Despite a storied WWE career that spanned the course of 18 years, Christian was never graced with a proper send-off on TV … and now he’s explained why.
On the latest episode of “After The Bell with Corey Graves,” Christian said that the circumstances surrounding his departure in 2014 made for a tricky situation. After suffering a concussion on Raw, he disappeared from programming. By the time he knew things were over, it was too late.
“It’s hard when there’s a chunk of time that goes by and you’re doing these tests and these different things and then, months down the road, they say ‘Okay, you can’t do this anymore.’ Now to come back to TV and be like ‘Hey, remember that thing when I was gone six months ago?’ I had been been off a long time. It just seemed like weird timing. For me, it didn’t need to happen,” he said.
Being forced into retirement though was a difficult thing to deal with, according to Christian.
“It’s a tough thing to swallow. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. It’s taken out of your hands. You don’t have a say in it,” he added. But he never once thought to question his diagnosis or push for a return. “When I talked to a doctor, it’s like any prize fighter. You can have a chin made of granite and get hit a ton of times and nothing happens. But that one time you get a bad one, you’re never quite the same and it’s easier to get them after,” he explained. “So, at this point it’s not a question of if you’re going to get another one, it’s when. That’s all I needed to hear.”
Despite the lack of pomp and circumstance at the end of his career, Christian has no qualms about how it played out. “A lot of people talk to me and say ‘You never got a ceremony, you never got to come out and say goodbye.’ First of all, I never felt like one of those guys who needed to do that. That wasn’t really my thing,” he said. “I don’t even know if I’d want to do that anyway.”
Over the years, the WWE Backstage panelist has heard the rumblings when guys like Daniel Bryan return after seemingly career-ending injuries, but he doesn’t pay any mind to them.
“People talk to me about Daniel Bryan coming back. They say “If he can do it…” and it’s like, first of all, we’re in different situations,” he said. “He’s what, probably, ten years younger than me? I was about to turn 40 when this happened. I wasn’t 30. If I was 30, maybe I’d have a different mindset about it.”
He was also cognizant of the fact that he didn’t want to wear out his welcome. “Basically the only thing I never accomplished was main eventing WrestleMania and, let’s be honest, how many people get to do that? I maybe even overachieved in a sense and did more than maybe I was every projected to do,” the former World Heavyweight Champion explained. “So, I was content with the things I had accomplished and, at that age, I never envisioned myself being a guy that hung on too long also. I didn’t want to get into that territory, either.”
Of course, that raises the topic of Edge. One of the most illustrious tag teams of all-time, Edge & Christian have followed simultaneously similar and divergent paths in their later years. When Edge was forced to retire in 2011 with a neck injury, he was given time for a retirement speech on Raw. Christian called this “a totally different situation” though, because Edge was World Heavyweight Champion at the time and had just been in a match at WrestleMania.
Listen to the full episode below.