Daniel Bryan Retires: WWE Superstar Addresses Brain Injuries Live on RAW

Just hours after announcing his retirement on Twitter, (former) WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan made good on his promise to further explain the terms of his exit during USA Network’s Monday Night RAW.

Speaking in his home state of Washington, Bryan addressed the stadium of screaming fans, as well as the millions of WWE fanatics watching from home. His mantra of choice? “I am grateful.”

Read excerpts of his speech below:

“The truth is, I’ve been wrestling since I was 18 years old, and within the first five months of my wrestling career, I’d already had three concussions. For years after that, I would get a concussion here and there … and then it gets to the point when you’ve been wrestling for 16 years, that adds up to a lot of concussions. It gets to a point where they tell you that you can’t wrestle anymore. For a long time, I fought that, because I’d gotten EEGs and brain MRIs and neuropsychological evaluations, and all of them said this: I was fine, and I could come back and wrestle.

A week and a half ago, I took a test that said maybe my brain isn’t as OK as I thought it was. I have a family to think about; my wife [WWE Diva Brie Bella] and I want to start having kids soon.

It is with a heavy heart and the utmost sadness that I officially announce my retirement. I’ve gone through all these complex emotions in this last little bit. I’ve been angry, I’ve been sad, I’ve been frustrated … but today, when I woke up this morning, I felt nothing but gratitude. I have gotten to do what I love for nearly 16 years.

We do this because we love to do this. It’s strange … I did this because I love to do this, and then all of a sudden, you guys got behind me in a way I never thought was possible — in a way that fans shouldn’t necessarily get behind the guy who’s 5′ 8, 190 pounds. … For that, I’m grateful. I’m grateful because a little over two years ago, in this very arena, you guys hijacked RAW.

Because of wrestling, I got to meet the most wonderful woman in the world. She’s beautiful, she’s smart and she completes me in a way I didn’t even think was possible. And that’s because of wrestling. I am grateful.

Tomorrow morning, I start a new life — a life where I am no longer a wrestler. But that is tomorrow. And that is not tonight. And by damn, I have one more night to feel this energy and to feel this crowd. So if I could just get one more ‘Yes!’ chant, I would really appreciate it.”

Needless to say, the fans obliged.

Bryan’s statement, which sent the three-hour affair into overtime, was part of a night-long tribute to his lengthy career in the WWE. With the help of a video series highlighting the athlete’s most memorable moments, #ThankYouDanielBryan remained a top Twitter trend throughout the night.

Your thoughts on Bryan’s retirement? Did his clarification leave you with any burning questions? Drop ’em all in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. taran63 says:

    Sad to see him retire. He’s been my favorite wrestler of the modern era. I’ve watched wrestling off and on over the years (currently off), but I always watched whenever Daniel Bryan wrestled. But he’s got to do what’s best for his health and his long-term future. I’m grateful for all the entertainment he provided, and I wish him the best as he decides what to do with the rest of his life.

  2. Big Mike says:

    Sad. Glad for his own sake that he took the latest test which showed he wasn’t as good as he thought.

  3. Mr. Tran K says:

    Very sad to see him retired in one of the most emotional endings of Monday Night Raw in the show’s 23 year history. Daniel Bryan will forever be the man who created the Yes Movement and who knows if he will ever make an appearance at this year’s WrestleMania in Dallas, TX come April 3rd. What’s next for him? The WWE Universe may never know.

  4. Mike Q says:

    That was compelling television.

  5. i canr be the only one who wanted to see brock come put and suplex the hell out of him. for some reason i was also half expecting him to announce his new career in gay porn too though.. so maybe im the bad guy.

    • David says:

      Bad… Or an idiot. Juries out

      • Cesaro's Left Areola says:

        While I agree on the idiocy part… If you’re gonna call someone an idiot, please do so with proper grammar. I can abide the brevity of your comment, but it should read in the following way:

        *Jury’s out

        In this case, the apostrophe is used to illustrate the contraction for, “Jury is out.”

        What you were going for there, looks more like you are trying to indicate plurality.

        Sorry (read: not sorry) to grammar-troll your post about the troll-troll, but you have to pay the troll toll…

    • Ryan Gentilcore says:

      It wouldn’t be a proper comment section without someone trolling it, so really you’re just meeting expectations.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Is the WWE the new NFL? ?

    • Todd says:

      I think if you autopsied the brains of deceased wrestlers and other non-NFL athletes over the years, you would find that CTE is far more pervasive than anyone realizes.

  7. Thomas says:

    Always liked him so glad he got to come back and say goodbye for the right reasons..I hope he lives a long and happy life and him and bre have a bunch of little baby’s…thank Bryan for being a good inspiration for all of us and showing us that nothing is impossible.. And I hope and pray that everything goes okayin ur life..I hope u come back to raw every now and then like the Rock does..thank u Bryan thank u….YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!!

  8. Samantha says:

    We all love you in the uk we all going to miss you are not on Monday night rew for about year no we see you soon

  9. Rachel says:

    Happy to see someone able to leave with their body/mind still in tact. I’m glad the WWE doctors never cleared him when the others did.

  10. Chris akporode says:

    We hope to sen you again in wwe.

  11. DL says:

    It takes an extremely wise and disciplined man to not only diligently monitor his health the way he did, but also to take the right action when his body can no longer sustain his profession. Here’s hoping that any damage he may have suffered has the chance to heal, and that he finds something else outside of the ring that he can be passionate about. He should be very proud of what he’s accomplished thus far.

  12. I’m really gonna miss seeing him wrestle. he was one of the best WWE has to offer. His retirement was emotional. I even shed a few tears

  13. Connie says:

    I met Daniel Bryan at an autograph signing in Pittsburgh, Pa. on 1/22/2016 at World of Wheels. My nephew adores him as I’m a huge fan of wrestling. I think he did great with his career, I’m happy I got to meet him. What a great guy. I wish him and Brie the best of luck and maybe see Daniel again in the future. God Bless! 😊

  14. unique says:

    u are a great man

  15. Kimberly says:

    Thank you Bryan Danielson for your dedication to the sport, to the fans and to yourself. You’ve been a joy to watch over the years. Good luck to you and Brie as you embark on another journey that I’m sure you’ll make just as magical as your career in the squared circle.

  16. Dj says:

    Sad to see him go. Not many wrestlers know how to connect with the crowd the way he did. But I am glad that the WWE fought him so hard and refused to clear him for ring action. I didn’t want to see anything tragic happen to him.

  17. Ed Benton says:

    This is coming from someone that has had Multiple Concussions over his life. Yes your brain can test out fine for years then all of a sudden next thing you know your lying in a bed being fed thru a tube. That was me 15 years ago when a concussion I had in HS playing football bit me in the worst way by tearing an artery in my brain. For 2 days it was touch and go then part of that clot broke off and went in really deep. Try being 25 and having to relearn how to do everything you had been doing without thinking for 20 years from talking to walking to yes the bathroom.

    I suffered 2 strokes and in addition to them still suffer from severe GTC seizures of the type that make a man being tazed look nice. All of this from about 20-50 they think concussions that were not treated properly.

  18. BOB says:


  19. BILLIE Crisswell says:

    A shame that he has to retire. Another good one gone. Stuck to his beliefs and a very good technical wrestler. Thanks for many years of memories!!!!!!! Thank you !!!!!!

  20. Diz says:

    I am grateful for @WWEDanielBryan always leaving everything in the ring & being able to watch him live his dream. You inspire us all! #ThankYouDanielBryan

  21. Steve says:

    Its all Authority’s fault for keeping on stopping him from getting the belt. Samething is happening to Roman Reigns. Why Vince has to do is end the Authority era. and bring back GMs of RAW and Smack Down.

  22. Maisha says:

    Yeees, Yeees, Yeeees! WWE and its fans will always remember Brian. The guy was awesome!!

  23. Yvonne says:

    We love you, Daniel & we adore Brie. We are the grateful ones – grateful for all you have given to the fans at risk to your body & your future. Thank you for all the hours of joy you’ve given to your fans. You’ll be successful in all you do becuz that’s who you are. So move on with Brie into this new chapter of your life taking pieces of our hearts with you. Be safe, dear friend. Best of luck always. YESYESYES!!!

  24. Aarnav says:

    You are my favourite superstar in the whole weekend we universe and congratulations for a new general manager of wwe