Former WWE World Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion Daniel Bryan has been out of action for the better part of this year due to concussion issues, and, it appears that he won’t be returning to the ring anytime soon, despite WWE’s roster depth issues.
Daniel Bryan has been very candid about his frustrations with not only his injury history over the last two years, but the WWE doctors refusing to clear him, even though his own doctor in Arizona, who works with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, says that he is fine and ready to return to the ring.
Bryan himself has said that he will return to the ring whenever WWE calls him to do so. But, if he’s waiting for that call, it may never come.
According to Wrestling News, WWE’s head of medical, Dr. Joseph Maroon, is strongly advising Daniel Bryan to never wrestle again due to his concussion history.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has reported that WWE CEO Vince McMahon is conflicted about Bryan returning to the ring. On one hand, McMahon doesn’t want to put Bryan at risk by giving him the go-ahead to wrestle. On the other hand, McMahon knows that Bryan wants to wrestle again, and if he doesn’t allow him to, he’ll risk losing one of his most popular wrestlers to a place like New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Earlier this week, Bryan expressed his frustration with not being cleared to return to the ring by WWE, and he also said that by being injured, he felt like he was letting the fans down, because without the fans’ unwavering support, he would have never been allowed to main-event a WrestleMania or become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
“I think it’s just frustrating for me, the whole injury situation. To me, I try to be transparent about it all, about the injury stuff. When people ask me, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ Because, my career more than anybody else’s is based on the fans, right? And I try to keep an honest relationship with the fans, and so, if something is leaked out or whatever, it doesn’t bother me. I think the frustrating part for me with the injuries is feeling like I’ve almost let the fans down, because they’re the ones who pushed me to the super high level. They were the ones who, without them, I would’ve never gotten here. They were the ones who wanted it so bad, so it’s almost like, I feel like I let them down.”
Several weeks ago on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer was asked what he thinks Daniel Bryan will do if WWE still hasn’t allowed him to wrestle by the time his contract expires, and Meltzer answered by saying that he believes that Bryan will end up telling WWE that he’ll only re-sign if they agree to let him wrestle. If they don’t, Meltzer says Bryan will leave the company and return to New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he’d continue to be a huge star.
Bryan himself has said that he’d think about leaving WWE if he’s never allowed to get back into the ring, because he still has an overwhelming desire to get back in the ring. He’s promised his fans that he hasn’t had his last match, and that he will return. But, his return may not be in WWE.
At this moment, Daniel Bryan has been out of action for roughly eight months, and if WWE allows him to wrestle again, he probably won’t be returning to the ring until after WrestleMania 32 next spring. With that said, Vince McMahon is known for changing his mind quite often, so it’s possible that Bryan could be brought back sooner than that if WWE wants a quick fix to their roster depth issues.
[Image via WWE]