clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MMA fighter Benson Henderson recants claim that Daniel Bryan "is back"

MMA fighter Benson Henderson, who trains in the same gym that Daniel Bryan does, has recanted his claim on social media that he had heard that Bryan was back.

Daniel Bryan is not back just yet...
Daniel Bryan is not back just yet...
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

There's no smoke without fire. That old adage would have you believe that a Daniel Bryan return to the squared circle is imminent, maybe as soon as tomorrow night's Royal Rumble match.

What we do know is this. Daniel Bryan has not wrestled since being pulled from WWE's European tour last April. It later came out that WWE's Medical Director Dr. Joseph Maroon was refusing to clear Daniel Bryan to wrestle over concerns about the large number of concussions he had suffered during his wrestling career.

In October, Bryan claimed in an interview with that he had been cleared with no limitations by an independent neurologist who specialises in concussions (it was later revealed that this doctor was the neurologist for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals), but that wasn't enough for Maroon to change his mind. Apparently, this stalemate was going to be decided by the casting vote of a third doctor.

In this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was reported that Bryan had gotten that third opinion and the results were favourable, but Maroon was still yet to clear him for WWE action:

"If you recall with the Bryan story that he was going to get another opinion regarding coming back. He went to see concussion specialists at UCLA and underwent a battery of tests and they gave him the green light. But as of press time, he has not been cleared by WWE or Dr. Joseph Maroon, because of his number of prior concussions. All indications are the WWE is still very leery about clearing him. He would be ready to return immediately if they made the call to clear him."

The question is has WWE really pushed the goal posts back on Daniel Bryan and still refusing to clear him despite jumping through all the hoops they had set him or are they being secretive because they want to keep his return a surprise?

In what may or may not have been a coincidence, Daniel Bryan was booked for an autograph signing in Pittsburgh by WWE this Friday, which led to speculation, refuted in the Observer, that he would also be visiting Maroon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre to determine his future whilst he was in the city.

The latest evidence pointing toward Daniel Bryan having been secretly cleared by Maroon was MMA fighter Benson Henderson, who trains jiu-jitsu in the same gym as Bryan does, declaring that he had heard he was back on Twitter:

However, in the last hour, Henderson has since recanted his claim, telling fighting colleague Tom Lawlor that he had just been perpetuating a presumably bogus online rumour:

But once again we have to ask whether Henderson is now backtracking because he was spreading a false rumour or because he spoke out of school?

Obviously if Bryan is a surprise entrant in tomorrow's Royal Rumble match, then there was fire to all the smoke this week. But clearly he shouldn't be used in such a role unless he's winning the bout, which seems like a real long shot even if he is cleared, given the event's hype has been based around Vince McMahon stacking the deck against Reigns and attempting to screw him out of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Surely, WWE aren't stupid enough to make the same mistake thrice?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats