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Backstage news on WWE’s backup plans for Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan

The WrestleMania plans for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were very different just a couple of weeks ago. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Shane McMahon was not listed for a WrestleMania match as of two weeks ago. They were teasing a Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens split but that has seemingly been forgotten now that plans have changed.

Since Daniel Bryan was actively trying to get cleared and things were in motion for that possibility, one plan WWE had (and it still could be the plan) was for Bryan to team with Shane McMahon against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Another backup plan was for McMahon to get a different partner and face Owens and Zayn. Another backup plan was for a three-way match with Bryan as the special referee. If Bryan was not cleared then he could be a factor in the finish of the match but he would not have been allowed to take any bumps.

The original plan was for WWE’s Dr. Joseph Maroon to test Brayn on March 27. If he was not cleared then that meant that Bryan could start planning for his run on the independent scene and New Japan Pro Wrestling in September. However, someone in management (likely Vince McMahon), decided that he should be examined earlier than March 27 so they can decide on exactly what they will do with the Owens/Zayn/McMahon storyline. So, what ended up happening was that Bryan flew from Abu Dhabi on Monday, where he was doing promotional work for WWE, and went straight to Pittsburgh so he could get examined by Maroon.

Bryan had tears in his eyes when Maroon told him that he was cleared. Word then spread backstage at Raw but nothing was made official until Tuesday afternoon, just hours before Smackdown Live. WWE made sure to get the word out ahead of the live broadcast and there were things that had to be rewritten to accommodate the big news. The show closing angle was a last minute decision and Bryan was not aware that he would do anything physical until he got to the arena.

Nothing is official yet but, based on the angle that closed out Smackdown Live, it sure looks like he will be wrestling on a stacked WrestleMania card. Click here to see the updated WrestleMania card.

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