Three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan hasn’t appeared in a WWE ring since April 14, 2015, due to concussions that forced him to announce his retirement on February 8, 2016, as the WWE said they would refuse to clear him for action. The following day on ESPN, Bryan revealed news that he had suffered 10 documented concussions, but that there had likely been more that went undetected or were misdiagnosed.
In addition to the concussions, Daniel also revealed that an EEG showed slowing and a small subacute or chronic lesion in his brain’s temporoparietal region, which caused post-concussion seizures that Bryan had never revealed before.
Since retiring, Bryan was appointed by Shane McMahon to become the general manager of SmackDown Live on Tuesday nights following the brand split and WWE Draft on July 19. Daniel and Shane have combined to turn the show into a more entertaining product than Monday Night Raw as they’ve booked better matches and allowed for more action inside the ring.
— Daily DDT (@FanSidedDDT) September 2, 2016
One of Daniel Bryan’s new duties as general manager of SmackDown Live is to serve as co-host of the WWE Network show Talking Smack with Renee Young. The show is meant to serve as a post-game-type show that features interviews with one or two WWE superstars every week.
During the August 23 episode of Talking Smack, WWE Intercontinental Champion, The Miz, was a guest on the show and Bryan laid into him for wrestling scared and wrestling like a coward. As you can imagine, The Miz didn’t take too kindly to Daniel’s accusations and fired back at the SmackDown general manager with a vengeance.
It was a shocking situation to watch as it seemed so real that many assumed that it had to be a shoot. No one believed that these two guys were actually going at each other like that, but Daniel Bryan told ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman that the whole argument was real.
“Miz and I have known each other for a long time and we really know, like, how to get at each other’s nerves,” Bryan explained. “So, I brought up the idea that I thought he wrestled like a coward, and he knows I don’t like the way he wrestles. … And then he called me out on something that’s very personal to me.”
When The Miz called out Bryan for not taking the general manager job as opposed to going to wrestle for an independent promotion, it really stuck in Daniel’s craw.
“He knows that that’s really pushing on a nerve,” Bryan said. “And calling me a coward for not [going to the independents] … which I sometimes think of myself as a coward for not doing … it’s tough.” Daniel also admitted that “Part of me just wanted to punch him in the face.”
It was such an intense moment that it brought into question whether the WWE was setting up a return to the ring for Bryan to face The Miz at a future pay-per-view. That turned out not to be the case as Bryan announced a match on the September 13 edition of SmackDown Live that will feature The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler at WWE No Mercy.
Bryan loves wrestling and he loves putting on a show for the fans, but there’s one thing in life that’s more important to him at the moment, and that’s his wife, Brie. Daniel told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he’s not willing to get back into the ring because of her.
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) September 16, 2016
“It’s a very complex issue,” Bryan said. “If I was on my own, if I wasn’t married, I would be like ‘Yeah, when my contract is up. I’m gone.’ Hell, I might even be wearing a mask at an independent show next week dressed up as star man, Because it’s what I love to do. But, it becomes different when you have a wife and you’re trying to have kids.”
So, there you have it, WWE fans. We won’t be seeing Daniel Bryan in the wrestling ring anytime soon because of his devotion to his wife.
[Featured Image by Erika Goldring/Getty Images]