It’s been 49 days since Daniel Bryan was stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and it could be a lot longer before he gets a chance to reclaim his title. At a recent press conference, the wrestler announced that he’ll likely have to undergo his second surgery since May.
Bryan made national headlines over the weekend when he chased down a man that attempted to burglarize his home, and subdued him until the cops arrived on the scene. While talking to reporters about the incident, Bryan mentioned a phone call that he had gotten just hours earlier.
“The WWE doctor called me and said ‘I think you actually need to get another surgery, based on you not recovering very well,’” Bryan said.
The news doesn’t come as a complete surprise. On the pre-show for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Bryan said that he might be forced to undergo a second neck surgery. He had to give up the title before the PPV, because he had not been recovering fast enough.
Now that it’s been all but confirmed by WWE that Bryan will have to go under the knife once again, it could be a long time before he makes his return to the squared circle. It’s already been over two months since his first neck surgery, and he doesn’t appear to be close to wrestling anytime soon. WWE did not announce an initial timetable for his return, following his first surgery.
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If Bryan is going to be out for a few months, a return at the 2015 Royal Rumble might make the most sense. A few WWE superstars made returns from injuries at the 2014 Royal Rumble, including Sheamus, who had been gone for nearly six months with a shoulder injury.
Bryan was the star of WrestleMania 30, defeating Triple H in the opening match, and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship over Randy Orton and Batista to end the night. Since his big victory, though, it’s been a rough few months for the 33-year-old. In addition to suffering an injury that has kept him out of action for months, Bryan’s father passed away unexpectedly.
In the past year, Bryan has held the WWE three separate times, though none of his reigns have been memorable. He beat John Cena at SummerSlam 2013, but lost the belt to Orton just minutes later. At the following PPV, Bryan won back the championship, only to have the title vacated the next night on “Monday Night Raw.” His most recent run lasted 64 days, and he only defended the championship at one PPV.
WWE has lost two of its top stars in the first half of 2014. Besides Bryan suffering an injury, CM Punk walked out on the company in January, and has stated that he has no plans to return.