It’s been a big day for Daniel Bryan! First he was medically cleared to return to in-ring action two years after injuries forced him to retire. Then he opened tonight’s episode of Smackdown Live with an emotional speech about his fight to get cleared, his struggles with depression and anger, and what the support of his wife, the fans, and WWE has meant to him.
Bryan returned to the ring at the end of the show to do his duty as General Manager and discipline Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for assaulting Shane McMahon last week. Owens and Zayn gave Bryan the heeliest welcome back hugs they could manage. They said they weren’t going to even show up to work, but sped to the arena after they heard Bryan had been cleared. They said Bryan always supported and was fair to them while Shane pursued his personal vendetta. You could see Bryan getting shoot emotional while Zayn talks about having all three of them on the SD roster would make it the “dream show.”
KO and Sami invited Bryan to join their team, but Bryan declined and showed footage of their Shane McMahon beatdown from last week. Bryan told the men they’re not taking what they did seriously enough (see also: their sarcastic hashtag use at a house show. He said Zayn and Owens are “two of the best performers of their generation,” but they should have forgiven Shane, or at least been smart enough not to beat up him when he was basically leaving them in the care of their biggest supporter. Oops!
Bryan then fired Zayn and Owens, saying that he’s been fired from WWE twice, and each time he came back a better man. Unsurprisingly, Kevin and Sami didn’t take this well, and attacked him.
BUT WAIT JUST A SECOND, KO AND SAMI! This isn’t the red-faced, wrestles-twice-year sneakerhead you beat up last week! This is the American Freakin’ Dragon! Bryan got some actual wrestling offense in, and it’s so, so cool to see. Miz, you have to stop doing the It Kicks! They’re Yes Kicks again now!
The Damned Numbers Game eventually defeated Daniel Bryan, and he got rolled out of the arena on a stretcher. Something tells me he’ll be back soon though! Just a hunch!
We didn’t get a proper Daniel Bryan Return To The Ring tonight, but we got an exciting preview of what’s to come. For now, I think we can all say “Yes” (with the appropriate hand gesture) to that.