Former WWE Champion Daniel Bryan has reportedly signed with AEW.
Daniel Bryan hasn’t been seen on WWE television since April 30th, where he was defeated by Universal Champion Roman Reigns on SmackDown.
In fact, Daniel Bryan hasn’t been under contract with WWE since his latest deal expired that very night.
The new report from Cassidy Haynes of Bodyslam.net notes that according to a source they have spoken to, Bryan has already signed with AEW. The report goes on to say that Bryan wanted an easier schedule, the ability to work in Japan and creative input over his character.
Haynes closes by saying that there are already tentative plans in place for Bryan’s AEW debut.
The report comes after Mike Johnson of PWInsider noted that Bryan is no longer part of WWE’s merchandising plans and that some within the company believed he was AEW bound. Although this could not be confirmed.
In the aftermath of his match at WrestleMania, the former WWE Champion openly questioned his future. Speaking in an interview at the time, Bryan suggested it may be time for him to stop being a full-time wrestler.
This coupled with Bryan discussing working for other companies, naturally led to speculation that he may be looking to wrestle elsewhere.
Interestingly, when it was reported that WWE and New Japan Pro Wrestling were in talks over a working relationship, it was noted that Daniel Bryan’s future was “at the crux” of the discussions.
With regard to the AEW link, Bryan has previously spoken in glowing terms about AEW Champion Kenny Omega.
Another former WWE Champion who could be about to return to the ring is CM Punk. According to a new report from Fightful Select Punk is currently in talks to make an in-ring return with an unnamed company. However, it is believed that the company in question is AEW.
CM Punk hasn’t wrestled since the 2014 Royal Rumble and his subsequent departure from WWE. The former world champion later tried his hand at Mixed Martial Arts, losing both contests in UFC. However, the latter of these has since been overturned.