Professional wrestler Bryan Danielson, better known as Daniel Bryan, announces his retirement at the age of 34. Years of in-ring activity which has caused numerous injuries has lead to this decision.
Standing tall at five feet eight inches doesn’t resemble someone involved in sports nor a professional wrestler but Danielson defied the odds. After training for years and working his way through the independent wrestling scene, he finally got his shot at the big time, only to lose it.
I first heard of Danielson in the magazines, news boards and various other internet websites back in the early years of the 2000’s. I had heard he was trained by legendary wrestler Shawn Michaels, and that there was a bunch of great talent coming from that school, wrestlers such as Paul London, Michael Shane and some guy named Spanky (Brian Kendrick).
At my very first Ring Of Honor show I would attend in 2002, I would have the pleasure to first see this kid live. Unscripted held in the Murphy Recreation Center in September was the first time I said “yes.” While he performed in a losing effort in a tag team match in the main event, I could see what was special about this American Dragon.
As years went by, I would watch and hear about this growing legend as he made a name for himself in the scene and became the ROH World Champion. In the spring of 2006, I would once again be able to see him wrestle live. This time he wrestled Alex Shelley in a match that CageMatch.com voters have given a 7.67.
It would be many years later since I got to see him wrestle live again, but in the meantime this young up and comer had became the man. Winning the WWE Championship, wrestling at WrestleMania and becoming one of the fans most loved wrestlers.
He started using a phrase, a simple word actually over this time and in it’s simplicity became the greatest thing for him. It was the Yes Movement, a simple “yes”, that’s all it took to help him get over with the fans. Well, those who hadn’t already enjoyed his in-ring talent, now he had something that even the fans that love to cheer and chant along would enjoy.
On May 5th, 2014 would be the last time I saw him wrestle. It was a WWE Raw show in Albany, New York, it was my first Raw I have ever attended. He wrestled Alberto Del Rio, and got the victory with his submission finisher the YES lock.
That would be the last time I saw him wrestle, as he announced his retirement on February 8th, 2016.
During the last minutes of Raw, Daniel Bryan would go onto elaborate and continue to spread his gratitude. The sadness was felt throughout the wrestling world, from fans, wrestlers and well even ESPN getting involved in the retirement of Daniel Bryan.
As one who was a fan of Daniel Bryan, I had wished it was a work, which in wrestling terms means things wouldn’t go down as they seemed and something interesting would happen. But it didn’t. What did happen was a man walked out to announce his retirement and a man left retired.
Thus this is moment to reflect and remember the good times, I feel the best way to do this is to use a poem by George Peele, which I have used as my title and is a play on his title in which is called “A Farewell To Arms.” Which was originally written for Queen Elizabeth’s champion knight in his retirement ceremony in 1590, I think it fits well here as well.
So in closing, thank you Daniel Bryan, for your years entertaining me and yes, you were one of my favorites!
A Farewell To Arms by George Peele
HIS golden locks Time hath to silver turn’d;
O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
His youth ‘gainst time and age hath ever spurn’d,
But spurn’d in vain; youth waneth by increasing:
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.
His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;
And, lovers’ sonnets turn’d to holy psalms,
A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
And feed on prayers, which are Age his alms:
But though from court to cottage he depart,
His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.
And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He’ll teach his swains this carol for a song,–
‘Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,
Curst be the souls that think her any wrong.’
Goddess, allow this aged man his right
To be your beadsman now that was your knight.