Daniel Bryan’s in-ring career with WWE appeared to be over. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the former world champion is right back in the mix.
WWE made the shocking announcement Tuesday afternoon that Bryan has been cleared for an in-ring return. The news comes less than three weeks before WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, where Bryan won the WWE title four years ago.
Bryan has been out of action for more than two years, dealing with the lingering effects of multiple concussions. The former world champion, whose contract is nearing its end, got clearance from non-WWE doctors, but the company refused to let him return until now.
Per WWE: “Bryan underwent a full review of his medical history and received comprehensive neurological and physical evaluations independent of WWE. He was cleared by each doctor as well as WWE’s Medical Director, Dr. Joseph Maroon.”
For those wondering whether the news actually is a work, Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso confirmed with the company that Bryan has indeed been cleared for a return.
Bryan has been featured in a prominent on-screen role as “SmackDown Live” general manager since 2016. That came just a few months after Bryan gave a tearful goodbye while announcing his retirement from in-ring action.
Tuesday’s announcement comes days after it was reported Bryan had just six months left on his WWE contract, and many in pro wrestling media speculated he might try to pursue a return to the ring with another company upon the completion of his deal. Whether this is somehow related to that in any way is nothing more than speculation, but the timing is interesting to say the least.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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