Daniel Bryan Finished?

WWE: Daniel Bryan May Never Return As Active Wrestler

Daniel Bryan has received some pretty terrible news, which we detailed with a bit more optimism on October 29. However, a new report that surfaced at Cageside Seats today indicates that optimism may be wishful thinking.

During the site’s daily rumor roundup, it was said that unnamed sources within the WWE are operating on the assumption that there is no timetable for a Daniel Bryan return. In fact, they’re starting to entertain that “it’s even possible he may not return at all.”

The Wrestling Observer adds that “word among wrestlers… is that he may need major elbow surgery,” which could make him a hazard to himself and his opponents, especially considering his high-risk in-ring work.

Bryan (aka Bryan Danielson) has been well-loved among fans since his Ring of Honor days from 2002 to 2005. He represents the last of a dying breed — the wrestler who could make it onto the big stage without being a strictly WWE creation.

Moving forward, it will be increasingly difficult for other stars to bring their celebrity with them into the company while making it to the top.

And make it to the top, Bryan did. In April at WrestleMania 30, he was booked over Triple H in a singles match and then won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship later that night in a triple-threat match against Randy Orton and Batista.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after that that the surgery, the title-strip, and the indefinite hiatus came about.

If it’s true that Daniel Bryan may not come back at all, then we’ve essentially witnessed another promising pro wrestling career cut short due to injury. While the circumstances of this case are different, they are reminiscent of Terry Allen (aka Magnum T.A.), who was one of the hottest babyface stars of the 1980s until a car accident ended his run just six years from the time he wrestled his first match.

Daniel Bryan has at least had a longer run than Magnum T.A., having started the business in 1999, but it wasn’t until this past WrestleMania that fans finally felt he was getting his due. To have that end now is tragic.

It’s also another bit of bad news for the company, which received a less-than-stellar result from its Q3 report this week. With one of its most-over stars on the shelf through next year’s WrestleMania and possibly for good, WWE needs a hero.

What do you think, readers? Is Daniel Bryan gone for good? What do you think it will mean for the WWE?