On the segment on RAW revealing he would face John Cena at Summerslam:
"It was incredible and humbling. I have been wresting for a long time and most of the time it was in front of very small crowds who couldn’t care less about who was coming out there. I have wrestled in front of 13 people! And just hearing the reaction of the people in Brooklyn who were shouting “Yes! Yes!” – it was very surreal. Like 'is this really my life?'"
On comments by Mick Foley that he feels the time is now for Daniel Bryan:
"Well, I hope he is right and that my time is now. I feel like it is. It’s also very humbling. You know it’s crazy because I feel like my story is very much like Mick Foley’s story in the sense that I grew up a really hardcore wrestling fan and it took Mick a really long time to get to the WWE and to get opportunities to become respected. But it was the people who brought Mick to the main event, it was the people who were so entertained by how good he was – I feel the it’s the same for me. I’ve been wrestling 14 years so when you get a compliment from Mick like that it’s pretty awesome."
On his wrestling idols:
"I loved Dean Malenko and Eddie Guererro. Bret Hart was always one of my favorites. I’m also a big Seahawks fan and the guy who I really loved was a wide receiver named Steve Largent, who ended up being a politician in Oklahoma. He was always so respectable and was never about himself, he was about the team. A lot of people like the brash players but I like people who focus on the team and downplay what they do."
On his relationship with CM Punk:
"It’s interesting because CM Punk and I have a lot in common personally, yet we are very different. He is very brash and kind of says whatever he feels. I’m more laid back and not the most outgoing person. But we have a certain respect for each other. I have been on shows that Punk drove 14 or 15 hours for from Chicago to get paid 100 bucks. We’ve done those shows in front of 30 people together. It’s a long road for guys like us to get here. I’m always astounded. There was that December PPV when I had cashed in my Money in the Bank contract to beat Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship and Punk had retained his WWE title that same night. We used to work on the indies together and then there we were, both champions. No one really thought we could do it. It’s very cool and surreal."
On what made him decide to grow his beard out?:
"Yea its bizarre because I will go signings and people will ask me when I’m going to shave my beard because they hate it. But it’s funny because I’ve become more popular since I’ve had the beard. My friend Christopher Daniels told me years ago that I am a slave to my whims. It was last year I just said I wasn’t going to shave for a bit and it just kept growing. Now I’m at a point where I don’t think I can shave it. It’s just part of the fun now."
On how the “Yes!” and “No!” chants came about?:
"It was originally a take-off of UFC fighter Diego Sanchez because he was all about positivity and would just chant “Yes! Yes!” I always loved that and it was just something I started doing when I won the World Heavyweight Championship. I was very excited and I just started doing it. Then it just started to catch on. I remember the first time I noticed, we had done a RAW in Seattle and people were chanting “Yes!” and I thought it was because I was from Washington State but then it erupted at WrestleMania 28. It just happened organically."
On what males WWE SummerSlam so special?:
"SummerSlam just has a completely different vibe to it. The LA crowd has a lot of fun and it’s a good time. It’s the biggest show of the summer and the second biggest show WWE does. Six months from WrestleMania, there is SummerSlam – it’s something you are building towards. Also just the history of it. There’s a litany of great matches."
On the UFC and sports in general:
"I haphazardly follow football and even then only the Seahawks. But I don’t pay attention to what’s going on in the off-season or anything like that and I don’t know about anything else going on in the league. Like it will be playoff time and someone like the Atlanta Falcons will get the bye for the first round of the playoffs and I’ll be like “The Atlanta Falcons are good?! I remember three years ago they were horrible!” But I also really love UFC. I like to train in kickboxing and grappling and that sort of thing and I really like one-on-one competitions. Though, I never really got into boxing. However, I do enjoy watching Manny Pacquiao fights just because he is such an exciting fighter."
On what he does on the road:
"There isn’t a lot of time to pass! We fly in, get to town, try to find the gym and then go to the building. From the building, we may have anywhere from a 150-300 mile drive ahead of us to the next town, sleep as much as you can, wake up, get some food, go to the gym, get some more food and then go to the next building. As far as time to just pass, there isn’t a whole lot of it. Besides that, I’m not very exciting. I like to read and I like to stretch. Brie will be like “what have you been doing for the last hour or two? I’ve been texting you!” And I’ll be like “Oh I’ve just been in a dark room stretching.“
On winning a Slammy Award in the future:
"I’d like it to be for “Most Exciting” or something around those lines. Superstar of the Year?... (Continues on next page)