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February 10, 2016

Daniel Bryan Talks Retirement, Explains His Injuries, Reveals How Many Concussions He’s Had, Talks Medical Testing & More

The following is a recap of ESPN's WWE Off The Top Rope segment, featuring special guest Daniel Bryan.

Jonathan Coachman starts the show by playing highlights of Daniel Bryan’s retirement speech from WWE RAW, then welcomes Bryan to the show. Coach asks how difficult it was for Bryan to make his speech in his hometown, and Bryan talks about trying not to cry and getting emotional in front of his family.

Coach asks about his injuries and Bryan says they have ten documented concussions, but it’s impossible to define each one. Coach then asks about how Bryan found out about his career being over, and Bryan says he went to New York for some EEG tests, and this one measured electrical brain activity while doing reflex testing. Bryan says it’s a newer form of the test, but he wanted evidence to support his petition to come back to wrestling. Bryan says his other EEG and MRI test were great, but this one showed he had some slowing, and evidence of “a small or subacute or chronic lesions” in the area of his brain that causes seizures. Bryan says he has had post-concussion seizures that he hid and it was unknown why, but now they found out something to link the symptoms. Bryan says he’s learned that you need to report concussions, and you need to heal your brain before returning to a contact sport like wrestling or football. He says it’s about the responsibility you have to yourself and your family.

Coach then asks about the YES chant, and Bryan says it caught on, but Bryan started it to be annoying. He says it looks great when people in the arena do it, and it really propelled his career forward. Coach talks about last night’s speech and the locker room being their for him, and Bryan says the coolest thing about last night was he could feel the reaction when he closed his eyes, and it was unbelievable.

Coach asks how Bryan made it to the top despite his size, and Bryan says he likens it to a writer, and he can’t explain it, but the audience connected with him. Bryan says he is very fortunate, then Coach asks about his favorite moment. Bryan says he mentioned it last night, but the Seattle Slammy Awards show where the fans hijacked the show and his father seeing him wrestle again was his favorite.

Coach asks if Bryan thought about what’s next, and Bryan laughs and says he’s had time to think, but he’s not sure. He says he wants to do something to help people and the world, and he might get involved with concussion awareness. He says working with WWE allowed him to do some great charitable things, and mentions Connor’s Cure, and says he wants to help with stuff like and just needs to figure out what’s next.

Coach asks how Bryan would like to be remembered, and Bryan says he doesn’t necessarily need to be remembered himself, but he wants people to remember the experience of just going to the show together. Bryan tells a funny story about his family going to a show and the Ultimate Warrior pantsing Rick Rude, and says that is still a great story in his family. He says it means a lot for a family that isn’t a wrestling fan family, and he hopes everyone remembers good times about going to wrestling shows.

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