Once we learned Daniel Bryan was going to return to wrestle in a WWE ring - something everyone from Triple H to Dave Meltzer told us was likely never going to happen - you knew the stories of how it came about and what to watch out for next were coming.
They’re here! Remember, usual rumor caveats* apply:
- According to Wrestling Observer Live (subscription required but recommended), this news has been expected for a couple weeks. Bryan asked WWE’s Medical Director, Dr. Joseph Maroon, who was the main hold out on clearing him, who he could get to sign-off on his return, and then went and sought clearance from them. Maroon agreed once those experts - mainly the three named in WWE’s statement - said he was safe to wrestle. The final approval likely came yesterday (Mon., Mar. 19).
- Meltzer says Bryan is now “free and clear” to wrestle as much as he wants. It’s unlikely he’ll leave WWE when his contract expires, but it’s still possible. Provided he stays as expected, a schedule of approximately 60 dates per year has been discussed, but a final number is yet to be determined.
- Both the Observer and PWInsider report the plan is (and has been) for Bryan to team with Shane McMahon against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at WrestleMania 34. There was a back-up partner ready for Shane in the event DB wasn’t cleared, and that person could still be used if AJ Styles needs to bow out of his match with Shinsuke Nakamura and Bryan takes that spot. UPDATE: Meltzer tweeted after WOL that Styles has been given the green light (sorry not sorry) for ‘Mania.
- Regarding the decision by WWE, while there are of course still concerns about his health, Meltzer points out that Bryan has been tested more than any other wrestler or fighter in history and been passed by everyone - “his brain functions are well above normal for his age”.
- It’s believed word was out in the industry for at least a month that Bryan returning to the ring for WWE was likely, if not inevitable. Meltzer points out that Cody Rhodes stopped using the LeBell Lock around then, indicating he knew, and says All In was never planning to have Bryan on the card.
* Important reminder: Rumors are just that -- rumors. None of this has been confirmed as legitimate news or fact, it’s just circulating around the pro wrestling rumor mill. Remember, take it all with a grain of salt.
If you have heard of any interesting rumors that you’d like to add, feel free to post them in the comments section below. Just remember they are rumors and not confirmed as fact, so please take them as such. Have fun with it.