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.
However, despite this, Bryan has consistently been referenced on SmackDown, particularly around segments with Roman Reigns and Edge. It’s something which has led to some speculation online that Bryan may be about to return. Especially as it’s unusual for WWE to acknowledge and talk about performers who are not currently under contract.
With that being said, a new report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has suggested that there may be a much simpler explanation.
Writing in the most recent edition of the newsletter, Meltzer notes that Bryan is being mentioned to help further the feud between Edge and Roman Reigns. Presenting Bryan as the reason that Edge isn’t champion.
“Regarding all the mentions of Daniel Bryan on television of late, we’re told this isn’t an indication he’s coming back. Nobody really knows what he’s doing past if he’s made a secret deal with any company, they are keeping it a secret until doing a dramatic reveal when they want to. They keep mentioning his name because he is part of the story of building Reigns vs. Edge, since they are using him as the reason Edge didn’t already win the title.”
Daniel Bryan, along with Edge challenged Roman Reigns for the Universal Title at WrestleMania 37. The match ended with Reigns pinning Edge and Bryan simultaneously.
This in turn led to Bryan challenging for the title one more time on SmackDown. With the caveat being that if Bryan lost he would be banished from the blue brand.
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.
There is currently no word on when Daniel Bryan will return the ring, be that in WWE or elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Edge will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WWE Money In The Bank.