Enough already! Daniel Bryan is either cleared to wrestle for Vince McMahon in WWE or he isn’t. These shades of gray have left wrestling fans wondering what is happening backstage in the company, and for them, more importantly, when their folk hero will get back in the ring.
The answer is not as cut and dry as we all think. While it appears the medical staff at UCLA Medical Center has cleared Bryan to get back in the ring and fly through the air with the greatest of ease, Vince McMahon and WWE’s medical team has not given the former company champion the green light, yet. That “go” sign may never happen as it is being rumored McMahon may shut down Bryan’s career as a wrestler permanently. Personally, I’m just tired of reading the conflicting reports and the static from the rumor vine that would make Earnest and Julio Gallo jealous.
Bryan’s situation is not unique to this company. Edge followed a path that – unlike Bryan in many ways – is the same situation that leaves WWE with many questions and few options. Edge’s retirement left a Big Show sized hole in programming, booking and promotion McMahon still hasn’t recovered from. Regardless of the success of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and at the time Bryan, there are still issues with continual booking.
John Cena, Randy Orton, Kane and Undertaker could not close the gap. And with their advancing age and injury history for some, it looks like it won’t be completely sutured anytime soon. Blake Oestriecher wrote in his story on Forbes.com, “With each day that passes by, it’s looking less and less likely that Bryan will ever wrestle again in the WWE. This is an unfortunate situation for Bryan and the WWE, but despite Bryan continuously maintaining that he’s ready and willing to step back in the ring, the company remains hesitant, if not downright adamant, about not bringing him back.”
The recent legal issues with WWE and former stars over concussion issues may have something to do with the company’s reluctance to put Bryan back in the ring. Can anyone really blame McMahon for being hesitant to put one of his main stars in a situation that would leave him injured again? I think not, but then again, fans are paying to see top stars put their careers on the line each night. Is that part of what WWE has been preaching for years now and part of the appeal of the business?
This isn’t a Jack Brisco fireman’s carry promotion anymore.
WWE is still going to have to address the Bryan situation and soon. Yes, the company answered the rumors of Bryan being released from recent speculation. But the longer he stays out of action, the more intense these thoughts, stories and assessments will persist.
If Bryan is ready to get back in the ring, will it be under McMahon’s guide, or will he go to Japan or ROH or TNA to make his bones and further his future? And more to the point of fans’ inquiry, who fills the spot left by one of the more popular wrestlers of this generation?
There are too many variables left to be answered. Bryan continues to be a wrestler MIA. And until he locates his career path, everyone will sit and wonder. Either that or McMahon will make the decision for him, whether the wrestler likes it or not.
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