The chances of Daniel Bryan wrestling again next year are not 100 percent but he seems optimistic. As we noted earlier this week, Bryan told Sports Illustrated that he is “working on” returning to the ring. On Wednesday morning’s Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that Bryan had some tests done in April but there’s no word yet on how well he did on them. Perhaps, the results from those tests encouraged him and that might be why he is talking more openly about returning to the ring next year. His WWE deal expires in a little over a year from now.
WWE has already flat out told him that he will not be wrestling in their ring so if he does wrestle again then it will be for another company. Anything is possible but another match in WWE seems unlikely unless Joseph Maroon changes his mind. Maroon is WWE’s Medical Director and the Team Neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dave Meltzer said that it’s pretty clear where Bryan is going after WWE. If New Japan Pro Wrestling gets a bigger buzz in the United States with a better TV deal then they would have Daniel Bryan as one of their biggest stars going up against WWE. WWE could counter with a bigger money offer but Bryan is not one of those guys that is in it just for the money. He has been smart with his savings and he is not someone that is known a lavish spender. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had millions of dollars saved away. On the independent scene, if you factor in merchandise, he could probably make more than he would in WWE while working a lighter schedule. The Young Bucks, for example, are making a ton of money on bookings and merchandise and recently got their merchandise into Hot Topic stores across the country.
Last September, Bryan told ESPN that his own doctors cleared him to start wrestling again and he felt 100 percent being forced to retire in February. He has also expressed interest in wrestling for the CMLL promotion in Mexico. Last year, during an episode of Talking Smack, The Miz mocked Bryan about his retirement. Bryan responded by saying, “We’ll see in a year and a half, we’ll see what happens.”
In an interview conducted by Inside The Ropes in late March, he seemed pretty optimistic about wrestling again and said that he understands WWE’s reasoning behind keeping him out of the ring. “It’s a liability thing. It’s also that they’re trying to protect me and that sort of thing. But there’s good reason to believe that I should be able to wrestle. So we’ll see in a year and a half what happens.”
Take this for what it’s worth but there are people that know Bryan that say he feels great and the feeling is that it’s looking more likely that he will wrestle again.