Suffice it to say Kenny Omega thinks bringing Daniel Bryan and CM Punk into All Elite Wrestling would be a strong move by the company.
Stepping outside his heelish onscreen role, Omega spoke to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio and said both rumored AEW signings would bring a loyal fanbase with them. Omega cited Bryan's creation of the "Yes!" Movement in 2014 as one of the greatest moments in wrestling history.
"They're two very different athletes, two very different performers. I respect both. ... Daniel Bryan, I always knew that he was incredibly intelligent. He's ridiculously smart, especially as it relates to professional wrestling. And for him to kind of create a movement, an actual legitimate movement, with the Yes! Movement and all that, for him to come up with that, he created it ... there's absolutely no way you could find written documented evidence saying that, '[WWE] always planned to have [Bryan] have [his] WrestleMania moment, be the champion. I wouldn't believe it. Even if I saw it in front of my face. I don't think that was ever the plan, but he made it the plan because he's just that smart.
"He was able to kind of turn everything around and emerge as a megastar, because he is smart enough in a wrestling sense, in a business sense. Just like in ROH, how he was able to have those fans in the palm of his hand, he was able to have the entire WWE universe in the palm of his hand with one word. The only other person I can think of to do that was [Steve] Austin."
Bryan's contract with WWE expired at the end of April, and he's not been seen on programming since. The wrestling community has been abuzz over the last week amid reports of Bryan and Punk both signing in AEW, moves that could shift the hierarchy of wrestling in the United States.
H Jenkins of Ringside News reported Friday that Punk has agreed a return to wrestling with AEW, while Meltzer has reported receiving indications a deal between AEW and Bryan is "done" (h/t Wrestling Inc.).
Punk left WWE in 2014, and his only reported in-ring appearance since came under a mask in 2019 on an independent show. Omega noted that the continued loyalty of Punk's fans is nearly unheard of in the modern era.
"CM Punk ... he probably has a different line of thinking than your current-day performer, the average performer," Omega said. "He has this incredible reputation—he has fans to this day who would follow him to the end of the earth. Very dedicated fanbase, and that fanbase believes he's the best in the world and will be the best until the end of time.
"If you're able to have people like that follow your career so passionately, you probably have something very special about you."
AEW has not confirmed either signing.
Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).