At the time of writing this, Daniel Bryan announced his retirement from the sports entertainment world.
Let’s face it, wrestling is no longer a “secret” guilty pleasure. I’ve written about it a few times on this blog and a few times for Ministry Matters (the most recent one right here. PS, it should be noted that HHH is the champion now. The creative team is seemingly struggling…)
Daniel Bryan was exciting to watch. He was the anti-hero of WWE.
The WWE, particular its owner Vince McMahon, love the superhero-esque built type wrestlers (think John Cena).
Bryan was nowhere near that. He wasn’t going to be the face of the company because he didn’t like the prototype that the suits love. And he was kept as a mid card event.
That behind the scenes struggle ended up being a major storyline for Bryan. He kept beating the odds and rising up while the Authority kept trying to hold him down (on TV).
Bryan finally became champion at Wrestlemania XXX. It was something every fan wanted to see (every fan over 12). It was fun. It was exciting. It was deserving.
But injuries kept him away and eventually forced him to retire.
I know that pro-wrestling is viewed as “fake.” In one sense it is. It’s scripted. It’s choreographed. But these guys take real bumps and hits and actually really do put their bodies on the line. It’s a reality show before reality shows became reality show. And these wrestlers have more talent to showcase than a bunch of men having a douche-off to see who’d win the heart of the most recent bachelorette.
Basically, I don’t care if you think it’s fake because:
After his retirement announcement on Raw, I was this picture in one of my procrastinating surfing:
For whatever reason, that picture still gets to me. (That’s his wife next to him).
I mean, the whole purpose of this post was spurred on by that picture.
A dream and passion cut short.
The mind willing and wanting, but the body betraying him.
Wanting to keep going but can’t.
It truly was a career cut to short for those of us who care.
And I know I’m too old for this crap. Especially to have any emotional reaction to anything pro wrestling related. I’m way past 13.
But, God help me, a single speck of dust flew into my right eye as I was watching him bid farewell to a craft that he dedicated his body and entire life to.
Thankfully the kid was asleep and the wife was at work.