Vince McMahon rejected former WWE star’s pitch to face Daniel Bryan
Former WWE Superstar Lana has revealed that Vince McMahon rejected Rusev’s request to face Daniel Bryan in 2015.
With Lana (a.k.a. CJ Perry) by his side, Rusev (a.k.a. Miro) lost to John Cena at WrestleMania 31 following a year-long undefeated streak. Rusev and Lana wanted to work with Bryan – another top WWE babyface at the time – after their storyline with Cena ended.
On Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast, Lana recently said McMahon turned down the Daniel Bryan idea because he wanted to separate her from Rusev.
“We went to Vince the following week to pitch an idea to work with Daniel Bryan,” Lana said. “And he was like, ‘No, I’m splitting you guys up.’ We were shocked, we had no idea, and he was like, ‘No, no, no, he’s hated and you’re over. They love you. So you can go down to NXT or…’ I was like, ‘Wait, I don’t understand. Can I not be like a b****? I can get hated.’”
Comparing her WWE persona to Game of Thrones character Cersei Lannister, Lana said she wanted to prove that she could make fans dislike her.
Vince McMahon agreed to give Lana a chance and booked her and Rusev in a romance storyline with Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae.
Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev would have been canceled even if Vince McMahon approved it
While Rusev lost to John Cena at WrestleMania 31, Daniel Bryan won a seven-man ladder match at the event to claim the Intercontinental Championship.
Bryan was originally supposed to defend the title against Bad News Barrett at Extreme Rules 2015. However, the match was canceled and he was forced to relinquish the title due to the concussion-related injury, which led to his 2016 retirement.
In all likelihood, even if Vince McMahon agreed with the Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev idea, Bryan’s injury would have ended the storyline before it began.
Three years later, Rusev defeated Bryan in a Money in the Bank qualifier on the May 8, 2018 episode of WWE SmackDown. The match remains the only time the two men have faced each other one-on-one.