WWE SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan revealed during an interview with Peter Rosenberg for Rosenberg Radio that he initially refused to retire from WWE when Vince McMahon asked him to do so following concerns regarding his health.
"I get the call from Vince McMahon on a Saturday and I retire on a Monday in Seattle, Washington. And I got a call on a Saturday from Vince McMahon and said, ‘I would like you to retire Monday in Seattle. I just think it would be the best for you,’ that sort of thing. At first, I said, ‘I don’t want to do it.’ And then, I talked to Brie and called him back and I was like, ‘hey, if I’m going to have to retire, my mom can be there, my friends can be there, there can be this support system around me.’” Bryan noted, “I was very thankful that WWE gave me such a platform to retire on, but it was just a hard day.
Bryan added, "They asked me to do commentary for a thing that they did called the Cruiserweight Classic, which was on the WWE Network. And they asked me to do that, and I said, ‘yeah, that sounds great!’ It’s only 10 episodes and I only have too go do it a couple of times, and I get to help this young, independent talent because they were all unsigned talent at the time. And I thought it was great, but then, they told me, ‘you’re coming back as the General Manager.’ That wasn’t a question. That’s not an ask. And I was like, ‘argh, I don’t know if I want to do this."
"One of the hard things about what I do now is that the entrance is the best part. And then, I go out there and I talk. And, like, I’ve gotten better at this whole thing. I used to be someone who is very bad on the microphone. But now, I’ve developed into being more comfortable with it, finding myself with it, and that sort of thing. But it’s still not my passion. I’ve learned how to do it because that’s what my job required."
You can watch Bryan's retirement speech below: