There is no better example of the Circle of Life than Daniel Bryan. Three years ago on February 8, 2016 Bryan announced his retirement via Twitter due to medical reasons. Later that night, and in his home state of Washington, Bryan addressed the WWE Universe and gave his retirement speech.
In late 2018 Bryan won his fourth WWE Championship and just this week he finally got the chance to return home to Washington as the champion. That moment wasn't lost on Bryan who posted that it was nearly three years to the day that he gave his retirement speech in Washington that he returned home as champion. Bryan wrote:
"February 8, 2016 I was forced to retire in my home state of Washington, told I'd never wrestle again. Feb 5, 2019, almost three years to the day, I return home as WWE Champion."
Even though this is a "new" Daniel Bryan that utilizes heelish tactics, the man behind the Daniel Bryan character is the same and the above Twitter post is proof of that. Bryan ended the post with the hashtag #FightForYourDreams which is something he also said when he announced that he had been cleared to return last March.
While we see the same Daniel Bryan in the ring, what happens after each match is different for Bryan now than before his announced retirement. Any time Bryan engages in a physical activity in the ring, he has to go through a series of tests, ending with a math problem. If he can't come up with the correct answer for the math problem, then he won't be cleared to wrestle.
"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."
Bryan will put his WWE Championship on the line when he steps into the Elimination Chamber on Feb. 17 and takes on A.J. Styles, Jeff Hardy, Mustafa Ali, Randy Orton and Samoa Joe.
February 8, 2016 I was forced to retire in my home state of Washington, told I'd never wrestle again. Feb 5, 2019, almost three years to the day, I return home as WWE Champion. #FightForYourDreams— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) February 6, 2019