Injured WWE superstar Daniel Bryan could possibly return at Monday’s WWE RAW, set to take place in his home state of Washington, for a non-wrestling role, according to Daily Wrestling News.
The idea behind this potential return would be to “generate buzz” heading into Wrestlemania 32 and help increase RAW ratings, per the report. Vince McMahon himself wants Bryan back in the fold, despite it being in a non-wrestling capacity. However, as separate reports have indicated in recent weeks, Bryan is reportedly not interested in being brought back to WWE television if he’s not going to wrestle.
Bryan, 34, hasn’t wrestled for the WWE since April of last year after suffering a concussion. Since that time, the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion has been fighting an uphill battle to receive clearance from WWE doctors to be cleared for an in-ring return.
Bryan spoke to IGN last October and stated that he’s already been cleared by one doctor to return, but WWE will ultimately have the final say in his return.
“The WWE doctor Joe Maroon [is] amazing and highly respected in the concussion field, and if they send me to a third neurologist who’s also highly respected in the concussion field and they say literally no… well, then is it really smart to go against two doctors? I get all fired up… and then I’m like, maybe that’s not the best thing for me and my family going forward.”
Just about two weeks ago, Bryan was cleared by another non-WWE doctor, as the Inquisitr reported. There was speculation that Bryan would appear at the Royal Rumble following the clearance, but that was not the case. Not too long after, there was a report that Bryan will likely never be cleared for an in-ring return with WWE, raising a litany of questions about his future.
While many fans who want to see Bryan make his return are becoming restless, there are people who have expressed their belief that WWE is not to blame for their reluctance to clear Bryan. Former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas wrote a lengthy blog for Chair Shot Reality about the Bryan situation. While Korderas understands the fans’ desire to see Bryan back, the WWE simply cannot afford to clear somebody with a severe track record of injuries.
“Think about it, it would become a PR nightmare if Daniel Bryan returned to the ring and got hurt again, especially considering his well-documented history of concussions. That would only open up the company to further litigation. Yes, the WWE is protecting their public image and interests but you can’t blame them for that.”
Going back to Daily Wrestling News’ report, there are people in the company who feel that if Bryan continues to refuse non-wrestling duties for WWE, it could definitely seal his fate within WWE. The company could grow tired of Bryan’s reluctance and potentially sever ties with him altogether.
Bryan has teased potentially working elsewhere, telling the New Paper in Singapore that this concussion issues “could be the end of my career in WWE, but I don’t think it will be the end of my career.”
The WWE has reportedly tried to bring in either Shawn Michaels or Batista as a special guest referee for the rumored Triple H vs. Roman Reigns title match Wrestlemania 32. It’s plausible that a special guest referee role for that could in the cards for Bryan, as he’s been involved with both Triple H and Reigns in his most recent WWE TV stints.
Either way, the frequency of Bryan’s name being in the headlines recently indicates that a resolution will take place sooner rather than later.
[Image via WWE]