Daniel Bryan retired one year and some four months ago in the middle of a WWE ring due to medical issues related to seizures caused by multiple concussions, but has hinted at a return to action once his contract with the WWE expires in 2018. “We’ll see in a year and a half and see what happens,” Bryan stated in March in an episode of Talking Smack while engaged in a heated argument with the Miz.
This puts WWE in a tough spot considering their efforts in refraining from any kind of bad press while at the same time wanting to squeeze every last dollar from potential Daniel Bryan merchandise should they allow him to return to in ring activity.
During an interview with Kenny McIntosh on the Inside The Ropes interview last month, Bryan stated, “It all depends on how I feel my health is and how my wife feels my health is,” Bryan said. “If we feel like my health is good, I love to wrestle, and I’m gonna go wrestle. But if we feel at that point that it’s not good, then we’ll see what happens.”
The WWE reportedly has yet to rule out the idea of allowing Bryan to wrestle again according to Dave Meltzer, and while Bryan is supposedly working on a new safer wrestling style, this doesn’t have a Shawn Michaels ring to it. Unlike HBK’s return to the WWE as a performer, Bryan’s injuries are concussion related, which become far more prevalent as the concussions multiply.
It’s difficult to watch a 36-year-old who spent his livelihood inside of a wrestling ring since the year 2000 be forced to walk away whilst being exposed to the product on a regular basis as he is still involved in the company’s storylines as the Smackdown Live general manager. Bryan is a pioneer for the current indy influx the E is currently enduring in NXT, their UK program and the main roster. While many would’ve love to seen Bryan lock horns with the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, or Finn Balor, those same names have made for a smoother transition to life without Bryan performing on a weekly basis. While the transition has been smooth for fans, the same cannot be said for Bryan.
It appears that fatherhood hasn’t been able to erase the itch to get back in the ring and while the WWE refuses to clear Bryan to compete, he’d likely get clearance from a rival company and chances are he’ll take it and throw caution to the wind. Who’s to say he should stay retired and forget about doing what he loves for a living? Don’t pretend you wouldn’t tune in.