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Daniel Bryan is retiring and now I'm crying

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As is always the case with professional wrestling, this could be a work, but reports indicate it is notDaniel Bryan announced a short while ago that he is retiring due to medical reasons and he'll be at Monday Night Raw later on this evening (Feb. 8, 2016) in Seattle to explain himself.

And now I'm crying.

We've talked recently about Dean Ambrose and his struggle to overcome the elitists getting every opportunity he's fought his entire life for but no one personifies that better than Daniel Bryan. He was a David in a land of Goliath's. For the longest time, WWE didn't even want him on the roster, let alone believe him to be the major star he would become. His career isn't marked with speed bumps; he wasn't clearing simple hurdles -- this man had to scale Mount Everest just to get the chance to swim with the sharks.

When he finally made it to the mountaintop, he couldn't take a breath. There was just another mountain to overcome, like getting fired for choking an announcer with his tie during an angle designed to get a new terrifying group over by doing terrifyingly violent things. Upon his return, he was a whipping boy, repeatedly run down on commentary as something less than what he ever actually was. They called him out for everything he never had any control over, like how tall he is, or how strong he is, or how he doesn't have a natural charisma when he speaks.

They were what life is to guys exactly like him: Maybe it isn't so, but it sure does feel like it isn't enough just to push you down, they have to kick you once you're there.

But it's exactly that, the near constant push back of those who do not understand that struggle, that molds a warrior with an unbreakable will. They could not keep Daniel Bryan down, no matter how hard they tried.

They had him work with The Miz and Bryan blew the roof off when he won the US title. They put him in a romance angle with the Bella Twins designed to humiliate him and make him look like a dork, and he married one of them. They gave him the Money in the Bank briefcase, beat him repeatedly, and fans still loved it when he cashed in and won the world heavyweight title. They turned him heel and he took one word, "yes," and made it the new "what." They beat him in 18 seconds at WrestleMania 28 to take his title from him and then didn't even book him on Raw the next night and fans chanted his name the entirety of the show. They tucked him away in a comedy tag team with Kane and fans stayed behind him just as much as they had when he was world heavyweight champion. When they finally put the WWE title on him, they took it away almost instantly and fans never, not even for a second, turned their back on him.

And now I'm crying again.

We knew. They didn't want him to be champion, for whatever silly reason they had, and damn it we weren't going to stand for it. So we chanted and we cheered until he won it back and when he never did and it was clear they were moving him away from the main event title scene, we chanted and we cheered even harder.

When it was time for Royal Rumble in 2014, a match he wasn't even booked in, he was made the favorite. Fan support was such that WWE just had to get behind him, just had to make the right decision, just had to forget for once that he's not a 6'5'' bronzed god. But they didn't. They gave it to exactly that guy.

The cold reality of life is the biggest and the strongest will survive the longest because they are the biggest and the strongest but that does not mean there aren't battles to be won by the scrappiest, hardest fighting motherfucker in the war.

Finally, after all the scratching and clawing, all the blood he spilled, all the bones he broke, he won and we cheered just as hard as our bodies would allow:

We're all going to go fight another battle today, and we can only hope we fight as hard as Bryan ever did to find all the success he achieved. No one deserved it more.

This tear is for you, Daniel Bryan.