Daniel Bryan on Sportscenter
Before we start, I gotta say, I love Daniel Bryan. I consider him better than Bret Hart, which is the highest compliment I can pay anyone. Closing the door on his career is a devastating loss. There is NO out-and-out true babyface that gets 100% of the intended, unanimous, supernova reaction that Bryan got. His in-ring storytelling and workrate is world class, his promos are compelling and sincere, you can’t help love and support Daniel Bryan.
• Daniel Bryan suffered a serious concussion in April 2015, and has been on the sidelines since. Bryan had been cleared by 2 doctors (including one at UCLA), but not WWE’s doctor, Dr. Maroon. This wasn’t a booking decision or political play, this was a health and liability reason. If you have a high IQ/specific damage, other parts of your brain may be able to compensate for the damaged area, giving a false result, essentially cheating concussion testing.
• Bryan had attempted to leave WWE in an effort to go wrestle elsewhere, but WWE refused his resignation (“he did not have the right to give notice”) as his contract was frozen due to injury.
• Although Bryan’d been training hard, ready for WWE to change their mind, he went to get proof from another doctor in NY. This was more thorough testing that would check every part of the brain. He got the results at the end of January, which painted a much more grim picture – showing slowing and evidence of “a small or subacute or chronic lesion” that causes seizures. Bryan says he has 10 concussions documented (but it’s impossible to say how many more as they can overlap).
• Most scarily, he admitted he had post-concussion seizures, and had been hiding it for a long time.
• It’s worth noting that Bryan is still under WWE contract – he’s just retired from active wrestling. He’ll continue to work with WWE in some capacity. He hasn’t shown interest in commentary so IMO he could continue his work as an ambassador (like with Connor’s Cure), or perhaps a trainer at NXT or an agent, laying out matches.
Other, happier things to note:
• He started the yes chant to be annoying, but it caught on and really propelled his career (he doesn’t mention getting inspiration from UFC Fighter Diego Sanchez, who ‘invented’ the Yes! Cartwheel) (fast-forward to 4:32)
• His favourite moment (mentioned on RAW) was the legit crowd hijacking of the Slammy Awards where the crowd chanted for Daniel Byran over Cena/Orton grimacing at each other. An incredible moment, I showed my family when it happened!
• How would he like to be remembered? He doesn’t necessarily need to be remembered, but wants people to remember the experience of going to the show together. (Like his family went to a WWF show where Ultimate Warrior pants’d Rick Rude, and it became a family story). What a great guy.
Remembering Bryan, even if the few-weeks storyline was a bit naff, the face-turn/crowd response here is incredible!
What non-wrestling role would you like to see Bryan do in WWE?
OSW February Update: OSWreview.com/update-feb-2016