The timing of Daniel Bryan‘s neck surgery could not be worse. Just a little over a month ago, Bryan was standing tall at WrestleMania XXX after claiming the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Now, he’s headed to the disabled list for approximately 6-8 weeks.
They’re calling Bryan’s neck surgery a minimally invasive procedure, and the truth is that it’s not as serious as they made it out to be on Monday Night Raw. Still, neck surgery is neck surgery, and there’s a law of diminishing returns in place any time an athlete starts having operations of this nature.
Should we expect the same Bryan to come back when he’s fully healthy? Bryan made a name for himself taking risks and pushing his body to extreme physical limits. He’s a death-defying bump-taker who enjoys flying around the ring, and he’s very good at it. Unfortunately, his in-ring style needs to be toned down. It’s best for his health and the longevity of his career.
The move that stands out the most is the flying headbutt. We saw the devastating toll this maneuver took on Chris Benoit‘s life as well as the career of the Dynamite Kid, Tom Billington. Former NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Harley Race, who innovated the move, says it was one of his biggest regrets. To this day, Race doesn’t have complete use of his neck and lives in constant pain.
Bryan needs to look out for his body. In wrestling, like any sport, your body is your bread and butter. If you lose your physical abilities, you might as well start making reservations at the glue factory.
This must be an extremely difficult time for Bryan. It’s been a season of extreme highs and devastating lows. In less than two months, Bryan has captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, married Brie Bella and lost his father. On Thursday, Bryan will go under the knife.
I hope that Bryan makes a speedy recovery. When he does return, let’s also hope that he starts protecting himself in the ring.