Apparently, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan has been released from that local medical facility Kane sent him to, as he was a guest of the New Jersey Devils at the NHL franchise’s inaugural “WWE Night” at Prudential Center in Newark on Thursday night (Nov. 9).
While enjoying some live sports, Bryan talked to The Trentonian newspaper and offered up some interesting comments about a potential in-ring return... possibly even with WWE.
The grand slam champion famously retired from performing in 2016 due concussions and brain injury, and hasn’t stopped thinking and talking about coming back since. He recently started a new treatment which has him and wife Brie confident he’ll be able to wrestle again soon. The focus of comeback speculation has been on the end of his contract with WWE and where he might head next, but these new quotes could be the first sign the door working in a Raw or SmackDown ring isn’t entirely shut - although there are real challenges the company faces even if they thing Bryan is healthy:
“I’m trying to get cleared as we speak.
All my tests have come back fantastic, better than people who have never had any concussion-type stuff. But it’s a weird thing. We’re in a weird situation politically with the climate around concussions; right now, it’s very difficult. WWE would love to have me back, but is that the smart thing for me as a business to bring me back? If I was to come back, and they let me back, would they get a lot of flak for it? They have a ton of stockholders that they’re responsible for. It’s more than just, ‘Is he healthy to do it?’
There’s more than that to the whole situation. All the concussion doctors think that I’m healthy enough to do it, and that I should be able to do it — well, I don’t want to say all of them, I’m sure there’s somebody out there who doesn’t think that — but there’s a lot more than goes into it than just that. That’s the unfortunate situation with giant corporations and big business in the United States.”
While “possibly preventing people from injuring themselves” isn’t high on my list of issues with corporate America, DB does have an accurate read on things here. Seeing as they’ve welcomed Kurt Angle back as a part-time performer and are using John Cena and Triple H wherever they can, they’d certainly love to use Bryan to sell tickets and draw viewers if they thought they could get away with it.
But is he more valuable to them as a public relations and legal piece to prove how seriously they take traumatic brain injury?
We’ll find out some time in 2018.