In the latest reports on WWE superstar Daniel Bryan’s future, a potential deadline for his return to wrestling has been given. Bryan recently talked with Sports Illustrated about a possible comeback to work a WWE match as it has been on the minds of fans for months. While there have been rumors swirling around him getting into a match with SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon, so far they have simply worked a match as special referees. That could change, but if it doesn’t, fans may not see Bryan with WWE.
According to the report from SI‘s Justin Barrasso on Wednesday, Daniel Bryan said he should know or not if he’ll be wrestling with WWE by WrestleMania 34. Bryan recently appeared at a hockey game for the Springfield Thunderbirds to drop the puck for the Florida Panthers’ affiliate team. He also signed autographs for over 500 fans, something which he said he enjoys quite a bit as it allows for him to interact with the fans on a more personal level versus live events which are more of a “macro level” interaction.
While he’s in the ring or on television on a weekly basis as part of the SmackDown Live shows or pay-per-views, Bryan may soon be participating in a match, if everything lines up for him. He mentioned to SI that his assumption is if he doesn’t wrestle by WrestleMania he “probably won’t be wrestling with WWE at all.” That’s about three months away, so the clock is now ticking.
The former WWE champion spoke about what’s going on as far as his potential return to the ring this year.
“It’s not a black and white answer. There are a lot of issues with me getting cleared by WWE. They have a very strict protocol, which is a good thing, but the timeline of all that happening was not the best for me. It’s an interesting situation that will develop.”
Fans got a major glimmer of hope that Bryan is prepping for a comeback when he was added as a special guest referee for the tag team match at WWE’s Clash of Champions pay-per-view. It had previously been a match with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens taking on Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton. Shane McMahon appointed himself special guest referee with the stipulation that if Owens and Zayn lost, they’d be fired from WWE. To make things fairer for the heel duo, Bryan made himself a secondary referee. He ended up counting the winning pinfall, albeit fast, for Owens and Zayn, keeping the two as WWE employees.
While it made for an interesting “clash” between Bryan and Shane, it has left fans wondering if there will be more to all of it than just that particular instance. There are currently betting odds being offered by Kambi sportsbooks online about whether Bryan will work with WWE or another company. There are also odds suggesting that Bryan could be an opponent for several superstars at the WrestleMania 34 pay-per-view in April, including John Cena, Triple H, Kurt Angle, and Shane McMahon. WWE fans are certainly hoping that they’ll be able to participate in an inspired “Yes” chant, as Bryan heads to the ring again for a match on “the grandest stage of them of all.”