WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan recently retired from in-ring competition. This was a big deal, as Bryan was seen as one of the best in the world. He was surely one of the most popular stars from the wrestling world. He did all of this within just five years of time with WWE, which is amazing. In that time, he became a tag team, IC, and U.S. Champion. On top of this, he won multiple World Titles, but none bigger than the WWE World Heavyweight Title in the main event of WrestleMania 30.
Bryan had a storybook run, and it was truly amazing to see. The fans loved Bryan, so his retirement was really tough to handle. It never gets easier to see. However, before his retirement, we heard reports about Bryan wanting out of his contract so he could go wrestle in other places, which is now held up by another report. He did, in fact, ask out of his deal, but it was not just to explore options. He asked because he already had some plans in place.
According to the Wrestling Observer, Daniel Bryan asked out of his deal to work with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Ring of Honor. In an unsurprising story, when Bryan was fired for choking Justin Roberts on television in 2010, he almost signed with NJPW then but decided to wait for WWE to rehire him a few months later. This was always the plan for Bryan, but of course, he was a free agent and could have gone.
NJPW clearly would have wanted Bryan due to losing Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles to WWE this year. Due to the partnership, he would have been allowed to work with ROH as well. He also wanted to do a full independent schedule, which would allow him to work with anyone who could meet his price. One place he was considering was CMLL out of Mexico since it is an NJPW partner as well.
He was so big on working with CMLL that he was willing to do a Lucha de Apuestas match and put his hair on the line against a luchador’s mask, which would have drawn huge money for CMLL most likely.
Daniel Bryan reportedly was not worried about the money WWE offered. Many who are in WWE see some time off as a big deal, and if they were held back, they would have at least been happy making the downside guarantee or they would have taken other jobs in WWE to continue out their deal. Bryan didn’t want this, as his need to wrestle again was said to be so big that he didn’t care if he was going to work for major crowds again or not. He just wanted to wrestle again.
Vince McMahon was willing to pay to keep Daniel Bryan, but if he could not wrestle, then Bryan was not interested.
Basically, Daniel Bryan would have gone all over the place if he was actually let out of his contract. WWE played hardball and was not willing to let Bryan out of his contract, so he was given a “no” when he officially asked for his release. Bryan easily could have sued and gotten out of his deal, but this did not go down. The idea was that this could have happened if he kept getting cleared.
The last test Daniel Bryan had found a brain lesion on his temporal parietal lobe, which is an area that can cause seizures. Bryan had admittedly had some seizures that he hid from WWE. When he found out everything was related to concussions he had, he decided it was time to stop fighting to come back to the ring. Sadly, we won’t get to see what Bryan would have done in this epic independent run. However, he was smart to retire.
[Image via WWE]