WWE SmackDown Live superstar Daniel Bryan appeared on the Why Not Now? podcast where he discussed a variety of professional wrestling topics. Among them, Bryan talked about his injury that made him retire from in-ring action, as well as his return from retirement. Here are a few transcribed highlights from the interview. H/T: WrestlingInc.
Bryan reveals that he was frustrated when he was not cleared by WWE to wrestle even though other external neurologists did give him the green light to wrestle. Bryan didn’t want to sit and watch from the sidelines and because it was his dream to wrestle ever since he was a kid, he wanted to get back into the ring. Bryan says that the match that motivated him to return to in-ring action was the one between Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles.
“I had been cleared by several neurologists, well known neurologists from all over the country, and they still wouldn’t clear me to wrestle, the WWE wouldn’t clear me to wrestle, but these other neurologists had. But I had accepted it at some point and just been like, ‘okay, pro wrestling had been my dream since I was a little kid, right? And I had a good 16 years in, and all of that kind of stuff. And I kind of accepted it as ‘maybe it was dangerous’ and that sort of thing, but I was sitting by the ring watching a match. They had me in this role, this non-wrestling role, the General Manager of the show, sit out by the ring and I was watching these guys wrestle and they were two of my friends that I had known for years, right? A guy named Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles. And I was sitting there and they’re both really good, and the crowd’s going crazy, and I was like, ‘I refuse to accept this!'” Bryan added, “it took me another year-and-a-half before I got cleared, but I did it!”
Bryan talks about how his return has made him love wrestling more and how he doesn’t feel nervous anymore.
“My first wrestling coach was a great professional wrestler named Shawn Michaels.” Bryan recalled, “when we first started, he had said, ‘the moment you’re not nervous before you go out there, that’s when you need to retire.’ And it’s really funny, when I came back from retirement, I was probably the most relaxed I had ever been as far as going out and going to wrestle. And it was more so just this feeling of pure joy of being able to do what I love doing again, but also, like, I used to put so much stress on myself as far as trying to put out the best match possible and go out there and entertain as much as I possibly can. And now, it’s just such a joy and a gift to be able to come back that the joy is in the performance as opposed to, ‘oh, I have to go out there and be the best’ or anything like that.”
You can check out the entire interview by clicking here.