Professional wrestler Daniel Bryan said goodbye to WWE on Monday night, announcing his retirement with an emotional speech during Monday Night Raw. He cited concussions and talked about how much he loved WWE while hanging up his tights at 34.
Before he entered the ring one last time, his family joined him backstage to offer comfort and support. There are hugs and compliments on his new short haircut and it seems like everyone wants to cry.
From there, Bryan and his wife, Brie Bella, make the long walk toward the ring. You can hear the crowd chanting his name as she tries to comfort him.
Not only did Bryan have issues with concussions that have kept him out since April, but he also had neck surgery in 2014. Yes, wrestling is fake in that it is scripted, but the pounding these guys take is real, and it has cost WWE one of its most popular stars. It’s also real in the sense that Bryan and his family are genuinely sad, which comes across in an interview after the announcement.
If wrestling isn’t your thing (cough, cough) and you want to know how Bryan affects other sports, he’s the reason why you hear “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chants at New York Islanders games after goals. Then again, no one watches hockey, so chances are that’s not really a helpful reference point. But here’s a clip of it, and the fact that a chant from WWE has transcended sports is pretty cool.