So why not ask the man himself? For his part, Daniel Bryan continues to sound as if he really doesn't know whether the company will clear him to return to the ring once again (despite his having been cleared by several outside doctors). All of this while the company continues to clearly build toward some type of angle with him on television that will eventually need to be resolved in the ring, either with Bryan himself wrestling or someone wrestling for him.
Bryan spoke to Sports Illustrated about being cleared by WWE and returning in time for this year's WrestleMania.
"I assume that if I don't wrestle by WrestleMania, I probably won't be wrestling with WWE at all. That's my assumption," Bryan said.
"It's not a black and white answer. There are a lot of issues with me getting cleared by WWE. They have a very strict protocol, which is a good thing, but the timeline of all that happening was not the best for me. It's an interesting situation that will develop."
This week's edition saw a major shift in Bryan's direction as the company continues the slow build toward some type of storyline that seemingly would culminate at WrestleMania. The obvious direction would seem to be a Shane McMahon vs. Bryan match.
During the main event match between AJ Styles and Sami Zayn, McMahon and Kevin Owens got into a fight which resulted in Owens being banned from ringside by McMahon. Bryan then immediately also banned Shane from ringside, which in the ensuing confusion, caused Styles to be defeated clean by Zayn.
After the match, Bryan announced a handicap title match for Royal Rumble where Styles will defend his title against both Zayn and Owens. This was a clear heel move, but Bryan can't truly be making a full heel turn, right? It wouldn't make much sense to do that with one of the most universally cheered faces by the crowd since the heyday of Steve Austin, so there could be another twist coming in the ongoing storyline. Plus if Bryan is going to return to wrestle another match, why would he do it as a heel?
The storyline has been intriguing to say the least, and when it comes down to it, that's the point in all of this anyway, right?
[H/T to Wrestling Inc.]