AEW's Bryan Danielson Comments On Life After Full-Time Wrestling, Pride In His Career

As has often been the case during his AEW tenure, Bryan Danielson is gearing up for another grueling battle, as he, FTR, and Darby Allin (replacing Eddie Kingston) are set to defend AEW's honor against The Elite in Anarchy in the Arena at AEW Double or Nothing. It will likely be Danielson's final Anarchy in the Arena match as well, as the wrestling legend has been consistent about 2024 being his last year working a full schedule.


Danielson continued that consistency when sitting down with "The Wrestling Classic Show," discussing not only the end of him being on the road full-time, but what level of involvement fans can expect from him in wrestling afterward.

"To me, it's my last time as a full-time wrestler," Danielson said. "And I honestly don't...I don't want wrestling to be one of my top priorities anymore, in the sense of getting in the ring and doing it. Like, helping maybe with stuff on the backend of it, I'd love to do that if that's something AEW is interested in. But the idea of...because it's not just 'Okay...well you can do a couple matches a year.' 

"But if you do that, especially with my history of injuries and that sort of thing, you have to keep your body ready all the time, because you can't just go from guy who walks around on the street to doing [this], especially with fan expectation. So to me, I don't think Tony likes this answer, be fun to just show up at a DEFY show, unannounced, and then just wrestle, right, where people are just happy to see me and I don't have to do anything that's going to hurt my body too much."


Danielson Reveals His Conflicted Feelings On Taking Pride In His Career

Given the success Danielson has achieved throughout his career, whether it be his time in Ring of Honor, WWE, or AEW now, it would appear very easy for Danielson to take pride in his career. But while admitting he was proud of his accomplishments, "The American Dragon" also noted that pride depended on perspective, and that in some ways he had regrets of how things turned out. One regret Danielson does have is not being able to spend as much time with his family, including his father, who passed away at a young age during the height of Danielson's WWE tenure.


"It's just interesting, because...a lot of times, people will look at it from a success point of view, how the world views success, in the sense of 'Oh, Bryan Danielson accomplished...way more than 13 year old Bryan Danielson ever thought he could accomplish,'" Danielson said. "But then, you're also looking at...One of the big things that hit me really hard was when my dad died. And it made me think [that] I made a mistake, this whole thing, because in doing it...the idea is you do it, but you'll always be able to go on...

"And when it's done, then I'll go home, and then I'll be able to spend this quality time with my father, with my mom, with my friends. All this kind of stuff. And then my dad, who there was no indication that he would pass away, passed away unexpectedly at 57. And then all of a sudden it's like 'Oh.' You can't get it back, you can't take it back. But that said, I am very, very happy with my life now."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "The Wrestling Classic Show" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription