The Yes movement is over, Daniel Bryan retires

Colin Barry

WWE superstar Daniel Bryan made the shocking announcement on Twitter on Monday that he is ending his nearly two-decade career.

Making his way out to deafening cheers in his hometown of Seattle, Bryan emotionally addressed the Monday Night RAW audience.

“Within the first five months of my wrestling career, I’d already had three concussions,” the self-proclaimed “Yes Man” tearfully told the crowd in Seattle. “It gets to the point when you’ve been wrestling for 16 years that it adds up to a lot of concussions. It gets to a point where they tell you that you can’t wrestle anymore.”

“I have loved this in a way that I have never loved anything else,” Bryan said referring to his illustrious career.

Bryan addressed the crowd about his career, how he went from “wrestling in the parking lot of gas stations to wrestling in front of 70,000 people in New Orleans.”

Bryan teared up when talking about his personal life in wrestling, which included meeting his now-wife, Brie Bella, and how close he was to his father.

Daniel Bryan wrestled under his real name Bryan Danielson  early in his career and as the American Dragon, complete with a mask.

Trained by WWE legends Shawn Michaels and William Regal, Bryan competed in several independent professional wrestling promotions in his career, including the incredibly popular Ring of Honor. The promotion considers Bryan a “founding father,” as he competed in the first event the promotion ever had.

He also wrestled overseas in the well-known promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling. He was a junior heavyweight wrestler in NJPW, where he fought other wrestlers who were less than 220 pounds in fast-paced, high-flying matches.

His presence in these promotions gave Bryan a massive following on the Internet and a deep connection with live fans.

Bryan was signed by WWE in 2009, where he competed on the first season of NXT. From there, he had stellar moments including winning main event WrestleMania 30, which is considered a high honor in the professional wrestling world. He did it despite the creative team of WWE wanting nothing to do with him.

Bryan connected with his fans in a way most professional wrestlers could not. WWE legend, Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, said during an interview for WrestleMania Rewind, “His work rate in the ring and what he gives through the match just means so much more to the wrestling fans than anything else.”

“When I woke up this morning, I felt nothing but gratitude,” Bryan humbly said to his hometown on Monday. “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.”

Daniel Bryan retired from his 16-year pro wrestling career in front of his family and with his wife and his hometown fans still chanting his one word catchphrase, “YES! YES! YES!” and “Thank you Bryan!”