Not a lot of things that I read or see in pro wrestling make me tear up and come close to crying. Watching Bryan Danielson retire was very heartbreaking to me because I feel it’s not the way he wanted to go out. It is so similar to the way Edge had to retire. I remember watching the American Dragon back in his Ring of Honor days, I was immediately a fan of his because he was trained by one of my all time favorites in Shawn Michaels. He made his debut in December of 1999 and for the next 15 years he gave us so many great moments.
In Ring of Honor, he was an ROH Pure Champion and ROH World Champion. He feuded with James Gibson, Samoa Joe, Chris Hero, Nigel McGuiness, Kenta, Adam Pearce, Tyler Black and many others. One of my favorite things he did on the independent scene was team with Cesaro and Dave Taylor that were known as Team Uppercut. This man had such an unique offense and wrestling style which made him special. He learned from Shawn Michaels, Masato Tanaka and William Regal. Being trained by those men showed in his work and in his class.
After eight years in Ring of Honor he then headed to WWE. A lot of people did not expect much of him when he first got there but in the 5 years he was there he won all the major titles, Money in the Bank and main evented Wrestlemania 30 in New Orleans. My favorite Daniel Bryan moments are his classic matches with CM Punk, his storyline with AJ Lee and his run with Kane as Team Hell No. Te stuff he did with Kane in 2012 through 2013 was the most entertaining and funniest stuff that WWE had done in that time-frame. It showed that he had personality and wasn’t just a pro wrestler. He showed that charismatic side of him that everyone was wanting to see. His career in WWE was just equally as impressive as his career in Ring of Honor. In each promotion he had a different impact.
Watching Bryan’s retirement retirement speech made me realize that athletes and celebrities can learn something from him. He is one of the most humbled, gracious and upstanding people I’ve ever heard speak. He doesn’t expect the spotlight, doesn’t want things handed to him and is grateful the support he’s been given. If I can leave you with one thing that I will remember most about Bryan it will be that he made people care. His selflessness made people care about the WWE, about the charity work they do and how great the people in WWE are. Thank you to the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson on a wonderful and glorious career. Your presence in and out of the ring will never be forgotten. YES! YES! YES!