The recovery and return to the ring of former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan are questions nobody seems capable of answering. He’s been out of the ring since May, when injuries forced him to take an indefinite leave of absence from active competition and forfeit the Intercontinental Championship. WWE has considered non-wrestling roles for Bryan, but won’t medically clear him, causing Bryan to say he’ll wrestle again whether WWE clears him or not. Over the past eight months, Bryan’s gameplan has involved maybe doing lucha libre instead, maybe doing MMA instead and finding something else to do entirely.
A new rumor surfaced on Wednesday as the result of an “insider tipster” on Scott Keith’s Blog of Doom. Normally that wouldn’t be worth addressing, but it’s become so prevalent that it needs to be addressed. According to this tipster, a WWE HR employee was asked to process a release for Bryan, effective January 18. That’s Monday, and would coincide with Raw. Here’s what the note said:
Can’t believe I’m doing this – I’m writing from a throwaway account but please keep my details private anyway. Although feel free to paste the whole e-mail or delete it. Sorry just a bit frazzled.
Okay so I’ve been debating all weekend whether to send this e-mail or not. I’ll be honest – one major reason I’m doing this is because when it all comes out I want to silently smile and say “Yep, I called it”. Not out loud or anything but just privately to myself. This is going to be hard to believe and you probably get a lot of nutjobs writing every day – but I work in WWE HR. I’m not high up the totem pole by any means though.
So on Friday one of my co-workers had to process a release – and that release was for Daniel Bryan. Monday, January 18th is the date that is listed for when the deal is processed. Not sure exactly why – my coworker was very quiet about the whole thing other than letting a few people know.
And to be honest she didn’t let me know – I’m not in her inner circle. I just overheard her telling someone else and she was in shock.
Not sure why it’s a week away or anything like that as our usual releases are dated that very day. She seemed shocked by it all. Anyway that’s all I know. Going to click send before I chicken out now.”
If that sent you into panic mode, here’s what we know.
Bryan is currently scheduled for an appearance for WWE on January 22, and is tentatively scheduled for appearances in late February and March. With the insane amount of injuries plaguing WWE at the moment, you’d think bringing back a healthy Bryan in any way, shape or form would be a plus, especially if he wants to be involved so badly. Plus, this rumor is breaking only 11 days before the Royal Rumble, where lots of people are predicting a Bryan return. Are we getting a jazzed-up rumor to make that return more of a surprise? Can we be that optimistic?
If you need further proof that the rumor is unsubstantiated, here’s Dave Meltzer saying WWE denies the release.
And here’s WWE’s direct statement:
There is no truth to the letter from a supposed HR employee.
So, there you have it. Rest easy, folks.