During a recent interview with the Why Not Now? podcast, Daniel Bryan talked about his return to wrestling and which match inspired him to come back. Below are some highlights with a H/T to Rajah.com for the transcription.
Which match inspired him to return:
“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! It took me another year-and-a-half before I got cleared, but I did it!”
Only returning with Brie Bella’s blessing:
“She’s the one who’s going to have to deal with me if I have problems when I’m 70 [years old], right? So she was the one I was concerned the most with. Like, if she didn’t want me to do it, I wouldn’t have done it. Do you know what I mean? So her support was key to all of it. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have anything to drive me.
If he was nervous about returning to the ring:
“My first wrestling coach was a great professional wrestler named Shawn Michaels. 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.”
Why Not Now? Podcast