Bryan Danielson Thanks WWE Ahead of AEW Grand Slam

Bryan Danielson will face Kenny Omega in the main event of AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam at Arthur Ashe Arena in New York City on Wednesday night. It's the first time the former WWE Champion will compete inside of an All Elite Wrestling ring, but before the action gets underway Danielson published a story via The Players' Tribune on Tuesday thanking WWE for his 12-year run with the company. Danielson thanked his peers, the crew behind the scenes, Vince McMahon (referred to as the Big Man) and the fans. 

"THANK YOU, WWE," Danielson wrote. "Thank you to the incredible superstars with whom I've shared both the ring and the road. For Savate-Kick Saturdays and locally roasted coffee. For being family when we're away from family. For making me look good when I didn't feel good. For deep conversations and pointless debates. For making me laugh -- both in the best of times, and the worst. For all the small things that make life as a wrestler just a little bit more fun.

"Thank you to the many people behind the scenes. The crew in WWE is amazing, from the folks operating the cameras to those in catering. From the producers to talent relations. Thank you to the production team, who always put together such amazing packages, and are such an underappreciated part of the stories we tell. Thank you to everyone involved in creative: for accepting me into the group, for sharing with me the lessons you've learned, and for the fun times we had talking about wrestling and non-wrestling subjects alike. It's a difficult job, writing and producing WWE television, and I'm consistently blown away by your ability to make a seamless production out of such chaos!  

While thanking McMahon, Danielson wrote, "Thank you to the Big Man, who I know hates to be acknowledged. I won't say much, but thank you for the conversations, the life lessons (about both what to do and what not to do), and the best hug I've ever received. I wish more people could see you how I see you."

Finally, he addressed the fans that supported him over the years — "And last but certainly not least: Thank you to the WWE fans. You pushed my career to new heights — heights that I never would have reached for, on my own. Thank you for cheering me enthusiastically into the main event at WrestleMania 30, and thank you for booing me vociferously against Kofi at WrestleMania 35. Thank you for crying with me when I was forced to retire, and thank you for celebrating with me when I was cleared to compete. Thank you for hijacking that show in Seattle — the last time my dad ever got to see me wrestle. He signed his first autograph that night: Buddy Danielson, Daniel Bryan's dad. Thank you for moments that I will never forget.... moments where I can just close my eyes and feel the goosebumps all over again."