Daniel Bryan Weighs In On WWE’s Refusal To Clear Him

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In an interview with E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness , Daniel Bryan talked about why he wants to return to wrestling, what Vince McMahon told him about Roman Reigns, and more. Below are highlights:

On talking with Road Dogg about the past: “Road Dogg was talking to me, it was just like two weeks ago, and he goes, ‘do you ever sit back and think how incredible it was, like, that it ever happened, that you main evented WrestleMania?’ because that was never, like, that was never the trajectory for me or anything like that. Just, ‘what a cool moment that is.’ And then, ‘you can always hang your hat on that’ type of thing, right? And to me it’s like, ‘yes, it was a very cool moment, but I’m very much, like, I live, like, in the now, right?’”

On wanting to return to wrestling: “I’m very happy, but wrestling is something that nothing else can replace for me, right? I’m driven by how much I enjoy the performance of it, like, so, I do honestly have goals for wrestling.”

On what Vince McMahon told him about Roman Reigns: “I had a conversation with Vince. Actually, I don’t know when it was. I don’t know if it was before WrestleMania 30 or if it was after WrestleMania 30, but it went something along the lines of this. It’s like he said something along the lines to me of, ‘we really want to push Roman to be the next John Cena.’ And I had said to him, ‘boss, I 100% support that, but I just want you to know that I want to be the next John Cena.’ Like, don’t tell me he wants some other guy to be the next John Cena!”


On getting cleared by doctors that WWE sent him to: “They sent me there. I didn’t choose these doctors. It was a team of doctors [at UCLA], concussion specialists, and they run me through all these tests. At the end of all these tests, they’re like, ‘you’re cleared to go.’ And I was like, ‘yes! I’m cleared to go!’ And then, it’s like, ‘no, you’re not cleared to go,’ right?”


On his retirement speech and getting contacted by a doctor after: “I didn’t want to do it at first. And then, I talked to Brie about it, and I was like, ‘man, my friends, my family, will be there and it’s probably best.’ All of a sudden, one of the doctors that had cleared me calls me and said, ‘Bryan, what happened? Like, you ran through all this testing and everything was fine. What happened?’ And I told him what had happened. I said, ‘they found a lesion on the temporal parietal region of my brain.’ And he goes, ‘wait, hold up – a lesion?’ And I said, ‘yeah,’ and I don’t know what a ‘lesion’ means to you guys, but a lesion to me means you have a cut, right? Like I have a cut on my brain. And he goes, ‘no, a lesion in medical terminology is a very vague thing. It just says something is there, right? Like, we don’t know what it is, so we call it a lesion in the temporal parietal region of your brain.”

On his brain issues: “My reflexes in the temporal parietal region of my brain are slower than what they would expect, right? So in the report, they put ‘lesion on the temporal parietal region of the brain.’ They’re not slower than say your average person, but they’re slower than, like, your MMA athletes or people that they test for a lot of this kind of stuff, right? So I just have average reflect time and I’m just like, ‘oh no, I don’t think they understand I’m just an average person. I’m not a real athlete! There’s this thing and it’s just like, ‘oh no, there [has] been this huge misunderstanding,’ right? My brain is essentially, you take any college football player in the country because I have had multiple, multiple concussions. I had 10 documented concussions, four post-concussion seizures, and so, but, with that said, my brain is no worse than your average college football player’s brain, right?”

On not wanting to be around wrestling if he can’t get in the ring: “I wanted to start moving away from wrestling. Because I love wrestling so much, it’s really hard to be that close to it. Well then, so Hunter called and asked me to do the commentating thing for the Cruiserweight Classic. I said, ‘yeah, I’d love to do that. I’d love to help guys get over and all of that kind of stuff.’ And to do all that seems cool. But then, they called me and they didn’t ask, they told me to be the SmackDown GM, right? And I was like, ‘oh, okay.’ And I thought I’d be okay with it, but then, all of a sudden, being around it, every single week and not being able to do it…” Bryan continued, “so I’m around it and I’m not being able to do the part of it that I love the most and then they had me at ringside during an AJ Styles/Dean Ambrose match and it literally tore my heart apart, right?”

On being able to wrestle with injuries: “One of the wonderful things about wrestling to me is that you can protect people who have had head injuries. My last match, right, my last match, I didn’t take a single bump, right? And the match to me was really fun and good. It was me and John Cena against Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. And I couldn’t have been working with a better three people, right, than to do that sort of thing. But I didn’t take a single bump. All three of those guys protected me in a way that you can do that in wrestling.”


On why he wants a comeback: “My daughter is one of the reasons I do want to do it. It’s this idea of teaching her that like, ‘hey, whatever your dream is, whatever your version of wrestling is, like, you can do it, and you can’t let.. just because someone says, ‘you can’t do this because we think this,’ that’s not a good reason to stop.” Bryan explained, “I’m doing this more for my daughter than anything else.”


On WWE’s refusal to clear him: “In no way, shape, or form am I trying to put pressure on WWE to have me return to wrestle because, like, they have been so supportive with everything that I’ve done. And people don’t understand that. They’ve been 100% behind everything that I’ve been doing kind of behind-the-scenes. One of the reasons it [has] been very hard for WWE to clear me is my own fault is because I was not honest with them about my concussions, right? And that’s a big part of it. Like, your doctors have to be able to trust you as an individual, right?”

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