Daniel Bryan On His Struggles with Retirement

daniel bryan
(Photo: WWE)

Earlier this year, former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan shocked the wrestling world when he retired due to concussion related symptoms. Five months later, Bryan is slowly adjusting to his new non-wrestling lifestyle. In an interview with the Daily World, Bryan admitted that it hasn't been easy not stepping into the ring. "It has been good, but it is weird, because my life had been so busy before retirement," Bryan said. "Now, you have all of this extra space and time. Because I was forced into retirement and not wanting to retire, I have to keep my mind away from wrestling. It is borderline painful. OK, so how do you fill your mind when you have filled it with this one thing for so long?"

That doesn't mean that Bryan hasn't kept busy. "I've experimented with gardening," Bryan said. "I love it, but you don't love it like that." Bryan also told the Daily World he's taking classes at Arizona State and his Instagram reveals that he's also training for competitive weightlifting, and entered his first competition last month.

After establishing himself as one of the top wrestlers in the independent circuits, Bryan became one of the WWE's most popular wrestlers from 2010 by building himself as an underdog disrespected by WWE management. His crowning achievement was at Wrestlemania 30, when he defeated Triple H in the opening match for a chance at the WWE World Heavyweight Title and then beat Randy Orton and Batista to become champion. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his career and he suffered a seizure after a concussion, which led to his retirement.

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While Bryan isn't able to step into the ring, he hasn't entirely left the world of wrestling. Bryan is still employed by the WWE and will appear alongside his wife Brie Bella in the Total Divas and Total Bellas reality TV show. He also assisted his sister-in-law Nikki Bella with a new finishing move as she rehabs her injured neck. Most recently, Bryan was announced as the co-host of the upcoming Cruiserweight Classic, a single elimination tournament hosted by the WWE featuring wrestlers under 205 pounds.