Bryan Danielson is preparing to make his AEW in-ring debut on Wednesday when he faces Kenny Omega at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam.
Danielson joined AEW at All Out, officially ending his time with WWE, which began in 2009. During his run with the company, Danielson won the WWE Championship four times, was a triple crown and grand slam winner, and main evented WrestleMania.
Taking to the Player's Tribune, Danielson thanked WWE, Vince McMahon and the fans.
Thank you to the incredible superstars with whom I’ve shared both the ring and the road. For Savate-Kick Saturdays and locally roasted coffee. For being family when we’re away from family. For making me look good when I didn’t feel good. For deep conversations and pointless debates. For making me laugh — both in the best of times, and the worst. For all the small things that make life as a wrestler just a little bit more fun.
Thank you to the many people behind the scenes. The crew in WWE is amazing, from the folks operating the cameras to those in catering. From the producers to talent relations. Thank you to the production team, who always put together such amazing packages, and are such an underappreciated part of the stories we tell. Thank you to everyone involved in creative: for accepting me into the group, for sharing with me the lessons you’ve learned, and for the fun times we had talking about wrestling and non-wrestling subjects alike. It’s a difficult job, writing and producing WWE television, and I’m consistently blown away by your ability to make a seamless production out of such chaos!
Thank you to the Big Man, who I know hates to be acknowledged. I won’t say much, but thank you for the conversations, the life lessons (about both what to do and what not to do), and the best hug I’ve ever received. I wish more people could see you how I see you.
And last but certainly not least: Thank you to the WWE fans. You pushed my career to new heights — heights that I never would have reached for, on my own. Thank you for cheering me enthusiastically into the main event at WrestleMania 30, and thank you for booing me vociferously against Kofi at WrestleMania 35. Thank you for crying with me when I was forced to retire, and thank you for celebrating with me when I was cleared to compete. Thank you for hijacking that show in Seattle — the last time my dad ever got to see me wrestle. He signed his first autograph that night: Buddy Danielson, Daniel Bryan’s dad.
Danielson wrote that he loved his time in WWE and that it changed his life.
He also wrote that he hopes that fans follow his journey in AEW, but he understands if they don't, saying they've already given more than enough.
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Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Dynamite Grand Slam beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.