Daniel Bryan possibly returning to the ring has been a hot topic in the wrestling world for several months now, and it’s looking like Bryan may be cleared to return to the ring as soon as this Sunday for the Royal Rumble match.
Bryan, who has been out of action since last spring with concussion issues, met with doctors at UCLA this week, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, and after several tests, they told Bryan that he was fine, and that he should be able to return to action as soon as possible.
Of course, other doctors have cleared Bryan for a return since his injury last year, but it hasn’t swayed WWE’s stance on him returning to the ring, as their head of medical — Dr. Joseph Maroon — has advised the company to never let him wrestle again.
It was reported earlier this week that Daniel Bryan was going to meet with Dr. Maroon following his appearance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, Dave Meltzer says that those reports are false, and that Bryan will not be meeting with Maroon this week.
Meltzer also added that Bryan doesn’t have to meet with Maroon in order to get cleared, and that the UCLA doctors clearing him may convince WWE’s medical team to convince him, which could mean that Bryan will end up in the Royal Rumble match on Sunday.
“Daniel Bryan was cleared by the doctors at UCLA, which does not mean that he’s cleared (to return to the ring.) The story that he’s going to see Dr. Maroon this weekend is not true. He may get cleared — he doesn’t have to go to Dr. Maroon to get cleared. It’s just a question of if they’re going to clear him or not. I don’t expect him at the Royal Rumble, but he could be. He had a whole bunch of tests with the concussion specialists at UCLA, and they deemed him okay.”
Daniel Bryan has expressed frustration over the fact that WWE has been reluctant to clear him over the last couple of months, and after WWE signed AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson, he seemed even more frustrated, as he wants to wrestle all four men, especially Nakamura.
There are some who believe that, even if WWE clears Bryan, they’ll keep him as far away from the Royal Rumble as possible, because they don’t want him getting in the way of their WrestleMania plans for the third year in a row.
Of course, WWE is currently in dire need of star power, so they may run the risk of having Daniel Bryan ruin their WrestleMania plans just to add some depth to the roster.
So far, there are only fourteen men announced as participants for the Royal Rumble match, which leaves plenty of room for surprises. However, more will likely be announced on Thursday’s SmackDown.
If Bryan returns on Sunday, there’s almost no chance of him winning the Royal Rumble, just because WWE is already planning on having Roman Reigns face Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, and if Bryan won the Rumble, Reigns wouldn’t be in the title match at AT&T Stadium.
As of right now, the odds say that Triple H will return and win the Rumble match. However, there are some predicting that Bryan will win the match, and become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, then go onto WrestleMania to defend his title against Brock Lesnar.
The Royal Rumble will be an interesting show that should be full of surprises, and, who knows, maybe Daniel Bryan will be one of those surprises.
[Image via WWE]