Bryan Danielson may be about to make his AEW in-ring debut but the former WWE Champion says he only has three years left as a full-time wrestler.
The man formerly known as Daniel Bryan made his first AEW appearance on a surprise-filled night on September 5th at All Out. Fans had last seen Bryan in WWE in April, losing to Roman Reigns on SmackDown in what turned out to be his final WWE bout.
Now speaking on WFAN, Bryan Danielson explained why he decided to take some time off from wrestling and says he considered forging his own path back on the independent scene where he originally made his name:
“A lot of people look at as there being two options; either WWE or AEW. I’m like, ‘or I could just do an independent schedule where I don’t sign with anybody. I did (think about it). I also thought about not coming back to wrestling at all, in the sense of at least the next couple of years. I wanted to take the summer off because my daughter started preschool. Just being at home with her every day, she’s four, I’ve left every week or almost every week. I loved it and she loved it, me being home every night.”
“I FaceTime her every night and she’s like, ‘Daddy, I miss you, I miss your cuddles. Momma doesn’t cuddle me like you do.’ The idea of stepping away until my son starts preschool so I could be there every day for him and my daughter. Then, I’m missing maybe the four years of my productive athletic career and I might not be the same at 45 as I am at 40.”
Looking to the future, Danielson also explained that the next three years will be his last as a full-time wrestler. Not content with simply winding down, the American Dragon said that the period will be the “climax of his career:”
“I see these next three years as my last three years as a full-time wrestler. I don’t want to see it as, ‘Okay, he’s tapering off.’ This is the climax of my career. This is the climax of my career, these next three years. It all starts tomorrow.”
Bryan Danielson looks to make a statement in his first AEW outing at AEW Grand Slam where he has challenged reigning AEW World Champion Kenny Omega in a dream match. Danielson set his sights on Omega and The Elite from the moment he set foot in AEW and the two men will clash to see who can call themselves the best in the world.
H/T to Fightful