Bryan Danielson on the BCC Book Club: ‘We Recommend Books To Each Other’

“Moxley is a big reader, too”

If you are in the Blackpool Combat Club, that also includes induction in the BCC book club.

“Yes, there is a BCC book club,” said Bryan Danielson. “We recommend books to each other. Reading is fantastic. Once you open the door to the world of books, there is so much to learn.”

The BCC / Courtesy AEW

The BCC has been somewhat separated lately. Jon Moxley focused on New Japan Pro-Wrestling–he defeated Tetsuya Naito to win the IWGP world heavyweight championship this past Friday night. Wheeler Yuta has been on the injured list since January, while Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli have remained a strong presence in AEW–even winning a tag match on Saturday night on Collision, defeating Powerhouse Hobbs and Kyle Fletcher.

Danielson and Castagnoli both have dates this week with professional wrestling phenom Will Ospreay. Castagnoli wrestles Ospreay on Dynamite this Wednesday, and Danielson shares the ring with him on Sunday at the Dynasty pay-per-view.

Ever since their wrestling sojourn to Mexico two weeks ago for a primetime match at Arena Mexico in Mexico City, a trip only Yuta missed, the group has been apart. But they are never too far apart, thanks to the BCC text chain–and, more importantly, the BCC book club.

“The BCC book club helps us stay connected,” said Danielson. “We share the belief that reading can enhance your life.”

Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, and Bryan Danielson
Claudio Castagnoli, Jon Moxley, and Bryan Danielson / Courtesy AEW

Though this is not likely to shock anyone, it is worth mentioning that Danielson is a founder of the BCC book club. But learning that his co-founder is Moxley may be a piece of information that surprises people.

“Moxley is a big reader, too,” said Danielson. “He loves to read and think and analyze. And he’s very creative.

“Claudio reads a little less than we do, but he likes to read. Wheeler, I’m not sure of his reading status [laughs]. We are focused on trying to read more.”

Danielson in CMLL
Danielson in CMLL / Courtesy CMLL

Danielson defeated Blue Dragon last week by submission, a long-awaited singles bout against his favorite luchador–which also took place in Arena Mexico in Mexico City. When his BCC brethren were no longer with him, he spent the majority of his time reading.

“I typically read three books at a time,” said Danielson. “I’ve been encouraging a lot of Mary Oliver’s Devotions, from a poetry perspective, it’s the best introduction to poetry.

“Anybody who knows me knows I don’t think much of social media. How much time does it take someone to craft a tweet? Five minutes? 10 minutes? 15? People spend years of their life writing a book. Then they have to subject their writing to an editor, who may say, ‘I’m not following your line of thinking here,’ or ‘This needs more clarity.’ For me, the question is, do I want to spend time reading things that someone put very little thought into? Or do I want to read things that people have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into?”

Bryan Danielson
Bryan Danielson / Courtesy AEW

Reading has inspired Danielson to write. The goal is not necessarily to have his work published–he did write Yes: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania, which was published in 2016–he is finding immense joy in the process.

“The last year-and-a-half, I’ve really been getting better at writing,” said Danielson. “I’m doing it as a way to clarify my own thoughts. In this world, where we’re told what our morality is. Social media tells us if you believe one thing, you’re absolutely wrong–or if you believe the other, you’re absolutely right. But what do I actually believe? What do I want to stand for in my life?

“If I let other people’s ideas of morality be my guiding focus, that’s going to change with the winds. Writing down my thoughts and counterpoints has been incredible for me.”

Justin Barrasso


Justin Barrasso has been writing for Sports Illustrated since 2014. While his primary focus is pro wrestling and MMA, he has also covered MLB, NBA, and the NFL. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.