Although Daniel Bryan has reportedly been cleared by doctors and is being advertised for upcoming WWE live events and SmackDown Live episodes, per a recent report from The Inquisitr, WWE has remained mum as far as the specifics of his injury are concerned. However, the latest word from Wrestling Observer Newsletter publisher Dave Meltzer suggests that many of the past rumors about the former WWE Champion’s extended absence might have been accurate all along.
According to a report from WrestlingNews.co, Meltzer provided his latest update on Bryan on Sunday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, where he told listeners that he was not able to confirm the nature of Bryan’s injury. He added, however, that it’s highly likely that the 37-year-old SmackDown Live mainstay was indeed suffering from a concussion, and that recent backstage rumors have suggested the very same thing.
As further noted by WrestlingNews.co, WWE’s most recent internal injury report showed the reason for Bryan’s injury-related absence as “unlisted.” The outlet pointed out that the company does this when it wants to “prevent word from getting out,” especially if a wrestler had suffered a concussion. This is similar to what WWE reportedly did in the past when concussions separately forced Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss out of action.
Given that Daniel Bryan has been cleared to compete and is expected to join WWE on its European tour, WrestlingNews.co speculated that he could be inserted into Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship defense against Kevin Owens at Money in the Bank, thereby turning the one-on-one match into a Triple Threat. Originally, the plan was for Kingston and Bryan to face off in a rematch of last month’s WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 35, but Owens was turned heel after a brief alliance with Kingston and his New Day stablemates, as a result of Bryan’s injury.
WWE’s apparently cagey approach in dealing with Bryan’s injury comes as little surprise, as the five-time world champion had retired from wrestling in February 2016 when he was only 34-years-old. Speaking to ABC News shortly after he announced his retirement on Monday Night Raw, Bryan admitted that he decided to hang up his boots after he began suffering seizures after concussions, including one that proved to be a “traumatic experience” for his wife, recently retired WWE superstar Brie Bella.
“I was with him with one of his seizures after a concussion,” Bella recalled. “It scared me so bad. I lost it.”
After spending two years in retirement and serving as the on-air general manager of SmackDown Live since the July 2016 brand split, Bryan made his WWE comeback in March 2018, as previously reported by Forbes. His current absence marks the longest time he’s been away from a WWE ring since last year’s big return.