Daniel Bryan let the wrestling world know that he’s making his last run as a full-time superstar and it’s time to focus on younger talent.
Talking Smack may not seem like must-see viewing for WWE fans, but there’s often bits of information shared that would interest any of those invested in the industry. After SmackDown on Friday it was Daniel Bryan that said a few words that should drive further questioning anytime he is in front of a microphone soon. The multiple-time champion outright stated that he is within his final run as a fulltime superstar and it is time for others to get the spotlight.
At 39-years old there is not much that Bryan has not done in professional wrestling. A champion across multiple organizations like WWE, PWG, ROG and NJPW, Bryan will be recognized as one of the greatest of all time. That is why when he says its time for the stars of the future to get the limelight, the WWE – and other promotions – should listen.
“One of the things that past generations hasn’t done a great job of is realizing that the younger generation needs more of a spotlight,” Bryan said while on the show. “I see all these guys who can bring a younger audience to the show and that gets me excited.”
A younger audience is exactly what the WWE needs. Each week WWE content continues to struggle in younger demographics. It’s a topic that may seem “boring” to talk about, but the fact remains the promotion has an audience that skews older, and a key to longevity is to increase interest across younger demographics while holding onto the fans of the past as well. Bryan recognizes that and continues to be a champion for the future.
“What makes me good right now is [my mind] and is no longer my athletic ability,” Bryan said. “I’m nearly a 40-year-old dad, I’m not cool.”
While everyone loves to see Bryan in the ring and his ability to be creative in nearly every facet of the industry, his time is coming up. With twenty-one years of in-ring experience under his belt, the end was going to come at some point. And Bryan revealed it may be closer than some want to recognize.
“I haven’t said anything about this, but in my mind, this is kinda my last run. This is my last run as a full-time superstar,” Bryan said. “It’s not really a scoop. You can feel it even in just the way I approach things and the way my mentality is as far as my view towards younger people and all that kind of stuff and when I do this, as I doing this last run, my thing isn’t like ‘I gotta prove to everybody that I’m the best.’ When I am out there, I’m proving things to myself and I want things to be better for the younger talent.”
The WWE is a tough place for younger talent to get adequate television time. The organization continues to lean on established names while hesitating to dedicate more time to fresh names that can draw in younger fans. Daniel Bryan hopes to change that during his last run as an active performer and this is yet another reason why he is beloved by fans.