On Tuesday, it was announced that WWE superstar Daniel Bryan has been cleared to return to competition after being evaluated extensively by the medical team almost three years after his final WWE match.
Bryan, 36, spent two years on the sidelines and acting as the general manager of “SmackDown Live” after being forced to retire due to brain injuries. He suffered several concussions and concussion-based seizures during his time as an active WWE superstar.
WWE announced in a news release Tuesday that after more than two years of extensive evaluations, Bryan was cleared by three leading concussion experts and WWE’s medical director, Dr. Joseph Maroon.
Hours after it was announced that he was cleared, the wrestler appeared on “SmackDown Live” and gave an emotional speech about his recovery.
The show opened with a montage of Bryan’s career highlights and then he entered the ring to deliver his speech.
“A little over two years ago, when I was forced to retire, it was one of the hardest days of my life, but I focused on one thing: being grateful,” he said. “There were times when I was depressed about not being able to do what I loved to do, and I focused on being grateful.”
The 36-year-old wrestler added, “And I have a lot to be grateful for. I have amazing family, I have amazing friends, I have the best fans in the world, and I also have an amazing, beautiful wife [Brie Bella]. When I was depressed and I was angry and I was trying to be grateful and she saw that all I wanted to do was get back in the ring, she came to me and said, ‘It’s wonderful that you’re grateful, but you need to fight and you need to fight for your dreams.’”
He said that he’s been asking the WWE to re-look at his case for the last two months and they sent him to many different neurologists who all told him that he was cleared to return to the ring.
Bryan thanked the WWE and the doctors and said, “First and foremost, they looked at me as the person and not me as the wrestler, and for that, I will be forever grateful for them.”
“I don’t know exactly when or where I will get back in this ring. Does that sound like a good idea?” he said.
Then Bryan went on to ask, “Will Daniel Bryan compete in a WWE ring again?”
The crowd began to chant “YES!” — which is the wrestler’s chant — as Bryan pointed at a WrestleMania sign hanging from the rafters.
Watch part of Bryan’s speech in the video above.
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