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Daniel Bryan is cleared! A closer look at the in-ring return of The American Dragon

For the first time since 2016, Daniel Bryan is cleared to wrestle in a WWE ring

The impossible has become a reality! That’s become the mantra of Daniel Bryan ever since he laced up a pair of wrestling boots. His mantra, along with his patience, has paid off once again. The leader of the “Yes Movement” has finally been cleared to wrestle!

WWE made a shocking announcement hours before SmackDown Live, stating that Bryan was officially cleared after going through multiple evaluations.

“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.”

The end result? A broken Twitter with endless amounts of excitement, happiness and any other emotion you can muster. Even Burger King showed it’s support to The American Dragon. Hope they serve to vegans.

For the past few years, fans have been through an emotional ride with Daniel Bryan. We’ve seen him reach the top of the mountain with an epic WrestleMania 30 victory, and we’ve witnessed the struggles of his seemingly never-ending injuries. In 2016, Bryan had to retire from wrestling due to those injuries, specifically concussions. In one of the most emotional pieces I’ve produced highlighting his career, Bryan’s speech on Raw was shocking and sad. Any wrestling fan who knew who he was knew the business was losing someone special. They also knew his health came first.

There have been multiple teases leading up to Bryan’s return. A former multiple-time WWE Champion, Daniel Bryan moved to the GM role on SmackDown Live, where his character development grew. After the epic confrontation between him and former “mentor” The Miz on Talking Smack (R.I.P.), many wondered if there would be anything to come from it. Nothing did, but it garnered the attention of every fan watching. Those same fans who cried when he retired felt something they hadn’t felt since the announcement, hope. They also watched as Daniel Bryan struggled through his new life on Total Bellas, as it was hard to watch him break down and accept reality. He didn’t believe that this was the end and neither did the fans.

Those same fans spent the entire day jumping as high as they could, like they were on a trampoline. Thanks to his wife Brie and the will to try as hard has he could, Bryan can live out his dream again. Some consider him a hero for the little guy, and any sign of growth is good enough for them to keep on believing that.




WWE announcing the news before SmackDown was a savvy business move. For one, it got viewers to tune into the show. It also brought a lot more viewers in to see what will happen at WrestleMania 34. While Bryan has been adamant about not returning during that show if he was brought back, there a whole new intrigue in the already stacked card.

An important thing to consider is that the announcement by WWE could hold Bryan over longer with them. Remember, for a long time Bryan was talking about leaving when his contract expires later this year, in order to wrestle elsewhere. With him being cleared, it could entice him to stay. Whether that remains the case is up in the air.

One can assume his style will change, so he is more careful. Instead of the high flying machine we know him as, Bryan could evolve his abilities. It has worked for legends like Terry Funk and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Before WWE, he was a true technical wizard in Ring of Honor, especially as a heel. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to start off that way, given that whatever he does the crowd will eat it up anyway. He can be the WWE’s answer to Zack Sabre Jr.

Just imagine the matchups that can take place now. Compared to two years ago, WWE’s roster is rich with talent. He can revive a feud with Dolph Ziggler that was meant to happen before his retirement. There’s also Seth Rollins, A.J. Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Apollo, Adam Cole, Pete Dunne, Roderick Strong, EC3 and Braun Strowman. The list goes on, and that is very special. Don’t forget about The Miz. It’s a match (rematch by technicality) years in the making.

The comeback story of Daniel Bryan is on par with his career in WWE. He was never meant to succeed, and yet he was thrusted into the spotlight due to fan demand. Along with CM Punk, Bryan broke the mold in what a star was meant to be in WWE, and he shattered that imaginary glass ceiling to the point of him being the measuring stick for success.

“Fight for your dreams, and your dreams will fight for you.” 2018 has been a wild year for pro wrestling. Daniel Bryan has added something to it: hope. I believe we can all agree on a response to this: YES! YES! YES!


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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.

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