AEW’s been running an angle that really does seem like it could be Christopher Daniels’s last.
As someone who’s been watching CD wrestle for about 20 years - and who like the Fallen Angel, is a guy processing the fact his life is at or past the halfway point - I really wish this was getting more time on AEW Dynamite. Maybe that’s for the best, though. Because I doubt the 51 year old would get five minutes on TNT to deliver the kind of promo he does at the start of this week’s Being The Elite:
“You know, when I was 18 years old, I watched Dusty Rhodes, one of the guys that grew up watching, I watched him when the U.S. title for the very first time. He beat Lex Luger, and I was so happy. And I remember the next week, I was watching television, and he was in the locker room, sitting at a table with the US championship and he talked - he talked about, after all the time he had spent in wrestling, he was talking about retiring. He was thinking about retiring. And I remember thinking in my head, ‘You just won the U.S. Championship. One of the biggest titles in pro wrestling. You be one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling, Lex Luger, and you’re thinking of walking away, Dusty?’ He said, I remember it plain as day the way he put it, he said, ‘I’m thinking of laying this old body down.’
“And I think to myself, at this point in my career, I’ve been in it longer than he was at that time. I’m older now than he was at that time, and I’ve done so much less than he ever did. I wonder, should I be thinking about laying this body down?
”I mean, there’s no shame in losing, you know? You lose a match to someone like The Young Bucks, of course, that thing happens, they are the best tag team in the world. But maybe the shame is not realizing that that should be your last loss? And people have been talking to me and saying, you know, ‘when are you going to decide to hang it up? Chris, when do you decide that you’re done?’
“And maybe it’s not a decision that you make? Maybe it’s a realization that it’s time. I’ve got a lot more to say to Frankie [Kazarian], and to my family. But this moment, right now? I don’t know what’s ahead for me. But I knew at some point, I would walk out a door in an arena, and that would be the last time I walk out as a full-time wrestler.
“And I don’t know if that day is today or not. I don’t know. But, if it is all I can say is, ‘Thanks.’ Thank you if you watched, thank you if you cheered, thank you if you booed. Just thanks.
[Daniels gets up from the trainer’s table and walks to a door marked ‘Exit’. He slides down the wall, crying into his hands]
“I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go. Can’t I stay, just a little?”
[After a moment, he stands, brushes himself off, and walks out]
The stipulation of Daniels & Kazarian’s title match with The Bucks last week was that they would no longer tag together if they lost. It’s not clear if CD is done, but he does have backstage responsibilities with AEW should he decide to stop performing, either full-time or entirely.
After Daniels & Kaz’s post-match hug didn’t even make the air last Wednesday, it would nice if some component of this story played out on TV. We’ll see what happens.
In the meantime, from one middle aged dude to another... you’re welcome Christopher. And thank you.