Triple H, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Seth Rollins on WWE’s signing of Kenta

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July 17, 2014

Daniel Bryan on Kenta

WWE.COM: What message does the signing of Kenta send to both the roster and the WWE Universe?

DANIEL BRYAN: It’s excellent. They’re signing an international guy who has the reputation for being the best. Kenta is one of the best guys I’ve ever been in the ring with. Some of the best matches I’ve ever had have been against Kenta. He’s going to make everybody step up their game.

WWE.COM: What is it about his style that separates him from other guys?

BRYAN: He has the ability to be a highflier and do all of that kind of stuff, but he was vicious as opposed to flashy. If you look at a lot of popular WWE moves, Kenta originated them. The Go To Sleep is a Kenta original. The running knee that I do is a Kenta original that I learned from being hit with it from Kenta [laughs]. He’s somebody who hits very hard and very fast. He’s just one of the most exciting wrestlers in the world.

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WWE.COM: That sounds like a perfect description of Daniel Bryan. Did you see a lot of yourself in Kenta?

BRYAN: I did not see a lot of myself in him, other than just the hard work. At the time, I was wrestling a completely different style. It’s actually funny, because for me to appeal to WWE, I thought I needed to wrestle more like Kenta [laughs]. I saw Kenta and thought, “This guy can get [a reaction] anywhere in the world because of how he wrestles.” Everywhere you go, you can learn from people, and that’s one of the things I’ve done throughout my career. You learn from the guys you wrestle and the guys you watch. Watching Kenta I thought, “Wow, I need to be a little more like this.”

WWE.COM: What’s it like being in the ring with a guy who hits that hard?

BRYAN: One of my favorite matches of my career was against Kenta in 2006. I was the Ring of Honor Champion and I had just recently separated my shoulder. I wrestled him in the Manhattan Center in New York City for 25 or 30 minutes in one of the toughest and best matches of my career. I can’t hear very well out of my left ear and that’s because of Kenta [laughs]. I can’t swim or go underneath a certain depth of water because he ruptured my eardrum in 2007 and I’ve never gotten it fixed. He can definitely swing for the fences.

WWE.COM: That was from one of those hard kick to the head?

BRYAN: No! It was actually from a slap! We were slapping each other in the face in Chicago.

WWE.COM: Who would you like to see Kenta wrestle in WWE?

BRYAN: I would love to see Kenta against Seth Rollins. Especially if it was a high level match, like on a pay-per-view or something like that — two guys at the top of their game. I’d like to see him against  Cesaro. That would be incredible. I would pay money to see Kenta vs. Big Show. Some matches I’ve seen Kenta have against huge wrestlers have been awesome, because he is just fearless.

WWE.COM: What do you think the future holds for Kenta in WWE?

BRYAN: Kenta has wrestled in the United States, Europe and Mexico. He knows how to switch his styles up with what WWE is doing, so the sky is the limit for him. He has worked hard at speaking English. I don’t necessarily think he should be doing long interviews, but if you told him to, he would be able to do it within a year or two because he’s so smart. And the big thing is, he’s cool. It’s like when you meet The Rock, he’s cool. Kenta’s just cool, and somehow it translates in the United States. When people see him and meet him, they’re just like, “Man, this guy’s cool.”

NEXT: Cesaro on wrestling Kenta in Japan …

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