Daniel Bryan is expected to appear on this Monday’s edition of Raw in Seattle, which is near where he grew up in Aberdeen, Washington. A report from PWInsider notes that Bryan was spotted at the airport in Phoenix heading to Seattle and then PWInsider was able to confirm that he was booked for Raw. He is not scheduled for Smackdown on Tuesday.
As most WWE fans are aware, Bryan has been out of action due to a concussion he suffered on the European tour in April 2015. For months now, Bryan has said doctors have cleared him to return (most recently a doctor at UCLA) while WWE has been hesitant to clear him. Unless WWE’s doctors give him the green light, he won’t be allowed to wrestle.
His role on Monday’s Raw isn’t known. It’s possible that he’ll be there to support his wife Brie Bella, who is expected to get a Divas Title shot against Charlotte very soon. Maybe if he’s there the crowd will be more supportive to her. If that’s all he does, though, that would be considered a disappointment.
Then there are the possibilities that he’s there for some really good news or really bad news.
The good news would be that he’s been cleared to compete again. There’s no better market for him to announce an in-ring return than in Seattle where he’s from. He always receives huge reactions when he’s there. It would come across so well if that’s what he’s there to do.
The bad news would be announcing that he can’t wrestle again. I don’t think they would have him do that in Seattle of all places.
They could keep the appearance simple also by just having him interact with some wrestlers without doing anything physical.
In other Bryan news, he has cut his hair and trimmed his beard as evidenced by this photo that was posted on the weekend.
It’s not a closeup of him, but it’s pretty obvious he trimmed the beard and cut his hair.
Lastly, Bryan also posted this 30 second video as an advertisement with Tide about overcoming obstacles as a shorter wrestler.
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) February 7, 2016
It’s late Sunday night as I post this. If we get more updates on Bryan’s status for Raw we’ll post it prior to the show.
For now, I think it’s best to be optimistic about this. It’s probably not going to be a retirement. I hope it’s an announcement about a return to the ring, but I can still see WWE’s point of view in terms of allowing him to compete. If he gets another connection and it’s more serious then they may lose him altogether.
Considering all the injuries in WWE as well as ratings generally being down, it would be smart if WWE advertised Bryan for Monday’s show as well. Why not? It will build up anticipation and hopefully his return is a huge ovation in Seattle that we’ll never forget.