Daniel Bryan: 7 Curious Facts About WWE's Goatface
Daniel Bryan has been a curious figure in the WWE since he walked down their ramp for the first time in the early 2000s.
Bryan has been one of the most interesting characters on TV in the last few years and, along with CM Punk, is making a name for independent wrestlers at professional wrestling's highest level.
When Bryan isn't sculpting his magnificent beard and yelling "YES" or "NO" at the WWE Universe, he's living a pretty curious life.
Here are seven curious facts about WWE's Daniel Bryan.
1. He Was Trained by HBK and William Regal
HBK's Wrestling School, the Texas Wrestling Academy, has produced wrestlers like Daniel Bryan, Brian Kendrick and Paul London.
John Sciulli/Getty Images
In an interview with SLAM! Wrestling, Bryan discusses his emergence into professional wrestling. The master ring technician initially intended on going to Dean Malenko's wrestling school, but it closed down.
Bryan's wrestling skill may resemble Malenko's, but the American Dragon trained at the Texas Wrestling Alliance.
Bryan was a member of one of the Texas Wrestling Alliance's first classes. The class included Brian Kendrick, a man with whom he would have a lot of matches with in the future.
It's surprising that a guy who trained at HBK's wrestling school with Michaels and Rudy Boy Gonzalez is one who is often considered as "boring" by most critics.
2. He Tangled with Cena Before They Were Cool
Cena and Bryan (Bryan Danielson at the time) mixed it up on WWE Velocity before either of them hit it big.
John Cena and Daniel Bryan have had a few run-ins in the last few years, but they haven't been part of a major program together.
They have both spent time at the top of the title race throughout the last few years and fans have been hoping for a Cena vs. Bryan encounter somewhere down the road.
Silly fans, it's already happened. Bryan (wrestling as Bryan Danielson, his real name) took on John Cena (who donned some...interesting pants) on WWE's Velocity.
Cena and Bryan were both bright, young Superstars, fresh out of developmental, and they put on a decent match, which can be seen above.
3. He Was a Founding Father of Ring of Honor
Daniel Bryan was in the main event on the first Ring of Honor card. Photo Courtesy of Ugo.com
Bryan, along with WWE Superstars CM Punk, Antonio Cesaro, Dean Ambrose and others, are starting to give hope to independent wrestlers around the world. Bryan and the others have moved up from independent promotions like Combat Zone Wrestling, Ring of Honor and even Chikara to the biggest organization in professional wrestling, the WWE.
The American Dragon entered Ring of Honor near its beginning and even participated in the main event of ROH's debut.
Danielson went on to make a name for himself in Ring of Honor, including an epic 80-minute 2-out-of-3-Falls match against current TNA star Austin Aries.
The resident high-flyer for Team Hell No was even ROH's last Pure Champion.
4. He Was Actually a Vegan
Can Bryan's early success be attributed to vegan super powers a la Scott Pilgrim? Possibly. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
The WWE has had some crazy gimmicks. The higer-ups of the WWE have asked wrestlers to become a deranged accountant and a ballroom dancing fighter, and everything in between.
As Bryan broke onto the WWE scene, Michael Cole started mentioning that Bryan was a vegan, which is a person who eliminates all foods with animal products from their diet.
On a number of occasions, things that the announcers say are usually made-up parts of the Superstar or Diva's character. In this case, it wasn't.
Daniel Bryan is a vegan...well, was a vegan. Bryan explained his condition to PETA in an interview.
Last year, I was having so many health problems and I had a really weak immune system. This has been since I was a kid. I mean when I was in school, sometimes I would miss a full month of school, just being sick and that sort of thing. With WWE, just being on the road all the time, your immune system just gets worn down. In 2009, I ended up getting three different staph infections and two different other skin infections. I went to the doctor…He gave me a couple options of what we could do but one of things he said that helps out his patients a lot is trying to go vegan. I said I’m open for anything at this point…So, anyway I started going vegan then, and this whole year my energy levels have been great, I haven’t gotten any skin infections. Right now I’m 198 lbs which is the heaviest I’ve weighed since 2003…I’m stronger right now than I’ve ever been…I’m dead-lifting more than I ever have before.
Unfortunately for Bryan and vegans everywhere, due to the difficulty of finding vegan food on the road with WWE and a soy allergy, Bryan is no longer a vegan.
5. He Was Once PETA's 'Most Animal-Friendly Athlete'
Bryan as a spokesman for PETA during his time as a vegan. Photo Courtesy of ecorazzi.com
As you may gather from the last slide, Bryan is very into eating healthy. Bryan lived the vegan lifestyle for a number of years and became so well known in the vegan community that he received PETA's "Most Animal-Friendly Athlete" award.
According to the WWE.com story, Bryan beat out NFL's Willis McGahee, MLB's Chase Utley and MMA competitor Jake Shields for the award.
While he may be friendly to animals, he doesn't think twice before making an opponent tap out to "Cattle Mutilation," one of his signature submission maneuvers.
So, before you go chanting "Goatface" at the next WWE event, keep in mind that he's a friendly goatface.
6. He Had a 'Hit Single' About Captain Lou Albano
Daniel Bryan sang with Kimya Dawson after Captain Lou passed away in 2009.
According to an interview with GQ, Bryan has always been a big fan of indie rock music. Bryan was asked to join Kimya Dawson (of Juno soundtrack fame) in making a track in tribute to Captain Lou Albano.
According to Bryan in the interview, Dawson is a big fan of professional wrestling and knew Bryan so she asked him to do some backing vocals.
...Don't quit your day job, Goatface.
7. He Actually Is a Ladie's Man
Daniel Bryan is dating former WWE Diva Brie Bella. Photo Courtesy of Bella-Twins.net
A big part of Bryan's time in the WWE has had Michael Cole calling him a "nerd" or a "loser." Turns out Cole couldn't have been more wrong.
For all the jokes about Bryan not having a girlfriend and everything on TV, he's done pretty well for himself.
Bryan was escorted to the ring by the likes of the Bella Twins, Gail Kim and AJ Lee. While all of those relationships were for TV, one of them lasted past its TV time.
According to TMZ (and the Bellas' Twitter Feed), Bryan has been dating Brie Bella for a while.
Not too bad for a "geek," eh Cole?
Daniel Bryan has quite an interesting past...once you get beyond the beard.
There you have it, seven curious facts about the WWE's goatface, Daniel Bryan.
Bryan has gone from HBK's Texas Wrestling Alliance, to becoming one of the founding fathers of big-time independent wrestling, to main-eventing WrestleMania (for 18 seconds).
The former vegan will be teaming up with his fellow Tag Team Champion Kane and Ryback as they take on WWE newcomers The Shield at WWE's TLC pay-per-view on Sunday.
Enjoy curious facts about your favorite WWE Superstars? Check out the rest of the WWE Curious Facts Series: