There has been a lot of speculation on Daniel Bryan as of late due to WWE name-dropping him on SmackDown, but word now is that the mentions have nothing to do with any upcoming return.
Bryan’s future has been up in the air since losing the Career vs. Title match to WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns on the April 30 SmackDown. His contract reportedly expired at that time, and while he was expected to remain with WWE in some capacity, there has been no update on his status. Fans began to speculate on a pending return when WWE started making mentions of Bryan on TV as of late.
In an update, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that the recent Bryan mentions are not an indication that he’s coming back. WWE keeps mentioning Bryan’s name because he is a part of the storyline build to the Money In the Bank match between Reigns and WWE Hall of Famer Edge. The idea is that Bryan is the reason Edge didn’t win the title in their Triple Threat at WrestleMania 37.
It was noted that no one really knows what Bryan is doing, and that if he has made a secret deal with a promotion, then they are keeping it a secret until they’re ready for the big reveal. Rumors have Bryan returning to WWE, possibly signing with AEW, or even NJPW. It was reported back in late May that Bryan potentially wrestling for New Japan was a factor in talks between WWE and NJPW, but it appears those talks may have stalled.
Bryan has not been active on social media with his last tweet coming on February 10, and his last Instagram post coming on April 22. Bryan’s wife, WWE Hall of Famer Brie Bella, has included him in just a few Instagram posts since his last WWE match – one for Father’s Day on June 20, and one for Bryan’s 40th birthday on May 22, as seen below.
It remains to be seen what Bryan has planned for the future, but we will keep you updated.