guys going to New Japan.”

Meltzer continued, “One of the things that he was talking about making his decision about was what would be the best thing for the industry as a whole as opposed what would be the best thing for him…perhaps, probably in looking at the picture, he may have felt like Mick Foley did many many years ago when he went to TNA, that the best thing for the industry is competition at a high level and Mick Foley went to TNA years ago for that reason..”

“At the end of the day, I am sure that he probably got along really good with Tony Khan but he is a big Vince McMahon fan, more than people really understand. He’s a big fan of Vince McMahon as a person, so it was not an easy decision. His wife and his sister-in-law are probably gonna be back in WWE. They have said that. They are not going to AEW as far as I know. ..It was [John Laurinaitis’s] job to make sure that Bryan signed and did not go so that’s a tricky thing there but at the end of the day, he made the decision to go.”

Meltzer also said that Danielson wants to be home a lot and WWE would have given him a limited schedule to keep him. Meltzer also said that WWE wanted exclusivity if they would have made a deal with NJPW, which meant that AEW would have been iced out from doing business with them.

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Wrestling Observer Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. A WrestlingObserver.com subscription includes the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and daily audio shows in addition to thousands of hours of archived audio shows.






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