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Daniel Bryan opens up on post-retirement life

As was discussed by Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez on Monday night’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Daniel Bryan recently spoke candidly about his role in the WWE, his retirement, and his feelings surrounding it all in an interview with the Brockville Recorder and Times.

Describing a period of post-retirement life, Bryan said, “I had to go out to Florida (to shoot Total Divas) and we're in John Cena's house for four weeks or whatever and there's cameras just on you all the time,” Bryan said. “I just had this horrible mental breakdown.”

Bryan went on to describe the anxiety he feels in cities, but talked about how he uses nature to cope with the occasional sadness.

The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion retired on Raw in his home state of Washington earlier this year after a career-long history with concussions and other head injuries led to him not being cleared by WWE's medical staff.

Bryan looked for outside opinions prior to his retirement and was cleared by the doctors he sought. But a newer test that hasn’t been peer reviewed showed that his condition might not be as good as other tests indicated. After that test result, it was suggested that Bryan announce his retirement.

But when asked if he's come to terms with it, Bryan didn't sound like he has fully moved on from his in-ring career.

"It's interesting because I guess the real answer is no, but it's weird,” Bryan said. “I don't necessarily agree that there's something wrong with me, right. The whole issue with concussions is so subjective.”

“It's this heart-wrenching thing,” Bryan said. “It's tough because we all get just this one life, right? And when you find something that you love as much as I love wrestling and then they tell you that you can't do it anymore, it becomes really, really tough. And then it becomes really, really tough when now you're around it every week. It's just seeing your friends be able to go out there and do it and then you still can't do it. It's one of those things. I guess I kind of accept it, but I have a certain amount of melancholy with it."

Bryan has recently been featured on television as both a member of the Cruiserweight Classic commentary team and general manager of SmackDown. Bryan said that doing commentary for WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic has been fun, and though he described his role as a GM as also being enjoyable, he described some of the challenges he faces in it.

“Doing the GM stuff has been fun, but it's also been hard." Bryan said. "I think one of the really hard things for me was sitting out there, I've had to sit out there for two matches, and when I come out, I get this great reaction and then I just sit in a chair and watch other people wrestle. It's just like, 'Oh, come on, man,’”