Report: WWE Is Disappointed By Daniel Bryan’s Potential Move To AEW, ‘Not Very Concerned’ About CM Punk’s
Photo Credit: Getty Images
It now seems more likely than ever that both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) are on their way to All Elite Wrestling. If you don’t think that WWE has taken notice of these signings, think again.
On the latest episode of The Mat Men Podcast, Andrew Zarian broke down the feelings within WWE of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk signing with All Elite Wrestling. He stated that the company is disappointed about Bryan’s departure, but WWE isn’t as upset about Punk’s potential move to AEW.
“I spoke to some people in WWE,” Zarian began. “There’s a lot of rumors that Vince is very upset, management’s very angry. How could they let these two go? Why would they let them go? I think Daniel Bryan is the disappointment for them, they really didn’t want him to go. CM Punk, not so much. I’m going to tell you this, and I’m going to be honest about it. There’s no buzz that I’m hearing coming from like the office side that we effed up. We effed up by not signing him.
“I don’t agree with this, by the way; what I’m going to say, there’s a lot of people that think his stock is not what it normally should be. They think his UFC losses hurt him, which I don’t think it’s gonna hurt him. And a lot of people worked with him when he was very unhappy. I think that’s the memory that they have. I’m saying for management; I’m not talking about the talent. The talent knows what a big deal this is.”
Andrew Zarian later revealed that a network associated with WWE isn’t happy about CM Punk signing with AEW. Due to their past relationship with Punk, there’s a good chance that Zarian is referring to FOX:
“A certain network is not very happy,” Zarian revealed. “The CM Punk stuff, not very happy. So, I have to tell you — WWE, they’re not very concerned about CM Punk. They know it’s a big get for AEW, everybody’s very realistic, but they were not negotiating to bring him in at this moment. So it’s not a hit, but I would say that Daniel Bryan’s a big hit for them.”
Zarian then described how losing Bryan is viewed as a “big hit”, particularly from a marketing and merchandising standpoint. He also emphasized that “almost everybody” believes that Bryan’s move to AEW is happening. (His signing was previously reported by Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam.net, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet.)
“Who likes Daniel Bryan? Everybody, merchandise sales, kids love them adults love them. He’s family-friendly. He’s part of that reality show; the Bellas are very intertwined in the media, the PR of WWE, their ambassadors. Daniel Bryan is a great ambassador for the company. That’s where the hit is. Phenomenal comeback story, great opportunity. So him going him leaving, and again I don’t have confirmation, I can tell you that almost everybody believes that this is happening.”
Zarian later tweeted that one of his sources at one of the networks told him that WWE isn’t as concerned about the Punk and Bryan moves as the unnamed broadcast partner is.
Spoke to someone from one of the networks right after today’s @Matmenpodcast
Here is what this person said:
“WWE is not as concerned about the possible Daniel Bryan and CM Punk signing to AEW as we are…”
— Andrew Zarian (@AndrewZarian) July 29, 2021
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit The Mat Men Podcast with a link back to this article for the transcription.