After leafing through the first few chapters of Daniel Bryan's recent autobiography, "YES! My Improbable Journey To The Main Event Of Wrestlemania," on a recent plane journey, one thing becomes clear - Daniel Bryan has lived and breathed the wrestling business since he was a boy.
For athletes such as this, hanging up the boots does not come easily.
To retire now, when Bryan has seemingly just achieved the single greatest year of his career, would go against the incredible work ethic and burning passion within him, even if it would appease his personal physicians.
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His book repeatedly makes one thing clear - Bryan had no back up plan. In one chapter he expresses that he gave himself until age twenty-six to make a comfortable living from the business.
Aged thirty-four, Bryan has most certainly achieved that. Perhaps the mentality lives on in Bryan however, making retirement a dirty word. Yet, to look at his career with a critical eye, it becomes clear that for many months, Bryan has been working in the business, with roles as a judge in Tough Enough and as a WWE Ambassador seemingly going well, whilst not risking his health.
The question is no longer 'could' Daniel Bryan retire, as we can see from his recent work that he easily could. More, it is 'should' Daniel Bryan retire from the ring?
My opinion, in short, is no.
Bryan is a versatile performer, who pushes the envelope with his avant-garde move-set. The type of performer that the WWE sorely needs at times.
With the roster changing as quickly as it does, Bryan could easily feud with several of the WWE's top talent and have five star matches.
What has to be addressed in order to keep his health, however, is the crowded schedule he works to.
In 2014, Bryan was simply overworked. Following an injury, he was rushed back to active competition in 2015, and shortly after Wrestlemania 31 was injured again.
To keep Bryan the WWE must cut down on his schedule. Whilst a part-time contract may not be the most conducive to a storyline, a schedule similar to Batista's 2014 run could vastly aid Bryan.
Hopefully, we will see a return to the ring for Bryan, but until that day WWE should think very carefully about how they want to utilise this talent.
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