Home Daniel Bryan WWE retirement: Work, or real thing?

Daniel Bryan WWE retirement: Work, or real thing?


daniel bryanFour-time WWE champ Daniel Bryan announced on Twitter on Monday that he is retiring from active competition, putting an apparent premature end to a promising career.

Note how we say apparent end.

This is still pro wrestling we’re talking about here. Everything in pro wrestling is a work until it isn’t, and even then it still might be.

That said, though, no, this feels real. Bryan, 34, hasn’t wrestled much since last winning the WWE title back at WrestleMania 31 in 2014.

That feel-good moment was still lingering fresh in mind when Bryan went on the shelf that spring with concussion issues that put him out of action for the rest of 2014. He returned early last year and won the Intercontinental title at WM 32, but then went down again weeks later with what we know now was another bout of concussion issues.

Bryan has received medical clearance from at least two specialists to be able to return to the ring, but not from WWE, which according to reports has also decided to exercise a clause in Bryan’s contract to keep him from getting out of his contract to go to work on the indies.

This is what we know, or what we think we know, anyway. Keep in mind that much of what we know about the behind-the-scenes machinations in pro wrestling comes from reporting done by a small cadre of well-sourced bloggers, and that their good sourcing is just as easily manipulated as the smarks who themselves think they know 100 percent of what is going on in Stamford, Nashville and elsewhere.

So don’t doubt what you see when Bryan goes on TV to announce his retirement, necessarily, because it’s likely legit, for lots of good reasons, most having to do with Bryan’s short- and long-term health, the rest being WWE’s interest in avoiding being sued by a performer given clearance who later runs into medical issues from in-ring work.

But then, yeah, it could still be a work, because wrestling.

Bottom line: it’s not a work, though it may be, but it isn’t. Almost certain of that.

– Column by Chris Graham



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