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In appreciation of Daniel Bryan

I don’t know Daniel Bryan personally or anything but how great is this guy?

When he was forced to retire back in 2016 over concern related to the health of his brain following repeated concussions suffered throughout a long career in pro wrestling, all he talked about was gratitude. He was sad, sure, but he chose to focus on being thankful for the wife he met in WWE, Brie Bella, and the family they’ve since created together. Two years later, after a lot of time spent trying to make his way back, he revealed that doctors had cleared him to come back to do the thing he loved.

In doing so, he again talked about how grateful he was for Brie, and his family. They loved having him home, of course, but encouraged him to fight for his dream of returning to once again do the thing he spent his entire life wanting to do. And he did! He worked a lighter schedule so he could be home with his family more but he came back and did what he loved. He wrestled.

Throughout that time, though, he spoke often about how injuries have affected his ability to play with his daughter, and how gut wrenching it is to have to say goodbye when he leaves to go to work. He’s openly wondered if it’s worth it anymore.

I don’t know the answer to that, of course, and maybe he still doesn’t either. But I think it’s worth stopping to appreciate the fact that Bryan let his WWE contract run out, did the job on his way out the door, and has since simply gone home and been a father for his two children and a husband to his wife. He’s not messing around on social media, he’s not making brief appearances here and there or anywhere, really — he’s just out there, being a dad.

That’s pretty damn great.

He’ll probably come back at some point, for some company, for some number of matches. It will be cool if so. But it will also be cool if he doesn’t. That will just mean he’s out there being a dad to two kids who love him.

What could be better than that?

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