Concussions have been in the news a lot lately, most notably in the NFL, but the WWE recently found themselves dealing with the issue.
Yesterday at approximately 12:07pm(cst), the WWE & Daniel Bryan (legal name Bryan Danielson) announced his retirement from in ring competition.
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
It had been speculated for months that this announcement was coming, but it was never official, until today. Bryan had been trying for months and months to get cleared to return to ring action and was even cleared by several non WWE doctors. The WWE brought in Dr. Joseph Maroon, the same doctor who refused to admit that concussions in football contributed to former players having Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (or CTE), to monitor wrestlers who suffered concussions. It is said to be believed that Maroon is the WWE doctor who refused to clear Bryan due to his concussions. Ironic.
During his official announcement segment on the Monday Night Raw telecast, Bryan said that concussions ultimately led to his retirement. He stated that he had been wrestling since he was 18 years old (16 years in the wrestling business) and he had suffered numerous concussions.
Within the first five months of wrestling, he mentioned that he had suffered 3 concussions.
“I’ve been wrestling since I was 18 years old and within the first five months of my wrestling career, I had already had three concussions. And for years after that, I would get a concussion here and there or here, or there and then it gets to the point when you’ve been wrestling for sixteen years and that adds up to a lot of concussions. And it gets to a point where they (doctors) tell you that you can’t wrestle anymore.”
Bryan stated that he went through several tests and showed no signs of injury and he felt like he was ready to come back and wrestle at any moment that the WWE would have called him back to perform. Until he took another test recently.
“A week and a half ago, I took a test that said that maybe my brain isn’t as okay as I thought it was. I have a family to think about and my wife and I want to start having kids soon.”
Bryan never mentioned exactly what test he took that showed him that his brain was not okay, but hopefully within the near future we will know what test it was. This test could be huge in the concussion world.
“It is with a heavy heart and the upmost sadness, that I officially announce my retirement. I’ve been angry, I’ve been sad, I’ve been frustrated, and all that. But when I woke up this morning, I felt nothing but gratitude. You guys got behind me in a way that made me feel like I was more than just me. And for that, I’m grateful. I’m very grateful.”
The WWE did a tremendous job in highlighting the career of Daniel throughout their Monday Night Raw telecast, but hopefully this will shed even more light onto the concussion crisis that is happening in America.