In the ring, he’s one mean wrestler.He has won the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) World Heavyweight Championship thrice, but Daniel Bryan showed his softer side when he came to town yesterday.
Here to promote WWE content on StarHub TV, the 34-year-old led a terrarium-making workshop with children from the Central Singapore Community Development Council’s (CDC) Nurture 2.0 programme.
Here are five facts about the wrestler you may not know.
HE CARES FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Bryan, whose real name is Bryan Lloyd Danielson, loves hiking. It was something that came naturally to him having grown up in an area where there are lots of trees and nature.
“I’ve always loved it, but when you read about the destruction of what we’re doing to our planet and how we’re really depleting our resources, it became a real passion of mine to make a change,” he said.
He has a garden of about 1,000 sq m where he planted 30 fruit trees in January.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Bryan is married to Brianna Monique Danielson, or Brie Bella as she is widely known, of the WWE Divas duo The Bella Twins.
The couple, who got married last year, may seem like an unlikely pair. “She’s beautiful and I look like this,” said Bryan jokingly.
But he said that the best thing about being with someone from the same industry is the understanding they share.
“There are certain frustrations that come with our job that can be hard to explain to people. So being there for somebody and to truly know and understand the frustrations is one of the things that have really brought us closer.”
HE DOESN’T CARE MUCH FOR REALITY TV
This despite The Bella Twins being cast members of Total Divas, an American reality television series that premiered in 2013.
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The series gives an inside look into the lives of WWE Divas, from their work to their personal lives.
Bryan said: “I don’t actually watch Total Divas. She doesn’t let me. Well, it’s not exactly that she doesn’t let me but I don’t watch TV.”
Although he is used to being filmed when he’s wrestling, Bryan feels the Total Divas camera crew can get in his personal space when he needs some down time.
But he admitted that there are perks.
He said: “When I proposed to Brie, they secretly flew in both our families so we could have this big engagement dinner in the woods,” he said. I would not have been able to pull that off by myself.”
HE’S GOOD WITH KIDS
Bryan greeted the children at the terrarium-making workshop with his signature “YES!” chant.
The children were part of Nurture 2.0, a volunteer-driven programme for children aged 7 to 12. The programme gives them opportunities for character and personal development, provides a positive learning environment and exposes them to different aspects of learning.
As he showed them how to create a terrarium, Bryan made his rounds to ensure that every child was keeping up with his instructions and were on track.
He sat with them as he observed their terrariums and even handed out little charms and toys for them to add into their jars.
He also stopped to smile for some wefies.
Nur Amirah Insyirah, 10, was thrilled when Bryan chose her terrarium as one of the top three most creative ones. As a reward, she got a backpack and a toy figurine of Bryan.
“Daniel Bryan is my favourite wrestler. When I found out I was going to meet him, I was excited,” she said
“I think he’s nice, funny and creative.”
HE WANTS TO RETURN TO THE RING
Bryan has suffered from a string of injuries and has not competed since April. His future with the company remains in doubt.
Last year, he was out for roughly eight months after undergoing neck surgery.
This year, he was pulled from the remainder of WWE’s European tour on April 15.
He said his injury was concussion-related and even though he has been cleared by a personal doctor, he is still waiting for the WWE doctor to clear him.
Bryan said: “I think it could be the end of my career in WWE, but I don’t think it will be the end of my career.
“I could find another passion, but it would just be sad because this is what I have been most passionate about since I was five.”
Despite his injuries, Bryan has not been idle – he has been training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
And he uses his skills in real life.
In July last year, Bryan and his wife were walking back to their property in Phoenix, Arizona, when they saw two men leaving the house, holding a bag of loot.
Bryan gave chase and held one of the robbers in a rear naked chokehold – often used in martial arts – until the police arrived.
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