When we grow up watching sports or in this case Sports Entertainment we don’t think of things like retirement. These athletes, these immortals see like they’ll compete forever. When you’re young the concept of time isn’t as familiar to our brains as it is when we get older. Depending on the situation a day, a week, a year can seemingly last forever, but as we get older our perception of time changes and a year can go by in a blink of an eye.
The latter is how I feel about the career off Daniel Bryan (real name Bryan Danielson), in spite of his career lasting nearly 16 years and over five years in the WWE. These five years have really felt like a blink of the eye. It seemed like it took forever for Bryan to get over (though we fans were pushing him long before) and then once he got over it seemed like it was just injury after injury. He first suffered a neck injury that kept him out for almost a year and then once he came back and won the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania 31 last year it was short lived as he had to step away due to a concussion.
The WWE had not cleared Bryan even though two independent doctors sought about by Bryan had. I had speculated that the WWE (who never wanted Bryan to be a star in the first place) was using his concussion as a way to squash the “YES” movement, but in the WWE’s defense, since Chris Benoitt the WWE has taken head injuries like concussions very seriously (unlike the NFL). The classic chair shot is not allowed to strike a performers head at all, if they do they are fine heavily, a best example is Triple H vs Undertaker at Wrestlemania 27 when Trips struck Taker in the head with a chair.
With any athlete (and yes pro wrestlers are athletes) there is always the question about hanging it up for good. We never want to give into father time especially when we feel we can still go, but then there is always life after sports and these athletes have to ask themselves if they want to be able to run and play with their kids or watch them run and play. Bryan is obviously doing the former as he mentioned he and Brie of the Bella Twins want to start a family of their own to which the WWE Universe in attendance started chanting “YES YES YES!” and in a bit of brevity Bryan laughed and said “That’s what Brie says”
Last night was sad for many wrestling fans, but, like with Edge I’m glad to see Bryan walk away from the ring than be carried off. I think I speak for the rest of the WWE Universe when I say “Thank you Daniel Bryan, you will be missed greatly.”