On February 8, 2016, Daniel Bryan was forced to retire from wrestling due to concussion issues. For the next two years, Bryan fought to return to the ring, going to Independent doctors to prove he was healthy enough to compete.
On March 20, 2018, Bryan announced that he was cleared by WWE doctors would be able to make a full-time return.
Speaking on WWE Backstage, Bryan discussed his fight to return.
"It was really a process. I didn't want to come back if I shouldn't come back," he said. "Concussions are no joke, as we know. If there were long-term repercussions if I came back, I didn't want that for me, my wife, our child. I met with enough doctors and did enough different things. One doctor in Detroit said, 'When you talk about wrestling, you get a weird excitement.' People now are like, 'How are you still so excited about wrestling?' I don't know. I just really like it. [The doctor] said, 'When you talk about wrestling, you light up. Is there anything else in your life that makes that happen?' 'Yeah, when I talk about my daughter and my wife.' 'Anything else?' 'I like gardening' 'You get passionate like that about gardening?' 'Not really. It's interesting to me intellectually and I like doing it, but I don't get worked up about different stuff.' He said, 'As opposed to it being negative, I think it will be good for your health. You want things that you're passionate about. If you're not passionate about stuff, you lack mental stimulation.' Brie talked to doctors and she became gung-ho about me coming back and was supportive. It's good to have someone behind you who is like, 'If they won't clear you, go somewhere else!' That's empowering."
Bryan went on to say that he doesn't feel the pressure now that he's back in the ring, unlike his first WWE run. Instead, he simply enjoys wrestling more this time around.
Bryan had his first official match back at WrestleMania 34, teaming with Shane McMahon to defeat Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. He is still going strong today as he's set to meet AJ Styles in the finals of the Intercontinental Title tournament on WWE SmackDown.
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