It's no secret that the most exciting professional wrestling going on in the world right now can be found, for the most part, in AEW. The Tony Khan promotion is clearly a labor of love, and many of the shows and their rising stars are consistently putting on excellent shows.
They must be doing something right, because they're managing to pull in top talent from all over the world. In fact, a ton of major WWE stars are transitioning over to AEW, including Daniel Bryan. But why did he leave Vince's promotion in the first place?
Why did Daniel Bryan leave WWE?
Daniel Bryan is easily one of the most successful and popular professional wrestlers to emerge from the sport in recent years. In fact, his "Yes! Yes! Yes!" chant is used in sports stadiums that have nothing to do with wrestling worldwide (try going to an Islanders game, for example).
In the WWE, not many people are higher up the totem pole than Bryan, and with a $12 million reported net worth, he doesn't really have to worry about rolling out of bed to go and collect another paycheck.
And that's part of the reason why he ultimately stopped wrestling for the WWE: because he wanted to spend more time with his daughter and wrassle on a part-time basis.
While plenty of Superstars have no issue with wrestling part-time or just making a few appearances here and there with the WWE, Daniel would have his pay reduced as a result. Again, this was most likely anticipated by the pro-wrestler, who indicated on several occasions that he was looking forward to putting in more dad time.
However, he still had some professional wrestling aspirations that couldn't be met by the WWE, namely he wouldn't be able to work with New Japan Pro Wrestling (the WWE's extremely exclusive about their talent).
Plus, it's no secret that the WWE's not really crafting the most salacious or interesting storylines for its talent to participate in.
So for Daniel Bryan, the ability to wrestle with exciting new stars in a new promotion that seems to be making all the right moves creatively, plus a part-time schedule that will allow him time to dedicate to being a dad and husband, and the option to work with NJPW when he wants, it seems like a total win for the Aberdeen, Wash. native.
Daniel Bryan said that one of the biggest reasons he left the WWE was because of AEW's talent.
Bryan has also stated that his favorite part of the wrasslin' business has less to do with being on the stick and more with actually wrestling. While that was another deciding factor in his decision, Sean Ross Sapp reported that Bryan believes AEW's rare combination of exuberant fans plus awesome stable of in-ring entertainers is second to none.
Basically, Daniel Bryan has options at this stage in his career and wants to spend the actual time he dedicates to wrestling engaging in what AEW's bringing to the table. And if you compare the AEW to the WWE as they stand right now, it's kind of hard to blame him. That is, if you're listening to folks who know the business.