WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan retired recently due to a history of concussions, which was admirable on his end. He went through various tests and was seemingly getting good news, but he found out in one of the latest tests that he had a lesion on his brain. This was in an area that was causing him seizures, which he hid from the WWE, and most everyone else.
Bryan, at one point, even told his wife, Brie Bella, to keep it a secret when she was with him during an attack. Clearly Bryan needed to retire from the ring, despite what he wanted to do. At one point, he was said to have asked for his release from WWE. Vince McMahon reportedly told him no, and WWE claimed that he did not have the right to just get his release, as they would have to sign off on it and they weren’t about to do that.
It was said that Bryan actually had a ton of potential wrestling gigs ready to go. He had worked out a deal to work with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, as well as partner, CMLL. He was also going to be allowed to work with Ring of Honor with all of this, which would have pretty much given him the full time wrestling schedule that he would have worked in WWE.
Sadly, when the latest test found a problem that proved to Bryan he needed to retire, he went with it. However, some speculate that Bryan is retiring “from WWE,” but not from pro-wrestling. There are many who believe he retired from WWE so that he could get out of his contract and simply return to the world of pro-wrestling outside of WWE, as if to say that he outsmarted Vince McMahon in order to get his release and go to work.
According to The Wrestling Observer, that is not the case at all.
“If you think Bryan outsmarted Vince by retiring to end the freeze on his contract, well, I can tell you for sure you’re wrong on that one. Retirement had no affect on the terms of his deal.”
This is correct. People like Edge retired early due to injury, and WWE allowed him to do whatever, but his contract was still going on as he had a year left on his deal when he retired. Meanwhile Daniel Bryan has about two years left on his deal. There is a good shot that WWE uses Bryan in a lot of media or outside roles, which would allow his contract to run, and he would be able to do something else after it ran out.
Could Bryan return to wrestling when his deal with WWE expires? It is possible. However, there is a good shot that he never gets back in the ring to take bumps. He could always train people, which would allow him to work in the ring, but he simply would not go in and take a lot of bumps. Bryan could also do a lot of ambassador work for WWE, which would be good for the company in a big way.
Daniel Bryan has a lot of possibilities as a WWE name, and WWE would love to exploit that whenever possible. It is unknown if he will ever return to television, but it was said that Vince McMahon did want him back in a televised role, just nothing inside the ring. He could always do that, but he may want to stay away for now, as retirement can be rough on a lot of wrestlers. Bryan may need to stay away so that it does not give him the itch to return.
Guys like Edge and Shawn Michaels were at the end of their careers when their retirements happened. HBK retired in a great way and went out on his own terms. Edge did not, but he said he was going to retire when his deal was up anyway. It just happened to be a year early, so both have no issue with coming back and being part of programming. Guys like Daniel Bryan may not be able to do this for a while.
We will most likely see Daniel Bryan again at some point, whenever a time comes for WWE to use him. For now, we just have to wait and see what he does in his next life away from a pro-wrestling ring.
[Image via WWE]