Just two days ago on Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan officially announced his retirement as the wrestling fans of the world and the WWE locker room listened in. It was a sad and moving moment as the 34-year-old former world champion had to tearfully announce that he was stepping away from doing what he loved. The main question though is if Daniel Bryan is fully done in the ring. He may have retired from WWE, but will he go to TNA or GFW or Ring of Honor or New Japan Pro Wrestling?
Before his announcement to retire on Monday, many thought that was eventually what Bryan would do — go somewhere else to wrestle.
For months and months, there were reports of multiple doctors clearing him to wrestle, but WWE’s doctors never would. That’s when speculation began that he would ask for his release to continue wrestling elsewhere, and it’s well known that TNA or Global Force Wrestling would welcome him with open arms.
Even on Monday morning, F4W Online had reported that Bryan had attempted to give his notice to WWE to request his release, but the company blocked it. Apparently, WWE told him that he didn’t have the right to request his release due to the large amount of time he had missed due to injury.
It’s being reported that Bryan wanted his release to go wrestle on the independent scene or in Ring of Honor or NJPW or any number of places, but Vince McMahon told him he couldn’t.
This is a very similar situation to the one with Rey Mysterio from a couple of years ago. Mysterio had missed a lot of time while still with WWE as his injuries wouldn’t allow him to wrestle. He then wanted to be released, but WWE wouldn’t let him because he had missed so much time and it was added to the end of his contract as an extension.
Such has been the case with Daniel Bryan.
The thing is, Bryan may have actually and truly retired from in-ring action entirely and may very well never wrestle again. His retirement announcement on Monday Night Raw is something that brought about a lot of tears because he may have had to fully accept that he’s wrestled his last match.
On Tuesday, Daniel Bryan was a guest on ESPN’s SportsCenter and spoke with Jonathan Coachman about his retirement and how it all came about. Bryan admitted that he is suffering from post-concussion seizures and that recent tests have shown other problems.
During the interview, Bryan spoke of a recent test that showed swelling and a lesion on the part of the brain that causes the seizures, and it’s just not safe for him to continue wrestling. As far as he knows, he’s had 10 concussions that have been documented, but it’s almost impossible to document every single one during a 16-year career.
“I trained like I could come back and I could wrestle. I was ready at a moment’s notice if WWE needed me, I wanted to come back and wrestle because I have loved this in a way I have never loved anything else. But a week and a half ago, I took a test that said that maybe my brain isn’t as OK as I thought it was.”
Bryan had honestly been trying to hide the fact that he was having seizures in hopes of getting back in the ring. WWE kept putting off clearing him for the ring due to doctors not saying he was alright, and that quite possibly may have saved his life.
Now, his in-ring career with WWE isn’t all that is over. It really does appear as if his in-ring wrestling career in any promotion around the world is over, but that’s only if he values his health, his well-being, his family, and his life.
Vince McMahon and WWE will likely have something for Daniel Bryan to do as an ambassador or on-air/non-active character if he so chooses. Maybe he’ll work out his contract doing trainer or agent work, and then go on to do something else in life. Either way, Daniel Bryan is not likely heading to TNA or back to Ring or Honor or anywhere else. In this case, retirement really does seem to be the end.
[Image via WWE]