Daniel Bryan retired from professional wrestling in February, closing out “Monday Night Raw” in one of the most memorable segments in the show’s history. Arguably the most beloved WWE superstar since the Attitude Era, Bryan said his in-ring career was over because of his history with concussions.
But less than seven months later, the door for an eventual return for Bryan appears to be open. Speaking with ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman, Bryan made it sound like he hasn’t completely given up on the idea of wrestling again in the future.
"If you were to ask me nine days out of 10, I would say, 'Absolutely!'" Bryan said when asked if there’s a chance that he would ever have another match. "I keep trying to convince people that I'm OK to wrestle, and I think that's probably the hard part. A lot of times I'm trying to convince myself, too, that I can wrestle. It's really hard, because the concussion issue is very subjective, and that's the part that a lot of people don't understand."
Bryan had his last match in WWE in April of last year, shortly after WrestleMania 31. He suffered a concussion and was forced to drop the Intercontinental Championship that he had won just a few weeks earlier.
While doctors outside of WWE continued to clear Bryan to wrestle, WWE would not give him permission to get back in the ring. Bryan ultimately called it a career, citing his health and his desire to start a family with former WWE wrestler Brie Bella.
Now, Bryan indicates that his decision might have been premature.
"I was cleared by a lot of concussion specialists," Bryan said. "There was one test that kind of flagged me, but then the more I learned about that test, the more I learned, 'Hey, maybe that shouldn't have stopped me.'
"There's a lot more than meets the eye to this situation. I feel great, and I feel like every day that I can wrestle. I'm doing jiu-jitsu and kickboxing and stuff like that, and I feel 100 percent."
If Bryan is ever going to wrestle again, it’s likely not going to be in WWE. Because the company has refused to clear him, Bryan would likely have to wrestle at an independent promotion or in Japan, where he could make big money. A return, though, would probably have to be years down the road, since Bryan is currently under contract with WWE, serving as the general manager of “SmackDown Live.”
At the height of his career, Bryan was recognized by many as the best technical wrestler in the world. He was a three-time WWE Champion, winning the belt in the main event of WrestleMania 30.