He first addresses when the injury occurred, or at least when it the symptoms first flared up:
It actually happened in the summer of 2013. I was in a match with Randy Orton and did a suicide dive out of the ring and missed. My head hit the guardrail, and I felt a shooting pain go down my arm.
But I thought, "Ah, I'm not really worried about it." Later in that match, though, I did a dropkick off the top rope, and when I landed, I literally couldn't feel my arms, and I couldn't get up. It's what's called a stinger, and after that match, they had me go and get MRIs, and I had a bulging disc in my neck.
That's not unusual for wrestlers, but what was happening is that it was closing the space around the nerves in my neck, which was sending shooting pains down my arm.
What changed that caused him to finally address it, especially when he had just climbed the mountain and become WWE Champ?
Around May of 2014, after all the WrestleMania stuff, all of the sudden it went from shooting pain down my arm to weakness...Like, it was so weak-Brie and I don't have automatic locks. We actually have to turn the key in the car to open it. And I was so weak I couldn't even unlock the car door...
And that's when they said, "No, you need to go get surgery now so that this doesn't get any worse. So I went to get the surgery and they were expecting only a six- to eight-week recovery. But the strength just wasn't coming back.
The theory was the nerve had been crushed for so long it might not come back. So we were trying all these different things. There's a nerve that runs from your neck all the way down to the end of your hand. So there was talk of a second surgery on my neck, there was talk of a surgery on my arm, on my elbow.
There was just so much weakness and sometimes this shooting pain. But the doctors really couldn't agree on what to do. I was set to do the elbow surgery because we couldn't think of anything else to do.
But how did we get from the November news that he might be on the shelf for good, to hopefully wresting in WrestleMania this year? It wasn't a work, according to Bryan:
I saw a naturopath who works with Carson Palmer, a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals who was having a horrible shoulder problem. He could barely even pick up a football. Then, all of a sudden, he was able to play.
That's because he saw this guy in Denver who does something called 'Muscle Activation Technique'. And so I went and saw that guy, and for the first time in months, after just one visit, I had strength in my arm.
It only lasted about five days. But then I went and saw him a second time, and it's lasted all the way until now. It's been very interesting, very confusing, very frustrating. But the last month has been very hopeful.
I was at this point where I wondered "Man, is this ever going to get better?" I was actually facing the fact that I might not be able to come back to wrestling. And then it's almost like a miracle healing. And that's been pretty exciting to me.
The Beard says that he's been doing a lot of jiu-jitsu and kickboxing to stay in shape, but since "Nothing prepares you for wrestling like wrestling", he's been thinking about how to adapt his style. He admits that he's such a wrestling lifer that he's spent time trying to figure out to work without using his right arm - and that he enjoyed it as a mental exercise!
Many fans, including yours truly, have speculated and/or worried about what kind of worker DB would or could be coming back from a spinal-based injury. The man himself admits to not knowing, but doesn't seem too concerned that he'll be able to settle into something that will please the fans:
It's all going to depend on how my body feels.
This has happened to me before when I was on the independents. I would go away-I wouldn't get hurt or anything-but I'd go England for six months. And in that time period, I would be changing my style.
So, I've been home for eight months, watching WWE TV and seeing what I need to do to make myself better and make myself different than anyone else.
My style was going to change anyway. But it's true, I'll be asking myself, "Do I need to do the top-rope dropkick and all that stuff every night?" (Laughs). Probably not. It's hard, though, because I think that's exciting.
But there are other exciting things I could do that won't put as much pressure on my neck. I've been doing exercises to strengthen my neck, but I won't really know how it's going to feel until I get in there and do it.
Definitely click over to BR for the whole interview, which has a lot more detail than this and gives you glimpses both into Bryan's way of keeping it somewhat kayfabe in a shoot interview (he largely ignores Snowden's attempts to get him to talk about CM Punk, or if his return matches were booked against Kane because Glenn Jacobs is a safe worker) and the genuine humilty that has contributed to his becoming the biggest true babyface in wrestling ("Why did the people choose me? As opposed to choosing Cesaro, or choosing Dolph [Ziggler], or any number of the great superstars we have in WWE?").
And let us know what you think, Cagesiders? Does this answer questions you had about his treatment? In a way that makes you more comfortable with his comeback? Are you just dying to see him work any style for more than the minute or two we got on Raw?
YES or NO, sound off below!