Daniel Bryan Hints that He’s Leaving WWE If They Don’t Clear Him

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Daniel Bryan recently spoke with Peter Rosenberg about wanting to return to the ring and explained why he could be leaving the company if they don’t clear him to return to action. Here are highlights from the interview:

Not being cleared by WWE: “Oh, so I’ve had too many concussions [according to WWE]. They have outright said, ‘No, you’re wrestling again.’ Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re still at the ‘No you’re not wrestling again’ part of that conversation. But I have presented them with my case, which is a lot of testing and that kind of stuff that shows, ‘Hey, I’m fine.’ And so, it’s interesting.”

Being cleared by UCLA’s specialists: “I’ve worked with some of the best people in the country. I’ve been cleared by specialists at UCLA that I did not choose, right? WWE sent them to me because they’re the best. A whole team of people who work with concussions on a daily basis and they said to me, ‘You are fine to wrestle.’ And we’re also at this stage where all my brain EEGs, my MRIs, my neuropsychological tests [have been positive].”

Not loving the part of wrestling that he’s currently doing: “I love [professional] wrestling, but I don’t love all of it, right? The hard part of wrestling is the travel and going here and there and being away from your family. The part that I love is being in the ring and wrestling. Yeah, being in there and doing it. So now, I’ve got the job that’s the part of wrestling that I don’t like. I am very appreciative of WWE giving me this something to do, but I think some people still think, ‘Oh, you’re in wrestling still and you’re getting a pay check – you should be happy.’”

Brie supporting his desire to wrestle: “So Brie, and you’d think that this would be the opposite, she’s fully supportive of me wrestling again and one of the reasons why is she has been in some of these doctors meetings with the doctors that cleared me.”

Not telling WWE about experiencing post-concussion seizures until years after his final seizure: “I also had post-concussion seizures and I had hidden that. And WWE is not wrong in this. One of the things that was bad about what I had done myself is that I hid things from the doctors, so if your doctors can’t trust you, this is another thing about high school kids and college kids and all that kind of stuff if they get concussions, if you start hiding things from your doctors because you’re afraid of what will happen to you, that is not good for you in the long run and that breeds this situation of mistrust. I didn’t tell WWE [about the seizures] until my last concussion in 2015 and I hadn’t had a seizure since 2012, but I never told them that I had any seizures.”

Brie witnessing him having a seizure: “Brie was there for one of them and it was when we had first started dating, like, we had just started dating, and we were in the hotel room and I had a concussion that night and we were in bed and I started having the seizure, and Brie was there for that and she saw it. And then, like, you have to understand that we were in this really weird situation where it’s like we had only been dating for, like, two months and she wasn’t even my girlfriend yet. We were just kind of seeing each other. And I begged her, I said, ‘Please don’t anyone about this.’ She didn’t tell anybody. She has a twin sister – she didn’t even tell her twin sister that like, ‘Hey, Bryan has this thing.’”

Accepting if he can’t wrestle for his health: “I’m somebody that if they found something wrong with my brain, I don’t want to wrestle because I’m okay with not wrestling. The hard part for me is having all these specialists that told me I’m cleared to wrestle and then I am not able to wrestle. That’s the hard part, right, because it’s still this passion. It was interesting because when I retired, I made peace with it, right? For a while, I was like, ‘okay, it’s going to be okay. Whatever.’ But then, it gets to a point where you’re like, ‘wait a minute, not only can I do this, but I feel like [sighs] it almost feels like I’m doing a disservice to me and a disservice to other people who are going to be in my situation.”

Understanding WWE’s position: “If you look at some of the people who perform now, and so, this is one of my things too. And so I also need to say this because it comes across as ‘Argh, WWE!’, but that is not the case at all. WWE is trying to protect me, right? And they’re also trying to protect their company, but I don’t know how many people on the roster, just in total, if you had them do all the brain testing that I’ve done that their tests would be as good as mine.”

Possibly taking his career elsewhere: “If I get a bad test somewhere along the line, I won’t wrestle. But I also, will probably, when my contract is up, I’d probably, if I’m still General Manager at that point, I’d probably step away from that part of it because just being around it, I love it a little too much and I need to transition. I need to get this focused because I’m very good at focusing on one thing, right? But then, I need to switch that laser focus to something else like saving the starving polar bears. So yeah, assuming everything continues as it has been going, when my [WWE] contract is up I would wrestle elsewhere if WWE would not clear me.”

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