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A full transcript of Daniel Bryan's retirement speech from Monday's WWE Raw, courtesy of Reddit user thenoorelyaqin.
So, just now, I was able to close my eyes and feel that. Like, literally feel it in a way that I've never gotten to feel it before, because when we're here, we always have to keep our eyes open, but just that experience, I literally am never going to forget it.
But now, it is time for me to address the giant elephant in the room.
I know, I didn't want to shave my beard either, but the thing is that I wanted to cut my hair, and once I cut my hair, I looked really silly with this giant beard. And this is just my one cheap plug. It's that I cut my hair for an organization called "Wigs for Kids", and one of the nice things about them is that they make wigs for kids who have had cancer and they don't charge the families at all for that, so if there is anything worthwhile that comes out of what I'm saying tonight, that's it right there.
But now, to some less fun stuff.
Trust me, I don't want to be doing this any more than you guys want me to be doing this, but the truth is I've been wrestling since I was 18 years old. And within the first 5 months of my wrestling career, I've already had 3 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 16 years that it adds up to a lot of concussions. And it gets to a point where they tell you that you can't wrestle anymore. And for a long time I've fought that because I had gotten EEGs and brain MRIs and neuropsychological evaluations, and all of them said this, that I was fine, and that I could come back and I could wrestle, and I trained like I would come back and I would wrestle, and I was ready at a moment's notice if WWE needed me, I wanted to come back and wrestle, because this. I have loved this in a way that I have never loved anything else.
But 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. And I have a family to think about, and my wife and I want to start having kids soon.
[in response to a huge "YES!" chant] That's what Brie says all the time! Hahaha.
So, it is with a heavy heart and the utmost sadness that I officially announce my retirement.
But if there's one thing. So I've gone through all these complex emotions in this last little bit. You know, I've been angry, I've been sad, I've been frustrated, I've been all of that, but today, when I woke up this morning, I felt nothing but gratitude, because I have gotten to do what I love for nearly 16 years.
Let me tell you a few of the things that I love, okay? Let me tell you a few of the things that I love.
Nobody outside this arena or this city cares about this, but I love the Seahawks!
Here's another thing that I love, alright? Here's another thing that I love. Right before my music hits and it makes that weird sound right before it comes on, and when you react, every single time, even if I'm tired as Hell or I've been hurting, every time, I get this weird little smirk on my face that's not like, but it just, it brings joy to my heart and I love it every single time.
Do you know what else do I love? I love hitting the ropes and diving right here [suggesting a "Suicide Dive" through the gap between the top and middle ropes]. It has made me feel like Superman, and your guys' reaction to that made me feel like Superman. I love that.
Here's another thing that I love, here's another thing that I love. I have wrestled in the parking lot of gas stations, and I have wrestled in front of 70+ thousand people in New Orleans.
Here's another thing that I love. I have gotten to meet the most amazing people on this planet, such as somebody who looks like a monster but is the smartest man I know, like Kane. I have gotten to meet a man who has been my mentor and my friend for over 16 years in William Regal. I have gotten to meet children that are stronger than I ever thought anybody could be, like Connor.
I am very grateful, and I'm grateful because wrestling doesn't owe me or anybody back there, it doesn't owe us anything. WWE doesn't owe us anything. Nobody owes, you guys don't owe us anything. We do this because we love to do this. And then it was strange, because I did this because I love to do this, and then all of a sudden you guys just got behind me, in a way that I never thought was possible, in a way that fans shouldn't necessarily get behind a guy who's 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds. You guys got behind me in a way that made me feel that I was more than just me, and for that, I'm grateful.
I am grateful because a little over 2 years ago, in this very arena, you guys hijacked Raw. And they were trying to do a big championship coronation between Randy Orton and John Cena. They were combining, they were combining the WWE Championship with the World Heavyweight Championship, and they had all the former champions out here, and this was going to be the most important match in WWE history, and you guys just wouldn't stop chanting "Daniel Bryan".
But that's not why I'm grateful. My dad was sitting right over there, where the guy with the goat mask, with the "Daniel Bryan" sign is standing right now, and my dad got to see that. His son getting that kind of reaction from all of you people, and that was the last time my dad ever got to see me wrestle, and you guys made it special, for him and for me, and for my entire family.
I am grateful.
I am grateful, because of wrestling, I got to meet the most wonderful woman in the world, who's beautiful. She's smart, and she completes me in a way that I didn't even think was possible, and that's because of wrestling.
I am grateful.
I am grateful because I get to come out here, in front of what I feel are my hometown fans. I get to announce my retirement in front of a bunch of people who love me, right? That special moment that I had with my dad, I get to share this moment with my mom, with my sister, with my family, with my friends. I get to share it with them, I get to share it with you, I get to share it with my wife in the back, I get to share it with all these wonderful human beings that I have spent the last 15 years of my life with.
I am grateful.
Now, tomorrow morning, I start a new life. A life where I'm no longer a wrestler.
But that is tomorrow, and that is not tonight.
And by damn, I have one more night to feel this energy and to feel this crowd, so if I could just get one last "YES!" chant, I would really appreciate it!