This week’s topic is going to be one of those difficult ones. We’ve all been enjoying The Miz and Daniel Bryan being at each other’s throats for the past month or so on SmackDown – enjoying it to the point that a lot of people are saying how cool it would be if Bryan came back to wrestling and had a feud with The Miz, culminating at WrestleMania.
There’s a few reasons this could be pretty interesting. Bryan’s always killed it in the ring, there’s been no doubt about that, and The Miz is no slouch either; they’ve also both shown us that their chemistry for a feud is amazing, because we’re this excited about it and they haven’t laid a hand on each other. There’s the fact that the crowd loves Daniel Bryan, and pops for his music to an insane degree, and that we all love to hate Miz, so there’s an easy face/heel split, and no one’s conflicted about who to cheer for. Also? It would be really, really fun; they’re two good character actors who excel at making their opponent look good in the ring.
I also think it would be a really, really bad idea.
I could be petty here, and say that Bryan’s recent casual sexism is reason enough for him to stay out of the ring, and that I’m pretty tired of him making feuds about him when he’s supposed to be a manager, not an active wrestler, and that he should step back to let the talent take the limelight – but then, I’ve just said that the feud we’ve been seeing has been entertaining. It’s hard to argue based on that.
However, I’ve got a view that most people don’t about this, and that’s coming from someone who’s chronically ill. I’ve been ill for almost a decade now, and while the actual symptoms could span a page on their own, some of the scarier ones are fainting spells, agonising pain, fatigue, and seizures. I’ve had to change a lot of things about my life, and a lot of the things that I can do with it, in order to adjust to my new normal. And that’s why I think Daniel Bryan shouldn’t be back in the ring.
Firstly, he wasn’t cleared by WWE doctors. Sure, they’ve a vested interest in not clearing him, because if he dies in their ring, they’re liable, but I’m pretty sure they’re also the best poised to know if that’s a risk. Secondly, we’ve been told that he has seizures, which pretty much guarantees that something’s still not quite right, and that there’s something to worry about.
From Bryan’s point of view, I get it. There’s a lot of things that I could do, but that would cause me problems afterwards, whether that be increased pain, risk of seizure, or even hospitalisation, and in the first year or two that I was sick, I continued to do a lot of these things, and took the consequences. When you can’t do something you really love, it becomes a desperate need, a howl of grief – but when you can do it, you’ll just suffer afterwards, sometimes you convince yourself that it’s worth it.
But for something like wrestling, the risks are so big. Another blow to Bryan’s head or neck could leave him paralysed or brain dead, a seizure at the wrong time in the ring could have devastating results. Sure, wrestling is already dangerous, but to continue to do it after you’ve been declared medically unfit and when the risks are exponentially larger – it’s foolish. As much as I know how much it hurts to tell yourself that something is no longer possible, especially when you were previously very fit and active, sometimes it must be done, for your own health.
I’ll never ride another rollercoaster. I’ll never be able to watch Seth Rollins’ entrance live. I’ll never stand unaided for a WCPW show. That’s the reality of the situation. And Daniel Bryan – and all his fans who want to see him wrestle just one more time – needs to accept that getting back in the ring, while not impossible, is just not a good choice.
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