Bryan Danielson has penned down a column for The Players’ Tribune ahead of his AEW in-ring debut against AEW World Champion Kenny Omega at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
In a column titled “Thank you, WWE,” Danielson admitted that the non-title match with Omega feels like the biggest of his illustrious career.
“Tomorrow night feels like the biggest match of my career,” Danielson began. “In a lot of ways it doesn’t seem real. It’s against a dream opponent in Kenny Omega, who I’ve watched grow and become one of the best wrestlers in the world over the last several years. It’s taking place in a dream setting, the first wrestling show at Arthur Ashe Stadium. It’s happening in a groundbreaking promotion — AEW, a company that’s modernizing wrestling and giving fans their first true alternative in a long time. And it’s my first match outside of WWE in over 10 years. It feels like a brand new chapter. I couldn’t be more excited. What a world!”
Danielson said that before embarking on the next part of his career, he has something to express.
“THANK YOU, WWE,” Danielson wrote. “Thank you to the incredible superstars with whom I’ve shared both the ring and the road. For Savate-Kick Saturdays and locally roasted coffee. For being family when we’re away from family. For making me look good when I didn’t feel good. For deep conversations and pointless debates. For making me laugh — both in the best of times, and the worst. For all the small things that make life as a wrestler just a little bit more fun.”
Danielson also sent a special shout-out to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
“Thank you to the Big Man, who I know hates to be acknowledged,” Danielson wrote. “I won’t say much, but thank you for the conversations, the life lessons (about both what to do and what not to do), and the best hug I’ve ever received. I wish more people could see you how I see you.”
Danielson thanked WWE fans for pushing his “career to new heights” and hoped they would join him on his AEW journey.
“I hope you will continue to follow me in AEW, but I completely understand if you don’t,” Danielson expressed. “You’ve given me more than enough — more than I could ever repay. Thank you for all of it.”
In conclusion, Danielson stated he would always cherish the memories from his WWE career.
“I loved my time in WWE. Needless to say, it changed my life. I met my wife, had unbelievable experiences and made great friends. Some of you, I may see again…. and I hope that I do. But these last two years have taught us not to take that for granted. So I just wanted to tell you all how much you’ve meant to me. I’m grateful that you allowed me into your lives, and that you came into mine. I’ll cherish these memories forever.”