Daniel Bryan on his Retirement, Creative Input During His Career, WWE Future


Daniel Bryan recently spoke with Esquire Middle East to promote the upcoming WWE tour of Dubai. The full interview is at this link. Below are highlights:

How much creative input did you have in the Daniel Bryan character?

Quite a lot. Essentially, how it works is that the creative team tells you what your storyline is, and whether you are winning or losing an upcoming match – and I lost a lot of matches! Like an actor they give you direction as to what your motivation is and the rest is down to how you interpret the story. I’m a terrible actor, I would suck in films! The only way I would do well is if I was playing myself, which is what I did in my career. I looked at the situation and thought ‘How would I deal with this problem?’. Then I cranked it up to eleven. In the ring I was normally entrusted to have complete control. Only in some circumstances would the endings be scripted, like in WrestleMania 28 when I lost to Sheamus in 18 seconds. I didn’t get to choose that one!

Your retirement came as a shock to many people. Do you feel that you have more to give?

I have to look at my career as ‘it was what it was’, but I do wish there was more of it. I really didn’t want to do the retirement speech. I wasn’t ready for it. [WWE’s live Monday night TV show] RAW just happened to be in my home city of Seattle, and two days earlier I had heard from doctors that for the sake of my health, I probably shouldn’t wrestle again. I didn’t want to retire, but, if I had to, at least all my friends and family could be there to see it, so I just sucked it up and did it.

Ultimately, I think that it helped me focus on the reality of my situation, and helped me move on. I got injured in April 2015 and was solely focused on returning to the action, but then all of a sudden it dawned upon me that I couldn’t do it anymore, and that I had to move on from the thing that has been the entire focus of my adult life.

What are your plans now?

Part of me wants to stay involved in wrestling, because I love it. But the thing I loved most about it was the wrestling part of it. I didn’t get into it to be famous, or to be a TV star, I got into it because I loved the act of wrestling.

I do love the travel and the interaction with the fans, but if I can’t wrestle any more then it will be tough. There are so many amazing things you can do in this life, so why not try and do something else that I’m interested in? I’m into environmental and ecological issues, so maybe that is an avenue to go down. That’s what I’m trying to figure out right now.


Check out the full interview with Bryan at this link.