An advertisement that ran on the afternoon showing of NXT on WWE Network for the Thursday premiere of Smackdown on SyFy next week (January 15, 2015) is touting Daniel Bryan "in action" for the show.
While it could still be a work, it's clearly indicating a return to the ring as being different from his appearance on last week or next weeks Raw.
Does this mean that his work at the Performance Center was much better than hoped? It certainly provides WWE and SyFy with a enticing reason for fans to tune in to the blue brand on its new night.
Or does it concern you that they're rushing DB's already somewhat mysterious/miraculous recovery?
Cards subject to change and all that, but between advertisments and some reporting by the fine folks over at PWInsider.com, we have a picture of WWE's plan for the ring rust off of Daniel Bryan before he enters the Royal Rumble match at the pay-per-view (PPV) of the same name in Philadelphia later this month.
The former WWE champ is spending at least part of his week off from television down in Orlando working out at the Performance Center. We know that he'll be back on Raw and Smackdown next week, but it looks like reports that he wouldn't wrestle before Royal Rumble were only partially true - or have changed since they leaked out.
While it seems the company will keep The Beard out of in-ring action on our screens until January 25th, that doesn't mean he won't be wrestling. Bryan has been added to the following house shows, and is advertised for matches on two of them.
January 16 - St. Louis, Missouri
January 17 - Abilene, Texas
January 18 - San Antonio, TX
He's set to face Kane on Friday night in St. Louis, and standard house show convention would have him squaring off against his old Hell No partner all weekend. In this case, WWE is probably holding off on advertising that until they see how his feels on Saturday morning after a match and a night on the road.
He's also been added to post-Rumble shows, which is a good sign for those of us worried that his return was a one-off deal to further someone else's WrestleMania angle.
January 30 - Las Cruces, New Mexico
January 31 - Albequerque, NM
February 1 - Loveland, CO
February 14 - Tampa, Florida
February 15 - Ft. Myers, FL
The Colorado show advertises his opponent as Luke Harper, a step up in workrate from the Corporate Demon and a good test for his ability to work at the style that made him so popular in WWE before his injury.
Excited, Cagesiders? Does this news change your fantasy booking of the Goat-faced Killah?