Daniel Bryan Not Cleared to Wrestle Due to Injury?

Despite being called out by Big Cass on Tuesday night, Daniel Bryan was not involved in the go-home SmackDown show prior to Backlash this Sunday.

WWE announced during the show that Bryan was not at the show because he was not cleared to perform. This reportedly stemmed from a potential chest infection due to the welts on his chest suffered during the Greatest Royal Rumble on Friday. If you didn't see it, Roderick Strong absolutely chopped the hell out of Bryan, leaving hand prints all over his chest.

We're not sure whether Bryan really isn't cleared or if this is kayfabe, but it's not hard to believe that his swollen chest was actually a cause for concern among the WWE medical staff. In fact, we're not sure we've ever seen someone's chest look that bad after a series of chops, and we lived through the Flair/Steamboat series in 1989.

Bryan is presently scheduled to face Big Cass at Backlash this Sunday, and WWE didn't do anything to hint that the match would be off at this time. Though they did say he wasn't medically cleared, the viewer was left to reason that the clearance issue only applied for SmackDown.

For his part, Big Cass was on SmackDown Tuesday night and did what he could to build up his match with Bryan this Sunday. Coming off a stellar promo on last week's show, Cass's performance this week was a notable step down due to the script provided to him. It was more of an indictment on the writing staff than Cass himself.

Despite an incredibly hot Montreal crowd Tuesday night, Cass' segment consisted of beating down a midget dressed up like Bryan (but who more closely resembled Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones) and bad comedy. Though the crowd stayed engaged throughout, the segment and the comedy thrown-in fell a little short (no pun intended) versus the more serious promo he excelled with last week on SmackDown.

Either way, Cass has an opportunity this Sunday to prove that he belongs in the main event scene when he takes on one of the biggest wrestling stars in the world. As far as we know, Bryan will be ready to go in five days.

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Update:

Bryan wrestled a dark match following Tuesday's SmackDown and 205 Live tapings. He wrestled Shinsuke Nakamura in a live match for the Montreal crowd, so the injury was clearly kayfabe reasoning for Bryan not being on the television show heading into Backlash.