Did Christopher Daniels Consider Retirement Following Neck Surgery?, & More


In an interview with Philly Voice, Christopher Daniels spoke about his serious neck injury years ago and if he considered retirement. Here are highlights:

On if he thought about going to NXT after leaving TNA: “I honestly didn’t think there was any interest from WWE. It was 2014 when I left TNA, and I sort of assumed – because I’ve spoken so many of my friends who tried to get into NXT and were told they were a little too old, and the people I’m talking about are younger than me – so I just basically assumed that it might be a little too late in the game for me to start with NXT. That may not be the case in terms of being a trainer, but at that point, I didn’t feel like I was ready to give up doing the in-ring part of it. I felt like it was more of a natural fit for me to go to Ring of Honor, especially in the last couple of months having signed a contract with them, I feel like it’s just more of a fit for what I want to do right now. Being able to be in the ring and still wrestling, in addition to helping out behind the scenes and sort of helping shape the younger talent, I feel like that certainly is more in line with what I want to do. That was the opportunity that I wanted to take.”

On if he’s considered retirement: “The neck injury was serious back in the day, but nothing that made me consider retirement. I never had concussions the way Bryan has, either. So, I’ve been really fortunate in that respect. When I hurt my neck in 2001, it certainly set me back and made me think, but since that time I’ve been very fortunate. I don’t want to say I changed my style, because I didn’t really change it, but I was very much more aware of the risk-taking and I feel like I’ve wrestled a smart style since then. Very rarely have I ever undertaken anything that I wasn’t sure I’d be okay to do. And that’s not to say that Bryan didn’t, but for me, I feel like a lot of it for him was that he was under such a heavy schedule that that certainly contributed to him retiring as early as he did. Accidents do happen, and I know a couple of the concussions that he had, there’s no defense for it. It just happens. As hard as we train – and we try to be very safe – and especially those guys that are working at least five times a week, of course they’re working safe and they’re working smart. But, I mean, just the law of averages, after a while it just sort of catches up to you and I think that’s what happened with Bryan. I’ve been very fortunate to sort of avoid that and my schedule is certainly a lot lighter than his, and I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to keep going up into my – I’m almost 46 – that’s one of the reasons I feel like I’ve been kept healthy.”

On if he’s using his bigger role in ROH to get others to change their in-ring style: “There hasn’t been a situation that’s arisen where I’ve had to tell guys to change their style. I feel like what I’m better at is just telling guys to be smart ahead of time and not reacting to the injury. If I feel like guys are being dangerous with themselves or with their opponent, I’ll pull them aside and let them know we’re all in this for the long haul. So, for the sake of one spot or one match, it’s not worth it to potentially injure yourself or your opponent. That’s just common sense, but sometimes you just get so caught up, especially guys who are trying to make a name for themselves. They want to push the envelope and they want to be noticed and make an impact. You have to sort of pull them away from that edge and tell them it’s not worth it. It’s better to be long-term than to make a short splash for whatever reason. There hasn’t been anything so far in Ring of Honor where I’ve had to tell guys, ‘This is gonna hurt you. This is bad in the long run.’ As athletic and acrobatic as those guys are, I feel like they’re still working within the limits that they set for themselves and nobody’s really going out there recklessly – and in this day and age, people are well aware of the dangers of that sort of stuff, and so they’re very cautious, even though it may not seem like it to the naked eye, it seems like they’re out there risking their lives – they’ve got control that they’re exerting over themselves.”

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