Bryan Danielson recently made headlines when he stated that he intended to slow down as far as his pro wrestling schedule was concerned. The time table for that to happen: One year before those plans come into effect, reportedly.
This news was making the rounds all the while the epic talent was having matches like the match with Ricky Starks—the Texas Deathmatch on Collision—and just this past Sunday at WrestleDream vs. Zack Sabre Jr. To say both matches were incredibly well-received by the fan base would be putting it way too mildly.
But apparently he does have plans as far as this last year of full-time work is concerned. He said the following while speaking to the people over at the Getting Over podcast:
I have people I’d like to get in the ring with…Most of them are AEW people because those are the most easily accessible. For example, I would love to do a match with Darby Allin in Seattle. How cool would that be? Even like Nick Wayne. Me and Swerve have never wrestled…
And I’m just talking about Washington State wrestlers. I want to do another match with Kenny Omega. There’s all these different things that I would like to do but… I don’t want to limit it to names. What I really want out of this year is to be fully present and to be able to appreciate this being my last full-time year of wrestling.”-via Wrestling Inc / Transcription
According to what he also stated in the interview, WWE would actually put talent through a “personality test.” As it turned out, he failed miserably as far as ambitions to be a leader were concerned, so perhaps his plans in that department are nonexistent, but a future in production or in the backstage portion of the business are possible.
But is it too soon for the talented wrestler to think about hanging up the boots, at least at the full-time level? Is it enough to see him wrestle only once or twice a year?
Especially when epic stars like Edge / Adam Copeland have now come onto the AEW scene willing to put in full-time work?
Danielson’s plans for the last year are indeed spot on and there are many that would love to see all of them come to fruition—perhaps especially the rematch against Kenny Omega—but maybe it’s that wrestling fan in me that wants more.
He of course was forced by WWE to retire back in 2016 due to injuries, but he came back from that and had a great last run with the company (WWE), but it was in 2021 that he made the move to AEW, and really he just fit in with the company so well. He was the perfect addition and has had epic match after epic match.
To say that he should be in the running for major titles over the next 3 to 5 years is an understatement, yet another one. In that position he can make younger stars, and even pick up a few accolades for himself along the way.
In the end, the decision is up to him and he has already accomplished so much. He wants to spend time with his young children and his wife Brie, the former Brie Bella in WWE, but there’s still that hope in many that he can find a way to make it work to hold on a little longer.
If we look at Bill Goldberg and his return to the ring, his reason for coming back was so that his son could see him wrestle, and if you ask Bill, his last run was his favorite for that very reason—his son being able to witness it all.
Danielson’s son was only born in 2020—a daughter, Birdie was born in 2017—and so will he regret not being a full-time wrestler as his son ages into later boyhood?
He can indeed always show his son, Buddy, some old footage, but in the end that Goldberg line of thinking is a valid one. And so Danielson needs to see within himself what he wants to do, but with the landscape of AEW changing drastically and quickly—especially since the arrival of Adam Copeland—things are indeed about to get interesting and maybe, just maybe, Danielson will change his mind.
And if he finds a way for himself and his family to be happy, healthy and okay with the decision, what’s another 5 years at the full-time level? We can only hope, dear readers.
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