Well……he’s back! The official word came down from WWE today that Daniel Bryan is indeed cleared to wrestle again. So of course that means he’s back for WrestleMania and beyond. I’m guessing that he’ll work some kind of limited schedule, more frequently than Brock Lesnar does but not out on the road several nights a week. I don’t imagine I’ll see him in Fairfax this weekend, and you shouldn’t expect him in your town unless it’s at MSG. Now before I get started, let me reiterate what I said back in 2016: I did not want him to come back. Head injuries are no joke and he worked a very reckless style that makes another concussion pretty easy to come by. I grew really tired of his passive aggressive ‘mean old Vince won’t let me wrestle’ act, and felt he was playing with his health for purely selfish reasons. I hope that he is truly is clear, and this isn’t the result of a son expiring contract and wearing Vince down.
Now I do think that working for WWE is what’s in his best interests health wise. He will protected from himself better there than anywhere else; he will probably be told point blank to ditch some of his moves (that diving headbutt should be tossed in a fire and never return), and beyond that the guys there will probably take care of him in the ring better than anywhere else. The last thing I want to see him in some kind of strong style strike fest or some crazy CZW style death match. I want him to stay as safe as possible (it’s a contact exhibition so injuries can still happen), put on some good matches, and make up for lost time as he plays out the string in his career. He owes us nothing as he has given us enough already. He owes his family his presence and his involvement in their lives, however, and should not risk that unnecessarily.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, who do I think he should face?
WrestleMania 34: Tag with Shane vs Sami and KO
This seems to be the obvious one based on the last four months of storyline. It’s also a good way to get himself back in the ring and used to things again. Shane can do the crazy stuff and play face in peril, and he can get the hot tag to set the place on fire. I know some of you are going all caps for him to be put higher up on the card but do you really want a guy who’s been out since 2015 with a head injury to work his first match back in a situation where he is more likely to look out of shape and maybe get hurt? You really want him in there with Seth and Finn at full speed right now, or god forbid with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns? Put your fanboy hat down and use some common sense already.
Vs AJ Styles
A no brainer. AJ can work a good match with him early, and once he’s fully back up to speed they could have a classic. You could put this as the main event of any pay per view and get crazy views and even buys. Book this one for Summerslam or Survivor Series, easy.
Vs The Miz
The feud that’s been in the making for two years now thanks to the Miz’s all time great segment on Talking Smack and his continued mockery of Bryan in the ring and out. Everything’s already been established, and as soon as he’s ready for it push the button. Miz is a perfect in ring opponent also since he works a pretty safe style that doesn’t get himself or his opponents hurt. The only question is when. This is such a money program that you don’t want to fire it off too quickly. You could legit do this at WrestleMania 35 as your main event if you swing it right.
Why? The big payback. For concussing him in 2015, and for beating him in 2012. Another one that writes itself, good for a pay per view one off between now and Summerslam.
The time to right the wrong of 2014 (And not 2015 you clowns; he should have lasted longer or not been in it at all but he shouldn’t have won. Get over that one already. Have him come in around number 25, and win the thing.
If he doesn’t work with Miz here then there’s only one guy to put him with. You guessed it:
The man (rightfully) chosen by the owner vs the man who was also chosen by the owner despite what you think. This match represents the real divide on the internet between people who just want to watch the show and have fun vs those who want to dissect everything and play booker. This should be your WrestleMania 35 main event, in my opinion. Yes that could mean five in a row for Reigns, if he and Brock close the show this year, but so what? I’m willing to bet a lot of you magically won’t care as long as it’s Bryan on the other side, and Bryan goes over. The only drawback is that wrestling twitter will be a true hellscape before and after. I’m gonna be blocking a whole lot of people between January 2019 and ‘Mania 35 if it happens.
So that’s what I think. What about you?