This week saw an end to one of, if not the best, technical wrestlers of all time: Daniel Bryan.
Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I’ll have a chance to elaborate. #gratitude
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) February 8, 2016
NO! NO! NO! This tweet was the official retirement announcement of the 16 year veteran, Daniel Bryan, real name Bryan Danielson. Bryan’s career has been one hell of a journey that took him through multiple wrestling promotions such as Ring of Honour and other independent promotions all the way up to competing in the biggest wresting promotion, WWE. Sadly, through his illustrious career, Bryan had sustained multiple head and neck injuries and an unmeasurable amount of concussions. In April 2015, Bryan wrestled the last match of his career. Throughout the rest of the year he was featured on WWE’s ‘reality’ show Total Divas.
Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella on Total Divas. Source
On the 8th of Feb, 2016 Bryan made his official retirement speech live on RAW in his hometown of Seattle, Washington. This emotional speech brought out what made fans latch onto him and adore him throughout his career: a passionate, real person who followed his dreams and by doing so has broken the mould and the stereotypes of what it takes to be a champion in professional wrestling. He showed everyone that you don’t have to be 6 foot 5 with muscles upon muscles to be a champion, Bryan was a straight edge, vegan, average sized man with a lumberjack beard and long hair. Through his career in the WWE he connected with anyone who didn’t think they belonged and this gave us a true underdog story that will go down in the hall of fame. One of his most memorable moments in the WWE was his tag team with Kane(Glen Jacobs) under the title ‘Team Hell No’. When talking about his parter retiring he stated:
“It was really more bitter than anything else because he’s a great performer and WWE lost a great performer. He was a guy who had a lot of years ahead of him. That’s very sad but, by the same token, I’m very glad that for his health and his personal future that Daniel did what he did.
As far as our awareness of concussion and our WWE Wellness Programme, what he did because of that, because of the information he had – I think that’s a credit to our company. We had a lot of fun in Team Hell No and I tell people that it was the most fun I’ve ever had in WWE. I got to do something completely different and that I’d never done before. Daniel brought out a side of me that people had never seen.” Source.
Daniel Bryan bids farewell to the WWE Universe: Raw, February 8, 2016 Source