Major WWE rumors were set in motion by recent comments made by SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan. The remarks that the former WWE champion made have fans excited that they may actually see Bryan return to the wrestling ring again. While it seems uncertain that Bryan will get back into a WWE ring, there seems to be a stronger possibility of him working with a different wrestling company in the future.
As reported by Comicbook just a few days ago, Daniel Bryan and The Miz had an interesting exchange during Talking Smack, the exclusive post-SmackDown Live show on WWE Network. During Miz and Maryse’s segment on the show, Bryan was confronted with the fact that he’s not in movies, which he said he wants no part of. However, Miz brought up that Bryan isn’t wrestling anymore because of his head. Daniel Bryan responded by saying he didn’t choose to retire, but that the WWE made him do so.
However, it was the comment made after that by Bryan that got the WWE Universe really excited.
“[Is it that] I can’t or they won’t let me [wrestle]? We’ll see in a year-and-a-half and see what happens.”
Bryan is currently under contract with WWE and working in the television role of SmackDown Live‘s General Manager, helping Commissioner Shane McMahon run the show. Beyond that, he’s expecting a child at home with his wife and former women’s wrestler, Brie Bella. While it seems family life and being away from the wrestling ring are going to be priorities for Bryan and Brie, there’s also what seems to be a lingering desire for him to get back into the ring.
That has prompted the rumors that the former WWE Heavyweight Champion will make his return at some point. It probably won’t be in a match for WWE, though. As WWE Leaks is reporting on the latest betting odds where Daniel Bryan will show up. The article indicates that Paddy Power released a betting special and that the odds-on favorite, as of this report, is for Bryan to officially sign with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) before the end of 2018. The NJPW speculation has odds of 11-8.
Right behind that one is speculation for Bryan to appear at Ring of Honor. Bryan got his big start in this organization, so it might make sense for him to return there. The way the betting special is listed, it doesn’t indicate that Bryan would have to sign or wrestle, but simply “appear” with the company in some capacity. It carries odds of 9-4 right now.
Trailing those two specials are the two longshots on the Daniel Bryan betting specials. The first of them is “Daniel Bryan to fight in an official WWE match before the end of 2017” and has 7-1 odds. The other is for “Daniel Bryan to appear on TNA before the end of 2018” at 10-1 odds. Both of these seem very unlikely to happen, based on circumstances. For one, WWE has restricted Bryan from participating in matches due to his health situation. As far as TNA, the company has looked like a desperately sinking ship for some time, and if it’s still around by the end of next year, it will probably be hanging on by a very thin thread.
That’s why it makes more sense for Daniel Bryan to show up with New Japan or Ring of Honor, as both companies may have more relaxed policies in terms of how he can participate with them.
Bryan officially retired from WWE in February of 2016 after several title runs and great years with the company. While fans hoped it was just a temporary thing, it seems that the company is being extra cautious with his health. Similar situations occurred with other wrestling greats, including Edge and Christian, both of whom were forced to retire from WWE competition due to medical issues. However, all of these stars have still been associated with the company in some form.
As with other legendary pro wrestling stars, it’s also hard to rule out if Bryan returns to a WWE ring in the distant future in some capacity. However, the company has become more and more serious with regards to protecting the health and well-being of its stars. Nonetheless, WWE’s loss of Bryan after his contract ends will be another company’s major gain, if Bryan gives in to his itch to continue in the business.
[Featured Image by WWE]