Despite WWE's strict "no contact" proclamation applied to Daniel Bryan, the SmackDown GM is noticeably more active in the ring. While he has yet to officially take a bump, Bryan is getting closer by the day. And on Tuesday, Bryan was almost on the wrong end of an RKO.
After SmackDown shut off its cameras, WWE gave the fans a 6-man tag match featuring AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Randy Orton taking on Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Jinder Mahal with Daniel Bryan acting as the Special Guest Referee. Since it was untelevised, the match was pretty light-hearted, specifically, Sami and Bryan's do-si-do routine. However, a certain Viper entered the fray and slithered towards his unassuming prey.
Daniel Bryan and Sami Zayn were having a great time, until Randy Orton hit Sami with an RKO Outta Nowhere. pic.twitter.com/SK8gvZx0hO— Italo Santana (@BulletClubItal) December 27, 2017
While it was never going to be Bryan that took that RKO, it's worth remaking how involved he is in the ring. Not long ago, Bryan was limited to making announcements or backstage segments. However, last night marked the second time he's been an active participant in a match as the referee.
At SummerSlam, Bryan took a gentle tumble into Shane McMahon's three count which lead to a shoving match between the two SmackDown authorities. While things never got physical it was quite the tease by WWE. And now, with him running the ropes and narrowly missing RKO's, it seems that a trend may be in the making.
Bryan continues to swear that he is physically able to wrestle, citing several indecent doctors; opinions. However, it's WWE that will not budge on their stance adjacent him tuning to action. And without clearing by Vince McMahon and his medical staff, Bryn will never wrestle in WWE again.
However, given his increased rate of in-ring participation, and his simmering feud with Shane McMahon, we can't help but postulate that WWE and Bryan may be working together on a resolution that lands him back in WWE ring.