Here is a full transcript of Daniel Bryan’s retirement speech from Monday night on RAW.
You can check out the full recap at the link below.
Daniel Bryan announces his retirement from professional wrestling
Lilian Garcia introduces Daniel Bryan to the ring. Bryan comes out with a new haircut and trimmed up beard. The crowd gives him a massive reception and a big “YES” chant breaks out. The entire arena has their arms up in the air. Bryan has tears in his eyes. The crowd and commentators give him a standing ovation. Bryan stands in the ring and soaks in the chant. Bryan closes his eyes and looks like he’s holding back tears. Bryan then smiles as a massive “Daniel Bryan” chant breaks out. Bryan looks at the crowd, and they give him an even bigger ovation. This is incredible. Another huge “YES” chant breaks out, and Bryan smiles widely.
Bryan says, “So, just now, I was able to close my eyes and feel that, like literally feel it in a way that I’ve never gotten to feel it before because when we’re here, we always have to keep our eyes open. But just that experience, literally I’m never going to forget it. But now – but now it is time for me to address the giant elephant in the room. I know, I know – I didn’t want to shave my beard either. But the thing is, is that I wanted to cut my hair, and once I cut my hair, I looked really silly with this giant beard. And this is just my one cheap plug is that I cut my hair for an organization called ‘Wigs for Kids.’ And one of the nice things about them is that they make wigs for kids who have had cancer, and they don’t charge the families at all for that, so if there is anything worthwhile that comes out of what I’m saying tonight, that’s it right there. But now to some less fun stuff, so…”
A lout “NO” chant breaks out. Bryan says, “Trust me, I don’t want to be doing this anymore than you guys want me to be doing this, but the truth is I’ve been wrestling since I was eighteen years old. And within the first five months of my wrestling career, I’d already had three concussions. And, uh, for years after that, I would get a concussion here and there, or here or there, and it gets to the point that when you’ve been wrestling for sixteen years, that adds up to a lot of concussions. And it gets to a point where they tell you that you can’t wrestle anymore. And for a long time I fought that because I had gotten EEGs and brain MRIs and neuro-psychological evaluations and all of them said this: that I was fine and that I could come back and I could wrestle. I trained like I could come back and I could wrestle. I was ready at a moment’s notice if WWE needed me, I wanted to come back and wrestle because this – I have loved this in a way I have never loved anything else.”
Bryan visibly gets choked up, and a loud, “Thank you, Daniel” chant breaks out. Bryan puts his head down and smiles.
“But, a week and a half ago, I took a test that said that maybe my brain isn’t as ok as I thought it was. And, I have a family to think about, and my wife and I want to start having kids soon…”
A big “YES” chant breaks out at that. Bryan jokes, “That’s what Brie says all the time!” Bryan laughs as the crowd loudly cheers that. A “Holy shit” chant breaks out before turning into, “That’s what she said!”
“So, it is with a heavy heart and the utmost sadness that I officially announce my retirement, but if there’s one thing… so I’ve gone through all these complex emotions in this last little bit. I’ve been angry, I’ve been sad, I’ve been frustrated, I’ve been all of that, but today, when I woke up this morning, I felt nothing but gratitude because I have gotten to do what I love for nearly sixteen years. Let me tell you a few of the things that I love, ok? Let me tell you a few of the things that I love. Nobody outside this arena or this city cares about this, but I love the Seahawks.”
That gets a huge reception, and the crowd starts doing the “Seahawks” chant. Bryan wears a huge grin on his face as this takes place.
“Here’s another thing that I love. Here’s another thing that I love. Right before my music hits, and it makes that weird sound right before it comes on, and when you guys react, every single time, even if I’m tired as hell or I’ve been hurt, every time I get this weird little smirk on my face that’s not like… but it brings joy to my heart, and I love it every single time. Do you know what else that I love? I love hitting the ropes and diving right here.” Bryan puts himself through the ropes. “It has made me feel like Superman, and your guys’ reaction to that made me feel like Superman. I love that. Here’s another thing that I love. Here’s another thing that I love. I have wrestled in the parking lots of gas stations AND I have wrestled in front of 70,000+ in New Orleans. Here is another thing that I love. I have gotten to meet the most amazing people on this planet such as somebody who looks like a monster but is the smartest man I know like Kane. I have gotten to meet a man who has been my mentor and my friend for over sixteen years in William Regal. I have gotten to meet children that are stronger than I ever thought anybody could be like Connor.”
Bryan looks like he’s choked up again as the crowd starts to chant for Connor.
“Grateful. I am very grateful. I am grateful because wrestling doesn’t owe me or anybody back there, it doesn’t owe us anything. WWE doesn’t owe us anything. Nobody owes… you guys don’t owe us anything. We do this because we love to do this. And then, it was strange because I did this because I love to do this, and then all of a sudden you guys just got behind me in a way that I never thought was possible. In a way that fans shouldn’t necessarily get behind a guy who is 5’8 and a 190 pounds. You guys got behind me in a way that made me feel that I was more than just me, and for that I’m grateful. I am grateful because a little over two years ago, in this very arena, you guys hijacked RAW.
“And they were trying to do a big championship coronation between Randy Orton and John Cena. They were combining the WWE Championship with the World Heavyweight Championship. And they had all the former champions out here, and this was going to be the most important match in WWE history, and you guys just wouldn’t stop chanting, ‘Daniel Bryan.’”
A loud “Daniel Bryan” chant breaks out. “But that’s not why I’m grateful.” Bryan begins to hold back tears. “My dad was sitting right over there where the guy with the goat mask with the ‘Daniel Bryan’ sign is standing right now. And, my dad got to see that. His son getting that kind of reaction from all you people…” Bryan’s voice begins to falter. “And that was the last time my dad got to see me wrestle, and you guys made it special for him and for me and for my entire family. I am grateful. I am grateful because of wrestling, I got to meet the most wonderful woman in the world who’s beautiful, she’s smart, and she completes me in a way that I didn’t even think was possible, and that’s because of wrestling. I am grateful. I am grateful because I get to come out here in front of what I feel is my hometown fans, I get to announce my retirement in front of a bunch of people who love me, right? That special moment that I had with my dad I get to share this moment with my mom, with my sister, with my family, with my friends. I get to share that with them, I get to share that with you, I get to share it with my wife in the back, I get to share it with all these wonderful human beings that I have spent the last fifteen years of my life with. I am grateful.”
The crowd gives him a very nice round of applause. “Now, tomorrow morning, uh I start, I start a new life. A life where I am no longer a wrestler, but that is tomorrow and that is not tonight. And by damn I have one more night to feel this energy and to feel this crowd, so if I could just get one last ‘YES’ chant, I would really appreciate it!”
Daniel Bryan leads the crowd in a massive “YES” chant as he circles the ring. His wife, Brie Bella, makes her way to the ring doing the “YES” chant. She gets in the ring, and they embrace in a hug and a kiss. She gives him a tight hug. Michael Cole says we are grateful that Daniel Bryan has come into our lives. Bryan goes outside the ring and hugs his mother and sister. Bryan circles the ringside area doing one more “YES” chant as the show comes to an end.