Despite the fact he's been out of action the past couple months from an injury, WWE superstar and Phoenix resident Daniel Bryan is still a badass.
On Thursday evening, the 33-year-old professional wrestler (whose real name is Brian Danielson) put the smackdown on the attempted burglary of his Arcadia home, including chasing after the two robbers involved on foot and subduing one of them. And he did it with a wrestling move, no less, specifically a rear naked choke, better known as a sleeper hold.
At a press conference this afternoon at Phoenix Police headquarters, Bryan and his wife Brie Bella, a fellow WWE performer, described how they returned home at about 7 p.m. last night and discovered the robbery in progress.
Bryan says the couple was pulling into their driveway when they saw two men partially emerge from a carport door leading into the home. Worried about the condition of their French Bulldog named Josie, they rushed inside and saw the robbery suspects drop their loot and flee the premises through an arcadia door in the back that had been broken into to gain entry.
"Our main concern was for Josie, so we came in, Brie went looking for Josie, I saw the guys running out the back, I chased 'em, I caught one of 'em, and kept him until the police got there," Bryan says.
Phoenix cops arrived shortly thereafter and arrested Cesar Sosa, the 22-year-old that Bryan had restrained, on burglary charges. According to Sergeant Tommy Thompson of Phoenix P.D., the suspect also had a felony warrant for separate kidnapping and burglary charged. The second robber, however, escaped on foot and is currently at large.
Bryan chalked up his pursuit of the suspects as something akin to an instantaneous "fight or flight" reaction. He estimates it only lasted about 50 meters or so before Sosa became winded.
"Exhaustion makes cowards of us all, and he was very, very tired, and it literally took zero effort to take him down," Bryan says.
Although Bryan, who's currently on hiatus from wrestling due to a serious neck injury, is happy that he was able to prevent the theft of several treasured possessions, including a silver bracelet from his recently deceased father, he admits to being "a little borderline ashamed" at taking off after Sosa.
"Its probably not the best thing to do, because you don't know what's gonna happen," Bryan says. "I just reacted, and that's what most people do."
His wife says she was concerned when Bryan started his chase.
"It's a scary thing because, especially seeing my husband go off," she says. "I was like, 'They might have guns.' And that was my first [thought]."
When asked by reporters if he'd put Sosa to sleep with the sleeper hold, Bryan said he wouldn't comment. He'd earlier joked about how should've maybe used a "Yes Lock," his signature submission maneuver when wrestling for the WWE.
Bryan, a former WWE world champion who's portrays a good guy in wrestling and is pretty laidback out of the ring, wasn't the only one who was poking fun at the situation during the press conference. One local journalist asked him a tounge-in-cheek question about whether WWE's current chief villains (and recent Bryan foes) Triple-H and Stephanie McMahon were possibly behind the robbery.
"Well, you know, and it's funny, they might, just to keep me from getting back to WWE," Bryan says. "So, who knows, maybe Triple-H is behind this whole thing?"
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Another local reported asked if Bryan was more of a "bad guy," would he have let the robbers get away (read: the whole "honor amongst thieves" thing).
"I think the bad guys of the profession would actually have done something worse than I did, like hit em with a ratchet or something like that," Bryan says.
Or maybe even a steel chair, perhaps?