Daniel Bryan's Return to SmackDown Live Still Uncertain

Daniel Bryan has been absent from his role as WWE SmackDown Live General Manager and co-host of Talking Smack for nearly two months now. But the beloved former WWE Champion has been busy tending to his wife, Brie Bella, and their newborn child, Birdie Joe.

As previously reported, Birdie Joe was welcomed into the world on May 9th, to much goodwill from the entire WWE community. However, Bryan's period of paternity leave began almost a month prior, in preparation for her arrival.

According to current rumors, the SmackDown Live GM may be off television for longer than initially expected as the exact timeline for his return is still unclear, with no set return date yet confirmed. This news comes following Bryan's early retirement at the height of his in-ring career, and equally unexpected transition to reality TV star as the spouse of Total Divas star Brie Bella.

Up Next: Brie Bella Already Planning Return to the WWE?

Daniel Bryan's extended hiatus from WWE television programming has meant that Shane McMahon has been forced to bear the mantle of authority figure all by himself on SmackDown Live. However, he's proved more than capable of handling the responsibility-- especially in comparison to the situation on RAW with his sister Stephanie McMahon's absence immediately following her firing of former RAW GM Mick Foley.

Whereas the still-unfolding storyline on RAW revolving around "mystery texts" received by current General Manager Kurt Angle seems to imply Stephanie's inevitable return (or possibly even that of "The Authority"s presence), it's a safe bet from the look of things that we may see Daniel Bryan make a surprise unannounced return, perhaps at Money in the Bank or the SmackDown Live immediately following another upcoming PPV.

On the other hand, this extended hiatus could give the WWE Universe the chance to acclimate themselves to Daniel Bryan's absence, as Bryan himself has teased on Talking Smack that he may explore the possibility of returning to wrestling for other promotions once his contract with the WWE is up in 2018.

In the meantime, get ready to see plenty of Daniel Bryan on the upcoming seasons of Total Divas and its E! Network spin-off Total Bellas, with Brie's pregnancy and the birth of baby Birdie Joe likely to be a major storyline across both shows.

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