The future holds many unknowns for Bryan Danielson, who has a wide range of interests and hobbies to choose from after retiring from professional wrestling.
The American Dragon, who was known as Daniel Bryan in WWE until quitting the organization in April 2021 and joining Tony Khan‘s promotion a few months later, made a spectacular return in 2018 after being forced to retire due to injuries three years before.
He’s found a new lease on life in All Elite Wrestling, but he admits that his undeniable enthusiasm for the profession doesn’t guarantee he’ll want to be a part of it for the rest of his life.
When asked what his plans are once he packs up his boots for real, he told Metro, “I don’t know. Because it’s really hard for me to imagine being around wrestling and not wrestling. I think one of the things that I do like – I like doing the training.
“How to make people better, and all that stuff. But for me, the trade-off is the travel. If I was just training or I was just helping people get better at wrestling, would I really wanna do the travel?
“Because the travel is what I feel like the work is, right? Getting on the plane, being away from my kids, being away from my wife – that’s the work. The wrestling is never the work, the training people is never the work.
“So, if I wasn’t doing the part that brings me the absolute most joy – which is in the ring – would the work be worth it? That’s what I don’t know.”
He continued speaking and admitted saying, “When I was forced to retire and before they had me come in and be the GM, I was just focused on getting away from wrestling entirely because it hurt too much to be around it.”
“I don’t know if it was a voluntary decision if that would be the same way. But I’m also interested in so many different things. It’s like, I feel like I could live a thousand different lives and never run out of things to be interested in.”
Bryan, who has a four-year-old daughter Birdie and a 19-month-old boy Buddy with his wife Brie Bella, is clearly enjoying life right now, and his children are providing him with new passions to pursue.
“When people tell me that they’re bored, I just go, “How is that possible?!” So, my daughter loves dinosaurs, right,’ he smiled. ‘I’m trying to learn more about dinosaurs so that I can teach her about dinosaurs. It’s endlessly fascinating, and there’s so much new stuff.
“There’s this book called the Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs that I read that was just blew my mind and all the things we don’t know. I could have easily seen myself being a paleontologist, going round the world looking for dinosaur bones.”
Bryan will only know what he wants to do when the time comes, but it’s evident that wrestling is the only thing he’s devoted his life to so far.
He spoke his words with evident fervor, “I don’t know that when I’m done wrestling if it would be just… do I wanna keep doing wrestling, or do I wanna pursue the 10 zillion things that are interesting on planet earth in this one life that I have to live?”