Daniel Bryan officially announced his retirement on tonight's WWE RAW from Seattle. Bryan said he's had several concussions after 16 years in the business and it got to the point where he was told he could no longer wrestler. Bryan fought that for a long time until he had tests one week ago that told him that his brain isn't as well as he thought it was. Bryan said that led to his retirement because he has a family to worry about and wants to start having kids with wife Brie Bella.
“Within the first five months of my wrestling career, I’d already had three concussions,” Bryan explained. “For years after that, I would get a concussion here and there, or here, or there, and it gets to the point when you’ve been wrestling for 16 years that it adds up to a lot of concussions. It gets to a point where they tell you that you can’t wrestle anymore.
“I have loved this in a way that I have never loved anything else. But a week and a half ago I took a test that said maybe my brain wasn’t as OK as I thought it was. And I have a family to think about, and my wife and I want to start having kids soon.
“I’ve been angry, I’ve been sad, I’ve been frustrated, and all that. But when I woke up this morning, I felt nothing but gratitude.”
Bryan was then given a send-off by the WWE locker room, including company EVP Triple H (real name Paul Levesque) and majority owner Vince McMahon, Levesque’s father-in-law.
Levesque had been involved in a well-received onscreen feud with Bryan in the spring of 2014, culminating in Bryan’s Wrestlemania victory, in which Levesque and his on- and off-screen wife, Stephanie McMahon, taunted Bryan by claiming he was not the type of wrestler to lead the WWE.
Last year, it emerged that the WWE was being sued by three of its former performers for allegedly concealing the effects of head trauma, in a lawsuit similar to that between the National Football League (NFL) and its retired players.
Bryan delivered a great speech for the RAW over-run, going to 11:30pm EST almost. Bryan also revealed that he cut his hair for the "Wigs For Kids" organization, which provides wigs to kids with cancer with no charge to the family.
After tonight's RAW went off the air, the WWE Network opened up with a live shot from the key Arena with Bryan greeting fans at ringside while the entire roster came to the stage and joined in on the "yes!" chants, including Tripe H, Stephanie McMahon and Vince McMahon. Michael Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton stayed on commentary to remember Bryan's career. Bryan made his way to the ramp and was joined by Brie. With the roster behind him, he faced the crowd and did one last "yes!" chant. Bryan walked up and was hugged by Vince before walking to the back. Video begins at the 41.04 mark.