While making an appearance to throw out the first pitch at a Philadelphia Phillies game on Monday night, Daniel Bryan spoke to the Associated Press about his concussion history and retirement from in-ring competition earlier this year.
And as he has done in most recent interviews, Bryan once again expressed uncertainty about closing the book on his in-ring career.
“I honestly do,” Bryan said about hoping to wrestle again. “All the real concussion specialists who deal with concussions every day, all of them think I am fine.”
But Bryan noted that he understood why WWE wouldn’t clear him.
“You can see it from their point of view,” Bryan said. “If something happens to me…and then they let me back in the ring, and something happens to me, even if these other doctors say I’m cleared, they’re not the ones who the media will blame. Because concussions are such a hot topic issue and everyone’s afraid of that sort of thing, that’s one of the reasons why I wasn’t cleared.”
The AP reporter asked WWE medical director Dr. Joseph Maroon for comment, but he directed the inquiry back to WWE.
The company’s statement: “WWE determined it is not in the best interest of Bryan Danielson (aka Daniel Bryan) to continue as an in-ring performer.”
Bryan said that there are times where he gets worked up and wants to call and ask for his release, and that he might have tried harder to get out of his contract and wrestle elsewhere if he didn’t have a family to look out for.
“Hell, I might even be wearing a mask at an independent show next week dressed up as Star Man,” Bryan said. “Because it’s what I love to do. But, it becomes different when you have a wife and you’re trying to have kids.”
While laughing, Bryan claimed that he wasn’t given a choice about accepting his new role as general manager of SmackDown. He said that he’s under contract so he shows up when he’s told to.
Also in the interview, Bryan seemed displeased with a recent poll that appeared on WWE.com asking fans who they would like to see him face if he could compete in one more match.
“Don’t think for a second I’m not like, what are you guys doing?” Bryan said. “I know they won’t let me wrestle. Nothing has changed on their end.”