WWE Champion Daniel Bryan recently spoke with ESPN to promote Sunday's WWE Royal Rumble match with AJ Styles. The full interview is at this link. The piece reveals the concussion tests that Bryan undergoes after each match.
Bryan returns to the backstage area after each match and has to go through a series of tests, ending with a math problem. According to ESPN, Bryan must multiply 8 by 3, then multiply that number by 3, and divide it all by 4. If Bryan can't come up with the correct answer, he's not cleared to continue wrestling.
WWE doctors perform these tests on Bryan following any physical activity in the ring. The tests begin with Bryan getting his eyes checked. He then goes through several balance tests, then ends with the math equation. Doctors use the simple tests to make sure Bryan's brain is functioning properly. These show how WWE is not taking any chances with Bryan, who has suffered 10 documented concussions.
"The big concern with concussions is that, this has happened to me in the past, you don't know you had a concussion and your instinct as an athlete is to say, 'Hey, I'm fine,'" Bryan told ESPN. "What we do now ensures that doesn't happen."
ESPN notes that WWE put this very specific concussion protocol in place after Bryan was cleared to return to the ring by an independent group of concussion experts, neurologists and neurosurgeons, and WWE medical director Joseph Maroon, back in March 2018. Bryan returned to the ring last year after being forced to retire in February 2016 due to the discovery of a lesion on his brain and a history of concussions.
Bryan claims he feels "really, really good" and has suffered no setbacks since returning to the ring in 2018 but WWE is sticking to the strict series of tests. Bryan hopes the positive test results will lead to a return to a normal routine.
"It's still pretty much the same, but we're working on loosening it up a little bit because our doctors do have to look after other people, right?" Bryan said, chuckling. "So it's like, I go out, I do a match and I'm fine and they're having to do all these tests with me, so we're working on loosening that up a little bit. But that's more of a thing as far as getting everything legally to where we could do that sort of thing."
Bryan continues to work a lighter schedule and the fact he's suffered no setbacks is attributed to that. Bryan wrestled 227 matches in 2013, his last full year of pre-retirement work, but he's on pace for just around 120 matches for this calendar year. Bryan, who turns 38 in May, said he thinks he will stick to this schedule, if not a lighter schedule as he gets older.
"I think the schedule that I'm on now is pretty much the schedule that I'll stick to, if not even a little bit lighter as I get older," Bryan said. "I'm 37 now, I'll be 38 this year, and all this takes a toll on your body. I love wrestling, like love, love, love wrestling, and anyone who knows me knows I love wrestling -- but it's no longer the No. 1 love of my life. I want to be able to spend time with my family, I want to be able to take vacation, I want to be able to do some of those fun things. I envision it being this schedule or lighter, probably, from here on out."