Bryan Danielson — better known by his WWE nom de guerre Daniel Bryan — was an authentic man in an inauthentic world.
Fans recognized his sublime skill and his earnest will to apply it, and as such, they essentially strong armed a reluctant company into giving Danielson the biggest win on the biggest stage possible.
The night he hoisted the WWE title at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans was one of pure elation for those of us who’d watched Danielson rise from his early days as a genius performer in dimly lit armories and rec centers. Moments of true justice are rare in this world.
Less than two years later, on Monday night, we watched Danielson explain that he was retiring...