As noted, Daniel Bryan was in Abu Dhabi, UAE this past weekend for the Special Olympics IX MENA Games. Al Arabiya English interviewed Bryan during the trip, which was conducted before he was cleared by WWE to return to in-ring action this past Monday. You can watch the interview in the video above, below are a few highlights:
"I have weird thoughts about my fame. It changes. It evolves over time. I did an interview, I forget where it was, and the interviewer looked at me and said, 'I feel like you feel guilty about your success.' No one had ever pointed that out to me before, and I think that's very true. I have a lot of very smart friends and people around me who try to encourage me and say, 'hey, you can use that to improve the world.'
"I love wrestling. It's really weird. It's a weird fascination with this thing we call wrestling. I love it. But there have been times where I'm just like, what have I been doing with my life? There's so many problems! I need to be going out and changing the world! But if I wanted to tackle climate change, for example, I know a little bit about climate change, but the people that are working on it, I would have to get in another 20 years of hard study just to get where these people actually are. One of the better things I can do is bring attention to these issues.
"One of my friends specifically is very into saying, hey, you can change things, but if you're talking about division of labor and what you can do that would benefit the world the most, it might not be actually doing it, going out there and doing climate science, it may be going out there and bringing attention to it. The fame allows you to do more than you could if you don't have it, but sometimes it's really hard for me, because I don't like all the attention, and y wife has two reality shows and a YouTube channel, and WWE follows me around."
If his WWE contract expires on September 23rd of this year:
"No, no. I had somebody say that to me on my Twitter. They said, does your contract expire on September 23rd? And I was like, how do people even know that. But no, my contract actually runs out September 1st, which is actually the day of the All In show, but it's funny because that doesn't compute. I was in the Bahrain Comic Con the last two days, and we did Q&As, and at each one, somebody asked me about that. They said, 'are you going to be at All In'? I'm not. I don't know what to tell you. But yeah, my contract is up September 1st."
How he's enjoyed his role as SmackDown General Manager:
"I go up and down with it. [Laughs] Part of me sometimes is like, what am I doing here. I would just rather be… What's really hard for me is my passion for wrestling. A lot of fans love the Rock, right? When they grew up, they loved watching the Rock… So they were like 'smell what the Rock is cookin'!' and all that kind of stuff. I was always like, ugh, get me past all these long interview segments I want to see the wrestling. I liked Dean Malenko right? They were complete opposite ends of the spectrum. I got better at talking because it was a requirement for the job. That's not my passion - my passion is for the in ring stuff. Doing the GM stuff - it's good in the sense that it's helped me learn how to become a better talker, but it's not necessarily something that I'm passionate about.
"...There are parts about being a wrestler that are really hard. The constant grind of the travel, and all that kind of stuff. As a wrestler, I was very good at putting up with the parts that are very hard because I love the wrestling so much. Putting up with the parts that are really hard, when you're doing the part that you don't like [laughs] isn't as easy. That's kind of my thoughts on being GM."
Bryan also discussed WWE holding the "Greatest Royal Rumble" event in Saudi Arabia, representing WWE with the Special Olympics, being a good role model and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.