Why Daniel Bryan Left WWE In 2021, Explained

Why did Daniel Bryan leave WWE? The answer may shock you!

AEW is on a role as the most exciting pro-wrestling company in the world. With some of the top wrestlers on earth battling it out to be the best wrestler in the world, it’s not to get invested and fall in love with All Elite Wrestling.

Joining the list of Elite competitors like CM Punk, Kenny Omega and Adam Page is a man by the name of Bryan Danielson, or as he was known in WWE, Daniel Bryan.

Yes, the GOAT himself left WWE in 2021 and signed a contract with AEW. The American Dragon started fresh, bringing in a new style of wrestling from WWE that has helped solidify him as one of the top wrestlers not just in the world, but of all time.

He is but one of the top stars AEW have signed from WWE, albeit his is the greatest. He competes with other wrestlers like Malakai Black, Adam Cole and Jeff Hardy, although no-one quite matches up to the skills of Daniel Bryan.

But if he is such a big star, why did Daniel Bryan leave WWE? Why did WWE let his contract expire and release him to sign for AEW?

Why did Daniel Bryan leave WWE?

Revealing why Daniel Bryan left WWE to sign for AEW!

In WWE Daniel Bryan was one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. Rivalling the likes of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and John Cena for the biggest cheers in history, Daniel Bryan commanded the crowd like few others in his bid to become the WWE Champion.

He became so iconic and beloved in the company that his famous “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant has infiltrated the mainstream and can be seen around sports stadiums all over the United States and across the globe.

He was more beloved than any when he and the fans forced his way into the main event of Wrestlemania 30 and won the coveted WWE Championship in front of 80,000 “Yes-ing” fans.

It was the pinnacle of his career, although he had some fantastic moments years after that, even at Wrestlemania.

His match against Kofi Kingston at Wrestlemania 35 is regarded as one of the greatest moments in history. Bryan turned from beloved hero to hated villain as he reclaimed the WWE Championship and went on a crusade of environmentalism in the most obnoxious way possible.

This led to him losing the belt to Kofi Kingston, the long-time WWE star who had failed to capture a world title in his long career. It was one of the most heartfelt moments in WWE history and could not be done with the immense skill of Daniel Bryan.

He also main evented Wrestlemania in 2021, in a losing effort against Roman Reigns in a match also involving Edge. It was this match that convinced him that he needed to leave WWE, and partly explains why did Daniel Bryan leave WWE.

Daniel Bryan left WWE because he “was detached” and had an out-of-body experience, and for him it was the signal for him to give up being a “full-time WWE superstar“.

“I felt very out of body in it. When I’m wrestling, I feel everything and feel like I’m enjoying it and I am having fun. This was weird, I was out there and it felt like I was detached.

“It was so strange that before the match started, I got this strange feeling like, ‘Oh no, is this what it’s like before you die? Am I going to die? Huh, well, okay.’ 

“It was really bizarre. I don’t know why or how it happened, but it was unlike anything I’ve felt while wrestling before.”

“I haven’t watched it back. I don’t know if watching it back would help figure out why I was so detached,” he continued.

“Maybe it was a sign that it’s time to let go of being a full-time wrestler, which is something that I have been thinking for a while.” 

While he made it clear that he did not want to be a “full-time wrestler” in WWE, this was not just about leaving the company due to hating it. In fact he loved WWE and wrestling as much as he can, but it was the schedule which he could not take any longer.

As the father of two young children, Daniel Bryan left WWE so he could spend more time with Buddy and Birdie (the two kids he had with his wife Brie Bella). With the schedule AEW provides compared to WWE, he could spend more time at home than at work and still have time to wrestle for other promotions like NJPW if he wanted to.

In an interview with BT Sport in 2020, he revealed that he wanted to start winding down his career and spend more time with his children. Daniel Bryan said;

“I’m just kind of switching priorities in my life where for years wrestling has been kind of the key focus and all that kind of stuff. Where like, my contract is coming up soon and not to say that but we’re looking at transitioning me to maybe less than a full-time wrestler. Like my time of being a full-time wrestler are numbered and I’m more going to be like a full-time dad, part-time wrestler. Wrestling is my side-job. Daddying is my most important job,”

Daniel Bryan hints on leaving WWE to focus on being a dad

Daniel Bryan’s father passed away after his triumph at Wrestlemania 30, which may be playing in his mind about taking more time to spend with his children.

Why did Daniel Bryan join AEW?

bryan danielson leaves WWE

While we look at “why did Daniel Bryan leave WWE?”, we should also look at the reason why it was AEW he chose to sign for.

Daniel Bryan has also revealed why he left WWE to specifically join AEW, with him signing for Tony Khan’s promotion in August 2021.

Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful also revealed the reason why it was AEW he chose to sign for, and not other companies like ROH or CMLL in Mexico.

Sapp revealed that it was the young talent in AEW like Jungle Boy or Ricky Starks that excited Bryan, and that he wanted to work with the young talent and have the best wrestling matches he could have. He is one of the best wrestlers of all time so getting as much ring time with Daniel Bryan is exactly what would help these young wrestlers.

Sean Ross Sapp revealed;

“Daniel Bryan says he loved working in WWE and was grateful, but still left. The reasons why were the talent, especially the ones who came from day 1. He wants fans to thank day one AEW stars for enticing former WWE names over. He says the second reason is the AEW fan base”

As Bryan Danielson, he has already put on some incredible matches in AEW. His bouts with Kenny Omega, Adam Page and Jon Moxley are amongst some of the best in AEW history and he still has a long time left to enhance his legacy in wrestling as the best technical wrestler in wrestling history.

So, why did Daniel Bryan leave WWE? The reasons were multiple and in combination forced his hand and made him leave WWE for AEW. His children, he health and his love for wrestling were the reasons for his departure and fans everywhere are thankful due to getting to see him compete in AEW every week in some of the best matches in company history.

1 thought on “Why Daniel Bryan Left WWE In 2021, Explained”

  1. I want right movies one that I want to right is a masters of the universe movie everyone has tried to do it and failed I think shamess would make a good fisto a character from he man and I have the best story for it so please pass the word and help me get there my name Is Brandon Oliver and I want to write movies and as far as Daniel Bryan I understand his decision he’s not young anymore and his children are getting older spend time with them before their grown oh and I think Finn balor would make an excellent Spartacus


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