Bryan Danielson Talks Forced Retirement & Hardest Part Of Wrestling

Bryan Danielson

Bryan Danielson has discussed what he finds one of the hardest parts of wrestling, as well as why he was forced to retire back in 2016.

After a storied career with the company, the former Daniel Bryan was forced away from competitive action due to a number of injuries including concerns surrounding concussions. In an emotional statement in his home state of Washington, Danielson announced the retirement in front of a live crowd.

Speaking to, the new AEW acquisition discussed that the history of concussions was far more complicated than it may have seemed on the surface.

I legitimately thought I was healthy and still think that I’m healthy. One of the reasons I was forced to retire was not because of the concussions, but because I lied about that. You have to understand, from WWE’s point of view, I had been wrestling for them for six years but then all of a sudden, they opened this Pandora’s box about ‘lying about his medical history and now we can’t trust him.’ A lot of that was building the trust back, but they were also legitimately looking after my health. I was going to see doctor after doctor and doing everything that I could to improve brain function to show, above and beyond, that my brain was healthy.

It’s also my love of wrestling. It felt like I wasn’t really to be done yet, I still needed to come back. I also think there’s a lot left on concussion research to be done, and when you’re seeing the top doctors in the country and they’re all clearing you to do what you love to do, I think you should be able to do that.

After being cleared by WWE in 2018, Danielson did make an in-ring comeback before moving on to pastures new. His first opponents back in a WWE ring were Sami Zayn, who he defeated in a tag match alongside Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 34.

Danielson made his AEW debut appearance at All Out, then competing in his first match with Adam Cole which went to a 30-minute draw. He went on to say that it’s the travelling which takes its toll on your body, however careful you are to protect yourself.

I think your body adapts to so many things. We were actually just talking about this in the locker room, someone said every fall hurts now. I was like, really? I think it really depends on the crowd. When you wrestle in front of a rabid crowd, nothing hurts. I do extensive warm-ups before I go out, and then every night when I get back to my hotel room after a show, I’m foam-rolling, I’m stretching, and making sure my body is in a healthy position to recover.

I think for me, one of the hardest things is being on long plane trips. When you get to be 40 and you just wrestled a 30-minute match with Kenny Omega, no matter how much stretching you did, the next day, if you’re on a 6-hour plane trip, you’re going to hobble getting off the plane. Realistically, I hadn’t wrestled in 5-months, I wrestled Kenny Omega for 30 minutes and did a 6-hour plane trip the next day, and I felt pretty good. There are a lot of physical demands, but if you keep up with your body and maintain your body, it’s manageable.

The former Daniel Bryan will next compete in an All Elite Wrestling ring against former NXT Tag Team Champion and Undisputed Era member Bobby Fish on the 16th October edition of Dynamite.

With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.