Daniel Bryan has been in the news lately, but not because of what he’s done in the ring. Bryan recently made a trip to India to promote the WWE Network launch in the country, as he remains unable to wrestle for WWE.
Bryan hasn’t wrestled since April, when he suffered a concussion. While Bryan says he’s been medically cleared to wrestle by an independent neurologist, WWE’s doctors still haven’t given him the go-ahead to compete in the squared circle. Having been sidelined for seven months, it’s unknown when, or if, Bryan will wrestle for WWE again.
Since winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30, Bryan has battled multiple injuries that have kept him out of the ring. After just one title defense last year, neck surgery forced Bryan to drop the belt and miss nearly nine months. Bryan went on to win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 31, but a concussion sidelined him again after just three months back in the ring.
WWE hasn’t completely kept Bryan off TV, making him a judge on “Tough Enough” this summer, but he’s struggled with not being allowed to wrestle.
“My wife is a wrestler, so she is on the ring, and I am just sitting, it is difficult… when I am upset, when I am angry, wrestling was always there as an outlet.. I could go, drop and kick… you can call your mom and you can call your sister… but sometimes you just need a physical outlet… I don’t know how to cope with this situation,” Bryan told The Statesman while in India.
Despite not being medically cleared by WWE, Bryan has said on multiple occasions that he feels fine. He said on WFAN in July that he has three years left on his WWE contract, and Bryan has made it clear that his wrestling career is not over.
"I told them, regardless of them, if they won't clear me ... we're independent contractors, in theory ... and I will wrestle again,” Bryan told SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio this summer. “I am cleared by the neurologist in Phoenix that I've been going to see. It's not like he's a quack doctor. He was the neurologist for the Super Bowl ... who has no problems in clearing me with no limitations. But you also have to understand that WWE is not only looking out for my best interest, but they have to look out for their company as well, and I understand all of that too.”
It’s hard to imagine Bryan wrestling for another promotion any time soon, and there’s still plenty of time for him to be cleared to return to a WWE ring. But time is quickly running out for him to have a match at WrestleMania 32, which will be one of the biggest events in WWE history.
Tickets recently went on sale for WrestleMania 32, which could boast a live crowd of approximately 100,000 fans on April 3, 2016. Some of the biggest names in WWE history are expected to be a part of the show, but Bryan won’t have a match if he isn’t cleared in the next few months.
Bryan has either won a championship or started the PPV as a champion at WrestleMania in each of the last four years.