Daniel Bryan was disappointed with his attitude during his retirement.
After being forced into retirement in 2016, Daniel Bryan continued working with WWE, but according to him, he didn't really want to be there. Speaking with Bleacher Report, the former WWE Champion said that even though he would always show up with a smile on his face, his heart wasn't in it, something he regrets because a lot of people never got to work with "good attitude Daniel Bryan." He said the following:
"If they were not going to let me wrestle, I was for sure gone," he said. "I had gotten cleared by so many doctors at that point and felt very confident in my ability to wrestle. I'm very thankful that...the frustrating part—I don't want to say the frustrating part. But the part I'm disappointed in myself about is that I had a bad attitude about it. I don't want to say I showed up to work with a bad attitude and was like, 'Screw this place!' As opposed to embracing it and really trying to do my best work, a lot of times I didn't and just showed up to work. Even if I showed up to work with a smile on my face, I showed up in the back of my head thinking, 'I just want to get home. I don't want to be here.'"
During his time away from the ring, Bryan most notably served as the co-host of Talking Smack alongside Renee Young. He also worked with Mauro Ranallo on commentary for the Cruiserweight Classic.
It was being ringside for an AJ Styles versus Dean Ambrose (now Jon Moxley in AEW) match that made him change his mindset and begin showing WWE that he was healthy rather than them trying to prove he shouldn't wrestle. Here's what he said:
"It was really hard for me to watch other people do what I love up close and not be able to do it," Bryan said. "The worst one was when I had to sit ringside for a Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles match and that was the one that broke me. AJ and I at that point hadn't [fought]. He hadn't come to WWE before I retired. Seeing those guys go out there, and they're both great, I was like, 'Man, I should be in there doing this with these guys.' It really ate me up, and when I came home, I think Brie saw a different person as far as striving to prove. Because that was the thing: I had to prove that I was healthy as opposed to them trying to prove I shouldn't be able to wrestle. Given the circumstances, that was the absolute right route they should have taken."
In March 2018, Bryan revealed that he was cleared to compete and soon returned to in-ring action. He shared that WWE goes through strict protocols with him after every match to make sure he is healthy. Finally, Bryan concluded by saying that he now looks at things from the vantage point of, 'what would I advise my daughter to do?'
Bryan is scheduled to face Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship at Fastlane. Fightful will have live coverage of the event on Sunday, March 21, 2021, beginning at 3 PM PST.