In perhaps the most interesting turn in pre-Wrestlemania history, the WWE announced today that Daniel Bryan has been medically cleared for in-ring competition. Bryan is easily one of the most popular acts in WWE today, and his imminent return will bolster the entire WWE roster. He was initially sidelined in 2015 after winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 30. His rise to the top of the roster was meteoric, aided largely by the insane responses he’d get from the crowd every night. WWE was essentially forced to put him into the main event versus two of their biggest stars in Randy Orton and Batista, or face a wild backlash in return. His reign was short-lived however after he was forced to relinquish the World Title due to injury after just one defense.
Daniel Bryan returned to active competition after nearly a year away in 2016, toiled in relative obscurity until he began to campaign to be given a shot at the Intercontinental Championship. He would capture the title in a 6-way ladder match at Wrestlemania 31, and to the delight of the WWE Universe, Bryan was once again at the top of the card. Unfortunately, the more things changed, the more they stayed the same, and Bryan was once again injured after one title defense. He relinquished the Intercontinental Title almost a month after he won it, but this time the severity of his injury required more than just time away. After spending the better part of 16 years on the road wrestling, Daniel Bryan was forced to retire from the sport he loved so dearly.
Today mark a momentous occasion in that storied career, as he has been medically cleared to return to in-ring competition. His return comes at a remarkable time in the WWE timeline, as they are gearing up for their biggest show of the year, Wrestlemaina. His return also could lead into some of the biggest matches in his career, as the roster is as loaded as it ever has been. Obviously his health is the single biggest concern right now, but this is a step in the right direction. Bryan may still have a long way to go, before he gets back to where he was, but once he gets there, he’ll have a plethora of dream matches awaiting him. Bryan V Rollins, Bryan V Balor, Bryan V Styles, Bryan V Nakamura could set the next year of WWE television on fire, but there’s one main feud that I’m looking forward to….Bryan V Miz. That program has been bubbling for well over a year now, and could immediately be one of its best.
No matter where Daniel Bryan turns up, he’ll be one of the biggest stars on the roster. His story is one that not many wrestlers get to tell, but I have a sneaky suspicion he could have an even better second act in store for us all.