IGN: Those of us who anticipated you becoming a World Champion in the WWE expected you to be having matches with guys like CM Punk. Guys similar to your stature. Did you ever think that your very first championship feuds would be against guys like Big Show and Mark Henry?
Bryan: No, I never thought that if I was going to be the champion in the WWE that those would be my first opponents. My first feuds. Especially because I also felt like I didn’t match up very well with those guys. But then it seems to me that both of those feuds went very well. And I was thrilled to wrestle those guys because it forces me to go outside my usual box. You know, I could go out there and wrestle CM Punk and have a fantastic match, but that’s along my normal line of thinking. Wrestling someone like Big Show requires a totally different style. And for me that was fun.
IGN: Are you yourself surprised, given your indie history and legacy, that you’re now a part of a major high-profile relationship storyline with AJ?
Bryan: [laughs] Definitely. And you know what’s funny is that I feel like – not since I started with WWE, but since I got fired and then brought back – they had this storyline with me and the Bellas. Then it was me and Gail Kim. And now it’s me and AJ. It seems like I’m always in these stories with these Divas. And I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe they just see me as someone who’d be funny to pair up with them. Like “Yeah, it would be funny to put him with the Divas.” But I really have no idea.
IGN: This Sunday, in your match with CM Punk, and given your history with him, will the WWE audience get to see some moves they might not have seen before?
Bryan: Oh yeah. I would expect that there will be moves that the WWE audience hasn’t seen before. And I hope that there is. I want it to be more than standard-fare. I think it’s going to be something that people aren’t used to seeing. And something that people will get excited about. Something that’s really fun to watch and engaging and hard-hitting. The kind of match that, when you buy a Pay-Per-View, that’s the kind of match you want to see.