Daniel Bryan is doing everything he can to return to WWE's ring. On top of taking modern science to its limits, Bryan has collected thumbs up from multiple doctors, Brie Bella, and quite possibly Vince McMahon. However, there's still one more greenlight the SmackDown GM needs before he can wrestle again in WWE.
A report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter states that WWE's Dr. Joseph Maroon is the final hurdle Bryan needs to jump before he can once again become an active member of WWE's roster. While Vince McMahon hasn't given an explicit endorsement, it's believable that he'd welcome Bryan back in his ring as long as Maroon clears him. Bryan has been cleared by several specialists, but none of them work in WWE.
Bryan has been vocal not just about his efforts to get cleared, but that there was a critical misunderstanding when he was originally diagnosed with WWE. Even more, Bryan's contract is set to expire in 2018, and he's hinted that he'd happily wrestle for another promotion.
So could this happen? Could we actually see Daniel Bryan back in a WWE ring? It kind of feels like we have room to be optimistic. There have already been rumors that Bryan may be available for Summerslam 2018 if he is indeed cleared. While it's not fair to expect a full-time return, he could be used as a novel way to boost big shows. Currently, he and Shane McMahon are in the beginning stages of high profile feud, one that will likely affect all of WWE, not just SmackDown.
However, Shane vs. Bryan likely will not result in a match between the two, rather, Bryan selecting someone to fight in his place. We may be getting a little ahead of ourselves, and it's worth reminding that Bryan's health, not our wrestling fantasies reigns supreme in all of this.
WWE posses a stringent protocol when it comes to head injuries. A lot of their rigid stance is due to a current lawsuit between them and former wrestlers who are pursuing damages for undiagnosed or untreated concussions. Needless to say, WWE allowing Bryan, someone who's had several concussions, to come back would be the making a risky exception to their rule.
This story is likely far from over and we will keep you updated as we learn more.