An open thank you to Daniel Bryan

Patrick Brown, Staff Writer

Most kids look up to superheroes or princesses as their role model. I was never one of those children.

Instead, I grew up watching wrestling and the person fighting inside of the ring was who I found myself relating to.

In wrestling there is always a good guy, "a face," and a bad guy, "the heel." I never knew what my fascination with wrestling was all about until I discovered one wrestler: Daniel Bryan.

Bryan was the small guy, the guy who was never expected to be anything or anyone important. Bryan defied all odds and was, in my eyes, a superhero.

The most shocking thing to me about Bryan was how much he cared about the business of wrestling and, most importantly, the fans. That’s what made last Monday, Feb. 8, so difficult for me when Bryan announced his retirement from wrestling and in-ring competitions due to head injuries.

I knew his condition was uncertain, but watching him give his retirement speech made me cry and remember all the memories that I had of him.

He made me believe that it didn’t matter if you fit the “status quo” of your profession, but rather, if you work hard enough and show that you deserve to be there, people will notice.

He gave me hope and courage to do whatever I thought was impossible. He started a movement called the "YES" movement because, whenever he came down the ramp for a fight, he pointed his hands to the sky and chanted "YES" over and over again. The phrase went global and everyone started chanting it.

 Photo from wwe.com 

Photo from wwe.com 

Bryan was told that he was going to be a nobody. As a wrestler, he was told he would maybe get a small title, but that was about it. He retired with, not only the highest title in the company, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but also the highest Pay-Per-View in wrestling history, WrestleMania 30.

I tell you all of this to show how much he accomplished, even though no one believed he could do it. I wanted to say thank you to Bryan because he was my role model throughout my life. Even when life was bad, I would turn on the TV and watch one of Bryan's matches and immediately feel better.

Bryan Danielson, his real name, thank you for everything, and I hope you remain to be a part of the wrestling culture.