Prior to Tuesday night’s episode of Smackdown Live, Daniel Bryan spoke with Justin Barrasso from Sports Illustrated. He is staying busy as the General Manager of Smackdown Live but it’s clear that he wants to return to the ring.
“I’m working on it,” Bryan said when he was asked about the possibility of wrestling again. “Wrestling is more of a creative outlet, and especially for somebody like me, I view it as my creative outlet. Not all WWE superstars and not all wrestlers view it that way, but that’s how I view it and that’s one of the ways my mind works creatively.”
It was not mentioned in the story but his deal with WWE expires next year. Based on what he said in the interview with SI and past statements, it sure doesn’t sound like he plans on renewing his contract. WWE is not likely to let him wrestle again so he will probably end up wrestling on the independent scene. I am sure companies like ROH, NJPW, PWG, RevPro and others will be calling him once he is free and clear. He will be 37 if/when he leaves WWE.
Bryan announced his retirement in 2016 because of health issues. In an interview with ESPN, he said that he suffered 10 documented concussions during his career and there might have been more that were either undocumented or misdiagnosed. During the “Thank You Daniel” special that aired last year on the WWE Network, he said that being asked to work for WWE in a different capacity was like having “a partner breaking up with you, getting married to someone else and then asking you to be best friends.”
We’ll be sad to see him go but I’m sure he’ll tear it up on the indy scene. In the meantime, enjoy him on Smackdwon Live and Talking Smack while you can because it seems like his time in WWE is winding down.