By Charlie Brugnolotti - Larry King Now
We have often heard critics say that wrestling is fake. That is only partially true. While the form of entertainment is scripted the injuries that these athletes take is very real. Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion and leader of "The Yes Movement" Daniel Bryan will be retiring from professional wrestling on Monday Night Raw due to medical reasons.
Daniel Bryan, also known as "The American Dragon," has had incredible run the past few years. Daniel Bryan began his career as a student of WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels. Michaels has maintained that he saw something special in Bryan at a very early age.
“It was him, [Brian] Kendrick and Lance Cade. You could see that [they] would be three guys that were willing to pay the price and wait and starve. I remember telling [Bryan] and Kendrick that [Lance] is bigger, he’s going to get the first look. Eventually talent makes its way to the top. They were there all the time. They came hungry and stayed hungry.”
- Shawn Michaels
It was those same qualities that drove him to success in the WWE years later. Bryan has traveled around the world, wrestling in large and small arenas alike. He came to fame with the independent promotion Ring Of Honor along side wrestlers like CM Punk, Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Samoa Joe (Some fans will point to Bryan's ROH Matches as some of the best since Bryan's mentor HBK was gracing a WWE arena).
Daniel Bryan was a guy who didn't typically fit the mold of a WWE Superstar. He was an underdog that the fans rallied behind. Unfortunately that commitment to his art combined with his small physical stature ultimately took a toll on his body. It was also what made his character wildly successful. All of his moves were high risk and high impact. He was certainly exciting to watch.
Bryan went on a run in the WWE that not many have ever rivaled, his yes chant was echoing at sporting venues inside and outside of the WWE. It started with Bryan's heel run with the WHC where he introduced an arrogant YES as a way of annoying the crowd. That led him to a tag team with Kane called Team Hell No which was a bright spot on WWE programming for its entire run. Then the underdog story began; The Authority used Bryan's size and appearance as way to hold him back from what he and the fans wanted (Him accomplishing his life long dream). It all culminated with him winning the WWE WHC at Wrestlemania 30 (The image shown above).
After a year long limbo today Daniel Bryan announced that he will officially be retiring via Twitter.
Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I'll have a chance to elaborate. #gratitude
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) February 8, 2016
The story of Daniel Bryan was a great story told by a great performer. Tonight, that story ends.
Thank you Daniel Bryan! YES! YES! YES!
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.