Helwani asked Danielson for his thoughts on some of the recent WWE releases. Danielson noted that it's tough for him to talk about because his father-in-law, John Laurinaitis, is the head of talent relations but Danielson said that while he understands some of it, he feels that wrestlers should have the right to give their notice whenever they are not happy.
"In some ways I get it," Danielson said. "In some ways, I feel like it's not right. It's hard because my father-in-law is the head of talent relations. One of the things that I've always had a hard time with, and I've been fired from WWE twice so I kind of get this - it's one thing if somebody does something bad but like for example, if you're under a contract with WWE and you're not happy or you're not happy with the company or whatever it is, if they can fire you and give you 90 days [then] you should be able to give them 90 days to be released from your contract."
"On the flip side, if they are only firing you because of budget cuts where they are more profitable than ever, I just don't think that's right. They signed a lot of people to high end contracts when AEW kind of started to keep people from going to AEW or whatever. But then they realized, 'oh, AEW can't sign all of these people'..."
Danielson said it's not the wrestler's fault for taking higher paying contracts and WWE can still afford to keep them because they are very profitable.
"You offered them a contract to be with you for three years or whatever," Danielson said. "If you overpaid them, that's your bad and you're still a very profitable company. That's kind of my take on it. I wish they wouldn't, you know what I mean? But I also understand it's business in America [and] profits tend to be the most important thing a lot of times. You can even talk to the people within the companies. Like I love Vince McMahon, I do. I've learned so much from him but companies are not people anymore. They've taken on this whole -- legally, they are their own corporation. For whatever reason, even good people make decisions that benefit a company that actually hurt the people that have worked so hard for the company. That's hard on me mentally but that's also the system that has been rewarded financially here in the United States."
Danielson mentioned how Tony Khan has handled things so far with AEW and noted that he has only released people for disciplinary reasons. Khan has stated that he did not want to let anyone go during the pandemic because he worried about wrestlers not being able to go elsewhere because of restrictions due to Covid.
Danielson said, "Tony Khan, I think he's only let go of 3 people since the pandemic started and they were disciplinary reasons. Other people who are no longer with the company, if he didn't want them then okay their contract expired and then okay we've chosen not to re-sign you and then you kind of know. That's how he kind of approaches it. Until I kind of saw that and dealt with that...AEW from a money standpoint makes way less money than WWE and so there were some things like that too that led me to go to AEW as well."
Danielson confirmed that he's on a 3-year deal and he is allowed to work for other promotions like New Japan Pro Wrestling but AEW is his priority. Danielson also confirmed Dave Meltzer's reporting that WWE was going to allow him to work for New Japan.
Danielson said that he is having so much fun in AEW and he joked that he hopes that his body doesn't feel so great at the end of this run so he can make the decision to stop being a full-time wrestler.
Click below for the entire interview:
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit "The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani" with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.