Daniel Bryan was everything great about pro wrestling, and now he’s gone

The first time I saw Daniel Bryan in person, I was so impressed that I did the only thing I could think to do: I gave him some money.

This was about a year ago, and it was only about a year before that I learned of his existence. But it felt like I’d known him a lot longer.

Early Monday morning, Daniel Bryan announced his retirement from pro wrestling. And I can’t help but reflect on the effect, weird as it may sound, that this stranger I once gave my money had on me. He has, in measurable ways, made my life better. And I owe him for that.


In early 2014, I rekindled a latent love for professional wrestling after a night during which my Twitter feed became a wall of WrestleMania 30 reactions. It sounded like everybody…

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