Monday afternoon (February 8), WWE star Daniel Bryan took to his Twitter account and shocked wrestling fans by announcing that he is retiring after 16 years in the ring. The news immediately went viral and got more eyes glued to Monday Night Raw as the former WWE Heavyweight Champion said he would elaborate during the live airing of the long running weekly program later that night.
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
Overcome with emotion, Bryan stepped into the ring and shared with millions that he has suffered many concussions and his latest injury has prompted him to leave wrestling behind.
It gets to the point where you’ve been wrestling for 16 years, that adds up to a lot of concussions. It gets to a point where they tell you you can’t wrestle any more.
He went on to say that he had be ignoring advice to retire for a long time but recent test results proved that it is time to call it quits.
A week and a half ago I took a test which said maybe my brain isn’t as OK as I thought it was. I have a family to think about and it is with a heavy heart and the utmost sadness that I officially announce my retirement.
Much like football and boxing, professional wrestling has come under fire from the public over health concerns surrounding their athletes. This was made all the more evident when Chris Benoit murdered his wife and son, later committing suicide, back in 2007. Autopsy results showed that he had suffered massive brain injuries that might have led to the tragic incident.
Though thoroughly scripted, pro wrestling is very dangerous, with stunts being performed in the ring several nights a week and no offseason. Bryan’s retirement is similar to former WWE star Edge, who called it quits at the peak of his career due to injuries.