Danielson Praises Rhodes' Journey

AEW star lauds peer's impact on wrestling world.

by Atia Mukhtar
Danielson Praises Rhodes' Journey
© WWE/YouTube

Recently, in a deep conversation with Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso, the wrestling sensation Bryan Danielson poured his praise and support for wrestler Cody Rhodes as he gears up for a crucial world title match at WrestleMania 40.

From a veteran who headlined WWE WrestleMania to one who captured fans by his 'journey to WrestleMania 30', Danielson sees his story mirroring the rising momentum of Rhodes. And Danielson genuinely seemed proud of what Rhodes is doing, in his words, "I'm just so proud of Cody.

What he’s doing is special." Their talk even meandered into a taste of sourness from the loss that came as part of the WrestleMania 39 appearance Rhodes made against Roman Reigns in a match he had reached out to the fellow superstar with a message of pride and encouragement but ended up disheartened.

"I texted Cody last year just saying, 'So proud of you; congratulations,'" Danielson recalled. "And then the finish happened, and I was so mad."

Wrestling's Unified Spirit

Danielson went beyond the competitive spirit to get into the feeling of camaraderie that is beyond the promotional borders.

Although people may tend to segregate the fans from the executives, Danielson placed emphasis on the fact that wrestlers feel like a fraternity whose members have one single wish, the wish to see everyone else make it. "This is the beauty of professional wrestling," he said.

"Fans might hate other fans. There might be tribalism among the people that run the companies. But wrestlers? We want the best for one another." Danielson shared stories of support that ran across the aisle—from Rhodes' pride in his hard-fought match against Max (MJF) to WWE friends sending messages praising his accomplishments in AEW.

Accordingly, Danielson argues, the mutual admiration and encouragement between the wrestlers benefit the industry, for it does create a good competitive environment for companies such as WWE and AEW. "I want what’s best for Cody, no different with him," Danielson hammered home the ethos of the intermingled community of professional wrestling.

"We like the fact there are two competing companies. That’s good for wrestlers, and they [wrestlers] want each other to succeed."