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It was only seven months ago when Daniel Bryan was forced to retire from in-ring competition inside WWE due to potentially life-threatening concussion issues. His retirement speech was heartfelt and moving, and no one held it against him that he had to cut his career short — well, except Daniel Bryan himself. While most pro wrestling fans are more than happy with the time they got to spend watching DBry tear it up in everywhere from armories to arenas, the former WWE World Champion and future Hall of Famer is still holding out hope for a return, as he told ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman on SportsCenter.
“As general manager, I’ve had to go out and watch matches by the ring,” Bryan says. “The whole arena’s going, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ and I just sit in a chair and watch the match. The whole time I’m like ugggggh, then I go home and tell Brie [Bella], ‘I’m gonna quit! I’m gonna go wrestle somewhere!’ and then she talks me down off the ledge.”
I never thought I’d say this, but thank heaven for Brie Bella. Coachman then pushes the issue, questioning, “Is there ever a chance we would see Daniel Bryan have another match?”
“If you were to ask me , nine days out of 10, I’d say absolutely. I keep trying to convince people that I’m okay to wrestle, and that’s the hard part. I’m trying to convince myself that I can wrestle. It’s really hard because the concussion issue is very subjective. That’s the part a lot of people don’t understand. I was cleared by a lot of concussion specialists. There was one test that kind of flagged me, but the more I learned about that test, the more I learned that, hey, maybe that shouldn’t have stopped me… There’s a lot more than meets the eye to this situation. I feel great, and I feel like every day that I can wrestle. I’m doing jiu jitsu and kickboxing and stuff — I’m 100 percent.”
Notice how there’s no mention of WWE in that answer. Bryan knows that he can wrestle for anybody in the world if he chooses, it just means giving up his current meal ticket (and also possibly dying). It makes sense he would question the concussion studies, as this is his one true passion — a passion which he has had a hard time replacing, in part thanks to Total Bellas, which premieres this October and was filmed during Bryan’s “horrible mental breakdown” following his retirement. He elaborates:
“Part of how I decompress is through wrestling. When that gets taken away and that’s what’s causing the issue, then to thrust me into somebody else’s house for four weeks and there’s cameras following you all the time… I had nowhere to go to feel that kind of solace. In the past, when I haven’t had wrestling, I’ve always gone to nature. But we’re in Florida and it’s kind of swampy, and we’re in this very luxurious house. That was really difficult and compounded onto the emotions I was already feeling.”
Maybe Daniel Bryan needed that hug from Brian Kendrick last night more than Kendrick needed it from Bryan.