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Shawn Michaels talks about former pupil Daniel Bryan

shawn michaelsDaniel Bryan, who will face WWE Champion John Cena in the main event at SummerSlam on Sunday, got his start in wrestling training at Shawn Michaels’ wrestling school.

Michaels, who will be in Waynesboro, Va., on Saturday, Aug. 31, for the Shawn Michaels Experience, a fan meet and greet and VIP autograph session, could tell right away that Bryan was a future star.

“He came in good, for heaven’s sakes. His work ethic, his integrity, his dedication, all of that stuff was all phenomenal from the get-go,” Michaels said in an interview with WWE.com.

Like Michaels, Bryan is an atypical top-level WWE Superstar. Undersized at 5’8”, 210 pounds, “he knew it was going to be a long road for him, and none of those things bothered him,” said Michaels, himself a 6’1”, 210-pouder.

Lack of size was a stigma when Bryan was breaking in. Michaels isn’t so sure that smaller guys are stigmatized anymore.

“Now, it’s really just something that everyone’s gotten so used to saying, they keep saying it. But I mean, sure, it’s there in the respect that if you’re 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, you certainly get a look first. But that sort of mold was broken back in the 1990s and numerous people have been successful since then. And again, I want to reiterate that it’s not there in bits and pieces, but to imply that it’s anywhere even in the overall general vicinity of the same ballpark that it was in the ’90s is, respectfully, laughable, because it isn’t.”

Bryan could be poised for a big upset at SummerSlam, with Cena nursing an injured elbow that is rumored to be serious enough to require surgery.

Win or lose, Michaels thinks Bryan is going to be a player in WWE for a “long, long time.”

“And that’s when greatness is established — over time. It’s not in one day. Greatness is something that stands the test of time, and I think that’s what he should focus on. I have no doubt that’s exactly what he’s doing right now and I wish him the best of luck at SummerSlam,” Michaels said.

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