Daniel Bryan’s ability to return to the ring is already a positive shift for the WWE, even before he has officially competed. While spending his time away from the ring, Bryan has filled the role as the SmackDown Live General Manager alongside Commissioner Shane McMahon, but with some heated controversy.
For the past few months, Bryan became involved in the heated rivalry including Shane, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn. While Owens and Zayn opposed Shane due to feeling that they were unfairly treated, both felt that Bryan was an ally to them. To further this speculation, Bryan would indirectly assist in their matches, as well as give them multiple opportunities.
However, when Bryan was cleared to come back, he immediately confronted Owens and Zayn for their brutal attack on Shane. While Bryan did admit that he was indeed living vicariously through Owens and Zayn, and he was rooting for them due to having a similar journey of clawing and scratching through the independent circuit to land a spot in the WWE, what they did to Shane was unacceptable. As a result, Bryan fired the two. Unfortunately, for Bryan, he also suffered an attack from the rebellious duo. Despite trying to fight back, Bryan received a powerbomb from Owens and was sent out on a stretcher.
#SDLive Recap, Analysis: Daniel Bryan Cleared To Return To Action, Fires Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Who Then Combine For Brutal Assault On The GM @floramargerine https://t.co/K38ok5RUvz pic.twitter.com/DtvH1xj8nC
— Brad Carroll (@bradgameday) March 22, 2018
Daniel Bryan’s Return Already Proving To Be A Financial Success
As a result of what happened to both him and Shane, Bryan announced on SmackDown Live that a tag team match would occur at WrestleMania between him and Shane against Owens and Zayn. If his opponents won, they would be reinstated back on the SmackDown Live roster. However, if they lost, they would remain fired.
The anticipation of this match, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter(via Forbes) has caused a spike in ticket sales. Since the announcement, WWE experienced a surge of fans wanting to see WrestleMania, which had showed that his return has already financially benefitted the company.
While Bryan admitted that he was not content with simply being the General Manager of SmackDown Live during his promo, the fact that he was still involved in WWE programming assisted with the anticipation of his triumphant return on April 8 in New Orleans.