Why did Daniel Bryan leave WWE?

Daniel Bryan left the WWE for the AEW, as he began his transition to focusing on being a full-time father and a part-time wrestler, rather than the inverse.

In September 2021, professional World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestler and one of the most recognisable names on the roster, Daniel Bryan made his debut as part of All Elite Wrestling (AEW). His debut did not come as a surprise, as it was previously indicated that he had aspirations to leave the WWE. Bryan had already indicated that his priority in life is being a family man.

He asserted this during an interview in 2020 when he stated, “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.”

However, other reasons have been speculated on why he chose not to retire, but rather transition to AEW. The first was corroborated by Bryan when he suggested that the transition would allow him to focus on wrestling, rather than the embellishments synonymous with the WWE. Moreover, he stated that his enlistment in AEW would allow him more freedom to work with other wrestling worlds, a decision he would not be able to take during his time under the WWE due to the strict restrictions placed on the WWE talent.

Moreover, had Bryan decided to retire or take on a smaller role in the world of the WWE, that would have meant that the wrestler would also take a pay cut. Considering that his estimated net worth is $12 million, it might seem a small matter. However, considering that he could enjoy a less demanding schedule through AEW and not take a pay cut, his transition has been beneficial and has brought new audiences to the world of AEW.