Here's a tidbit that no fan or WWE executive probably wants to hear right now.
According to Dave Meltzer in the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer (which is chock full of good stuff this week, and worth the money a subscription costs), things aren't where most had hoped they would be as far as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan's recovery from his recent surgical procedure:
The problem is that Bryan's rehabilitation of his right arm is going slower than anticipated. One person said that not only is he not makings gains, but he's actually losing strength in the arm while doing rehab, which is concerning. Bryan was in Indianapolis for Raw and backstage, his situation was the most talked about thing among those in power. He was sent back to Pittsburgh to see Dr. Joseph Maroon, who did his neck surgery, to see what was wrong.
The plan is for the champ to appear on this upcoming episode of Raw for another showdown with Stephanie McMahon to keep the angle alive, but beyond that, it's touch and go for the next steps in this program.
Meltzer's source said that Vince McMahon is personally calling all the shots around Bryan and the titles right now, which is standard operating procedure when main eventers are injured. It seems like Vince takes a very optimistic view of his Superstars recovery, though, as the "person close to the situation" compared the current predicament to when John Cena's injury kept him out of Hell in a Cell against CM Punk in 2012 and Ryback had to be thrust into his spot.
That move is widely seen as having been detrimental to Big Hungry's career, as it derailed his big win streak and more or less sacrificed a hot act for an emergency fill-in.
Plans this time around will be greatly aided by the calendar, as the Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV) provides a ready made back-up plan for determining a new champ if DB's recovery is going to much longer than anticipated. It will still probably result in a deviation from long-term plans, but the buzz generated by Seth Rollins turn this past Monday (also reportedly a quick audible) provides some cover and a couple of interesting options if they end up needing to go that route.
There's obviously a lot of internal and external pressure on Bryan to get back to the ring as soon as possible, because what was one of the biggest WrestleMania coronations of a main eventer in company history has fallen farther and farther from the spotlight as a result of life circumstances and injury.
Keep it with Cageside Seats and we'll bring you whatever news or information we get on the ongoing situation.