Lately, each episode of SmackDown ends on the same note: Shane McMahon is becoming a tyrant. Despite being the show's Commissioner, Shane continues to go out of his way to execute a personal vendetta against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn; and Daniel Bryan may look to stop it.
According to Cagesideseats, this is all leading to a feud between SmackDown's GM and Commissioner. However, that doesn't necessarily guarantee that Daniel Bryan will actually be competing. Instead, Bryan could select a gladiator to fight for him as he still has yet to be cleared by WWE doctors.
This doesn't come as too much of a surprise as WWE has made sure to keep the camera on Bryan when Shane is at his most deranged. While he may be keeping quiet, Bryan will eventually begin to question Shane's motives. Being a McMahon, Shane will not appreciate Bryan's objections and will turn on him - in violent fashion. There's still plenty of time for this angle to play out, but it will most likely result in determining Shane's WrestleMania opponent.
While most fans will keep their fingers crossed that it's Daniel Bryan himself who will physically challenge Shane, he still does not have WWE's approval to compete in the ring. 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.
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.
However, that doesn't mean he can't put on a great program with Shane and select a lucky Superstar to do his fighting for him. Regardless, this will be a fun program that will impact not just SmackDown, but all of WWE.