Bryan Danielson and his wife WWE Hall Of Famer Brie Bella have detailed their back and forth discussions about Danielson’s future when leaving the wrestling business was a very real possibility.
Bryan Danielson shocked the world when he made his debut for AEW at the very end of the All Out pay-per-view back in September.
It emerged that Danielson’s time as Daniel Bryan in WWE had come to an end when his contract expired on April 30th, 2021. On that same night, Danielson challenged WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns for his title on SmackDown but came out on the losing side.
Speaking on The Bellas Podcast with Brie Bella, the couple discussed the process of arriving at the decision for The American Dragon to become All Elite:
“[Brie] was very good about not pressuring me either way, because it would be very easy to say hey, it would be a lot easier for my career if you just stayed where you’re at, right? But I will say this, I want to put her over and just say yeah she was great about that, but she’s also very impatient with me because I’m a slow decision-maker. So I’d be like “Yeah, I think this.”
“And then what really blew her mind, that was just really hard on her when it was kinda towards the end and I was like “You know what? I don’t know if I even want to go back to wrestling [laughs].”
Brie Bella then added her thoughts, noting her dismay that leaving the wrestling business was on the table:
“I was about ready to go swimming in Lake Tahoe and never come back. I literally looked at him and I was like ‘What?’ Like, we have spent months talking. You know, like married couples do, at night the kids are down and you’re talking in bed. You’re planning futures, you’re discussing, you’re coming up with options and scenarios. So a lot of that was happening constantly, and then for him to just be like “Yeah, maybe I’m just done wrestling.”
Bryan Danielson added that he didn’t want to walk away from wrestling but considered competing as a free agent, giving him the flexibility to pick and choose his schedule. Danielson was very clear that his role as a father to two young children could have swayed him to just stay home:
“Well, I didn’t want to be done wrestling. It would be like not signed anywhere, like wrestle kind of if I wanted to, kind of when I wanted to. But also, until Buddy goes to preschool, the way Birdie is now. Because that was one of the things that I wanted was the summer off before Birdie goes to preschool so I could be with her every day, because I’ve never gotten to be with her every day.”
“I love being a dad, and so it’s just that thing, but it’s weird, because there’s a little bit of a wrestling war right now, so there’s never been a better time to be a free agent since I’ve been a wrestler, like since the late 90’s when there was WCW and WWE kind of going to war, right? There’s never been a better time from a financial perspective to be a wrestler. I can only imagine Brie’s frustration when I was like “Yeah, I’ll just turn down all the money, and I’ll just be a dad! [laughs] I’ll just be your pool boy, and we don’t have a pool!”
Bryan Danielson faces one of his toughest tests to date in AEW when he faces ‘The Redeemer’ Miro in the final of the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament at Full Gear.
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