This past Friday night on Smackdown, Daniel Bryan came up short against Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship. As part of the pre-match stipulations, Bryan is now banned from wrestling on Smackdown, leaving his onscreen future in doubt.
WWE has moved Bryan to the alumni section of their website, reserved for former WWE stars. He can be found between former WWE stars Damien Sandow (currently wrestling in NWA as Aron Stevens) and Darren Young (currently working on New Japan Strong as Fred Rossier).
It should be noted that WWE has frequently moved signed talent to the alumni section as part of a storyline. The most recent example was NXT’s Roderick Strong after he “resigned” from NXT on their April 13 episode.
Bryan’s move to the alumni section, as well as his defeat against Reigns, comes at an interesting time for the former WWE Champion. He has stated in recent interviews that he is looking to become more of a part time wrestler, has openly acknowledged asking WWE to allow him to work other companies and also recently praised AEW World Champion Kenny Omega.
Bryan has also been open about his contractual situation with WWE, noting in several interviews that his deal, signed in 2018, is up this year. While speculation has been that Bryan’s contract would be due in September, he clarified in a recent interview that his deal would not be up that month, though he didn’t elaborate further.