Daniel Bryan recently shaved his trademark beard and long hair, to further progress his feud with WWE Universal Champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. Bryan sat down with MySanAntonio.com to discuss the change, admitting that shaving his beard was his idea.
“Actually, it was my idea. And my idea was not the hair, it was just the beard. I had kind of pitched this to them as this idea of, ‘OK, how do we extend this story with Bray Wyatt,’ which is what they wanted to do, because he’s already defeated me cleanly, right? How do we do that? One of the things to me was that he’s changed people’s character so much when he’s faced them. And by him ripping out or cutting my beard, it would be this idea that he’s stripping me of part of my identity.”
Although it was Bryan’s idea to shave his beard, he admits that he had no plan to shave his head as well.
“That was my kind of pitch to them. What actually happened? They said, ‘Well, yeah, then he can cut your hair, too!’ And I was like, ‘No, I don’t really want that. I don’t want my hair to be cut.’ I kind of wanted my hair to be longer. Just wrestling wise, I like that.”
“But then, the day of, we’re like, ‘OK, well, he will rip out some of your hair.’ You’d have to understand the mechanisms that are going on while this is happening. We’re in a live TV show, right? So, they pulled me under the ring, they’ve got two barbers there who are in charge of like, getting my beard off and getting hair off so there can be this appearance of him ripping out my hair and all that kind of stuff. And we have a minute and a half of TV time left on the live show. And there’s also a producer down there, who’s saying, ‘We need more hair, we need more hair, we need more hair!’ And it’s completely dark under there. We were all so crammed in this little area because there’s also like real stuff under the ring that needs to be under the ring. It’s just all in this crammed little area and these guys are cutting my hair and cutting my beard really quick and they’re supposed to just to cut X amount of hair off, which wasn’t as much as they ended up doing. But the one guy on one side did a great job. They actually both did a great job considering the circumstances. But one guy just went a little too tight and a little too high. And then, after the show, they did their best … they tried after the show for like 45 minutes to make it like not just a shaved head. But that was the best we could do under the circumstances.”
Bryan went on to admit that one person who wasn’t a big fan of Bryan’s new look was his wife Brie Bella.
“And it’s really funny, because as different as it is for my character, I knew I was in trouble, because my wife hates shaved heads. She’s never liked them, and I texted her immediately after. I said, ‘You’re not going like this.’ And her response was ‘What did you do?’ And I know I’m in trouble because she knows that this idea of the beard thing was my idea. So, my idea has led me to this. And I tried to take a couple pictures before I FaceTimed her, but none of them were good. And I was just like, ‘OK, I better just FaceTime her.’ And then, you know those conversations that you have with your significant other where it’s like, they’re really quiet and you can just see the anger. This was one of those kinds of things. But luckily that happened the day after Thanksgiving, and then I flew home that Saturday, and we had a bunch of family and stuff there, so she couldn’t be too outwardly mad. Then after a day or two it blows over. She just gets used to it, and that’s sort of how it all went down.”
Finally, Bryan talked about the difficulties of facing “The Fiend” under the red lighting that is always shining on the ring during his matches.
“Initially, I was like, ‘It’s no difference for me,’ but what I was thinking? I find that it’s hard sometimes for the fans watching. The fans live in attendance, and probably for people at home, too, as far as watching. Although on TV, I think they’ve done a much better job of finding a balance of where that light comes from. It’s really difficult in live events, because every building is different. And we don’t have the same kind of TV production crew that we have.”
“I did a live event in Springfield, Missouri, and we’re under the red light, and it’s a little bit weirder than usual. I do my backflip in the corner where the guy whips me in and I run up the turnbuckle and backflip, although for whatever reason, I couldn’t see it right. I just didn’t make it right. It affects those kinds of things. But mostly what I think it affects is fans’ reactions to things, because there’s some things that they can’t see quite as well. That’s the biggest adjustment.”
Check out Bryan’s full interview with MySanAntonio here.
Daniel Bryan is set to face “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt for the Universal Championship in a strap match, this Sunday at the Royal Rumble at 7PMET.
Matt’s Musings: Daniel Bryan has been one of the most consistent and entertaining wrestlers of the last decade, with or without long hair. Now let’s hope that WWE turns off that stupid red light, so we can actually see him perform on Sunday.