8 February 2016, Seattle, USA
So - just now I was able to close my eyes, and feel that. Like literally feel it, in a way that I’ve never gotten to feel it before.
Because when we’re here we’ve always got to keep our eyes open.
But just that experience, literally I’m never going to forget it.
I’ve been wrestling since I was eighteen years old. And within the first five months of my wrestling career, I’d already had three concussions. And for years after that, I would get a concussion here and there. Or here or there. And then it gets to the point when you’ve been wrestling for sixteen years, that um, that adds up to a lot of concussions.
And it gets to a point where they tell you that you can’t wrestle anymore.
And for a long time I fought that, because this, I have loved this in a way that I have never loved anything else.
[Crowd: Thank you Daniel! Thank you Daniel!]
But a week and a half ago, i took a test that said maybe my brain isn’t as okay as I thought it was.
And I have a family to think about. And it is with a heavier heart, and the utmost sadness, that I officially announcemy retirement.
But if there’s one thing -- so I’ve gone through all of these complex emotions in this last little bit -- I’ve been angry, I’ve been sad, I’ve been frustrated, I’ve been all of that.
But today, when I woke up this morning, I felt nothing but gratitude.
I have gotten to do what I love for nearly sixteen years.
I am grateful. I am grateful, because of wrestling, I got to meet the most wonderful woman in the world. Who’s beautiful, she’s smart, and she completes me in a way that I didn’t even think was possible.
And that’s because of wrestling.
I am grateful.
Now tomorrow morning - I start a new life. A life where I am no longer a wrestler.
But that is tomorrow, and that is not tonight.
And by damn I have one more night to feel this energy, and to feel this crowd, so if I could just get one last ‘Yes!’ chant, I would really appreciate it.
[Crowd: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!]