Hello there everyone.
Once more, I had something planned to write here, but events have caused me to hold that off until next time. Yesterday my favourite WWE wrestler, Daniel Bryan- that’s Bryan Danielson if you’re an indie snob- officially announced his retirement from wrestling.
Now, upon finding out I like wrestling most people’s reaction is to tell me it’s fake. My usual reaction to that is to say: “So is [insert person’s favourite franchise here] you colossal dick head,” which is the only proper response in my mind, so let’s have none of that and show respect to a man who put his body on the line to entertain millions and has now had to step down for health reasons.
There is an element of the wrestling fandom who seem to think that it’s only WWE who won’t let him wrestle and he should make a comeback to the indie scene where he became something of a darling in the early 2000s, but frankly I think he’s done enough. More and more science is learning how serious concussions are, serious enough that Danielson had to retire from a “fake” sport at the age of 34. I say it’s better to retire now while he’s still relatively young and healthy and can be there for his family. But that’s just me.
Anyway, I watched his retirement speech on this week’s episode of WWE Raw and I won’t lie, I had tears in my eyes. Despite being a life long wrestling fan, there is really only one other moment that has caused me to well up like that, a moment which also featured Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 30.
You see, about two years ago I was at my lowest ebb. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for most of my life, but this was something else. My Grandad had died a year earlier and it was something I had never really dealt with at the time, and for some reason it suddenly hit me that he was gone. I was living with my partner at the time and we had hit a rough patch and broke up. Add that to the fact I was studying for my Master’s degree at the time, with a seemingly insurmountable workload for a career I wasn’t even sure I was talented enough to work in, I was an absolute mess. I felt like I was a million light years away from anyone who cared about me. I had run out of self esteem and was on the verge of giving it all up.
Then Wrestlemania 30 happened.
I had insomnia at the time so I ended up watching it live (bloody Yanks with your time zones). The story line was that Daniel Bryan had been trying to get into the World Title picture for nearly a year, but each time he came close he was screwed by on air authority figures Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. He then went on a bit of a rampage and demanded a match with Triple H at Wrestlemania 30, which if he won he would get a shot at the World Title later in the night.
It all seems a bit predictable now, but at the time it was a genuine shock that he managed to overcome all of these odds to end the show holding the title with 70000+ screaming fans lifting the roof off the arena chanting his signature “YES!” catchphrase. At 5′ 8″ and 190 pounds, at a glance Bryan is the last person you would expect to be a wrestling superstar, but there he was. He had overcome that obstacle, he had overcome the obstacle of not being the strongest, fastest, best looking or most athletic to have what is arguably the greatest moment in Wrestlemania history.
I watched this and suddenly life didn’t seem so bad. I was inspired. Maybe I could do all my work, maybe I could surpass all of my obstacles; get my Masters degree and become a superstar in my own right. Long story short: I got my degree. Jury is still out on whether I’ll be a superstar, but that’s another post for another day.
So there’s your lot. All that’s left to say is thank you Daniel Bryan, you will be missed but never forgotten.
See you around xx