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WWE’s website released a post-retirement interview with Daniel Bryan, who was joined by Brie Bella to discuss his retirement speech and the end of his WWE in-ring career.
Bryan said he was feeling a lot of inner turmoil and sadness throughout Monday when he publicly announced his decision, but he wanted to convey his other emotions of gratitude and thankfulness during his farewell speech. He also just wanted to get through the speech without “completely breaking down” in tears.
“This inner turmoil that I’m feeling right now – who knows how long this kind of sadness will last – but I didn’t want the fans to take away the sadness. I wanted them to take away that I’m grateful for everything that’s happened,” Bryan said. “I wanted people to know that I am grateful for all of this. Sometimes you have to put on the mask a little bit. But, legitimately when you think about those things, it makes you smile.”
Bryan also noted that he had a good cry with “The Ryback” when he got backstage after the speech. He also noted support from the locker room before his show-closing speech, which was then reflected on the stage after Raw went off the air.
Bryan summed up his feelings on retiring by noting that when he typically goes into the ring, he is doing a fictional performance, and he wished that was the case this time, too.
“You know it’s coming. You know what you’re going out there to say, and what that means. It’s hard because we say so many things out there that are fiction. We deliver works of fiction. And then to go out there and say something that you wish were fiction was very difficult,” Bryan said.
“The reason why it hurts so much is because I loved it so much. When you get to do something that you love for 15 years is pretty awesome.”
Brie also commented at the end of the interview about watching Bryan’s speech from backstage at the Gorilla position before coming out to the ring for the post-Raw bonus farewell.
[ Full Video Interview at WWE.com ]