It was announced on Tuesday afternoon that current Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan has been medically cleared to wrestle for WWE again. It’s amazing news and the wrestling world is celebrating because of how good of a performer Bryan was. Bryan was forced to retire in February 2016 due to concussion issues. His last match in WWE was April 14, 2015, so it’s been nearly three years since he has had a match.
The news was broken by WWE at around 3:04pm, which is about five hours before Smackdown will air live tonight.
Here’s the official statement from WWE on Bryan’s return:
Following more than two years of extensive evaluations, four-time World Champion Daniel Bryan has been medically cleared to return to in-ring competition by leading neurosurgeons, neurologists and concussion experts, including Dr. Robert Cantu, Dr. Javier Cárdenas and Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher.
Bryan underwent a full review of his medical history and received comprehensive neurological and physical evaluations independent of WWE. He was cleared by each doctor as well as WWE’s Medical Director, Dr. Joseph Maroon.
Bryan commented on Twitter about the news.
Saying goodbye to the ring was one of the hardest moments of my life. But thanks to the amazing people supporting me, I was able to keep fighting for my dream. This moment feels surreal and I'm glad to be able to talk to you all at the beginning of #SDLive tonight.
— Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) March 20, 2018
Shinsuke Nakamura is one of many wrestlers excited about the news. Others also chimed in.
This is great news. No one needs to wish anymore. They can see it with their eyes. #NakamuravsBryan
— Shinsuke Nakamura (@ShinsukeN) March 20, 2018
.@WWE's primary concern is the health and wellness of our performers. I'm sure it was a long two years for @WWEDanielBryan, but glad he could make a healthy return to doing what he loves: performing for the #WWE Universe in the ring. #YesYesYes
— Triple H (@TripleH) March 20, 2018
I couldn’t be happier for Daniel. Being away for two years must have felt like an eternity…but today, he’s back and where he belongs. https://t.co/HNtSw1RwKI
— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) March 20, 2018
— Shane McMahon (@shanemcmahon) March 20, 2018
This may be a first in all of professional sports. So stoked for Bryan and for what it could mean for head trauma research and rehabilitation in contact athletics. https://t.co/g3nnD11wVM
— Seth Rollins (@WWERollins) March 20, 2018
— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) March 20, 2018
TJR Thoughts: I love this news. It makes me incredibly happy because I have seen and read Bryan talking about how much he wanted to wrestle again, so for him to reach this point again is wonderful. I think he’ll be fine and smart about coming back.
As for WrestleMania, this probably means Bryan will team up with Shane McMahon against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. We should find out on Smackdown tonight.