At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Daniel Bryan was unable to defeat The Fiend Bray Wyatt for the WWE Universal Championship. Following a series of brutal lashes in their Strap Match by Wyatt, Bryan fell short of winning the Universal Title for the first time. It was announced that Bryan will make his return after recovering from his Royal Rumble match on the next episode of WWE SmackDown. Despite being one of the best wrestlers of the current era, Bryan's future appears uncertain. In fact, Bryan shared a story following the match with Wyatt of his daughter feeling that her dad's bruises may be a bit too much for her.
After being one of the most hated heels on SmackDown Live in 2018 and the first half of 2019, which initiated from turning heel on AJ Styles at a SmackDown prior to the Survivor Series pay-per-view, Bryan's falling out with Erick Rowan led to slowly turning into a babyface again. Before this, Bryan went into WrestleMania 35 defending the WWE Championship against Kofi Kingston, which he was unsuccessful in retaining the title. Shortly after, he won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship with Rowan, retaining them for over two months before losing to The New Day. After splitting from Rowan, Bryan teamed with Roman Reigns to defeat Rowan and Luke Harper, and also teamed with Reigns to defeat King Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura on an episode of SmackDown. Since leading up to Survivor Series last November, Bryan has been feuding with The Fiend.
Daniel Bryan to Continue Feud with The Fiend Following WrestleMania
Currently, Roman Reigns is rumored to compete for the Universal Championship against The Fiend at WrestleMania. However, according to local advertising, Daniel Bryan is supposed to compete against The Fiend on the April 10 episode of SmackDown in Columbus, Ohio. This is following WrestleMania, which indicates that their feud is not done yet. Interestingly, the promotion did not say that their match would be for the Universal Championship.
With over 20 years of pro wrestling experience, Bryan's journey inside the ring could be heading to a close. With marquee matches against names such as Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, John Cena, CM Punk, Batista, and Triple H, as well as reigns with the WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, Intercontinental Championship, and United States Championship, as well as WWE Tag Team Champions with Kane and Erick Rowan, Bryan is one of the most accomplished superstars in WWE history. As an in-ring WWE superstar, there is not much left for Bryan to accomplish. In fact, Bryan even had a crowning moment at WrestleMania 30 after defeating Orton and Batista in a triple threat showdown to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
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After suffering multiple concussions that forced him to retire, Bryan and his wife Brie Bella were optimistic that he would return again. This optimism turned to reality when he returned to the ring at WrestleMania 34 after a three-year absence, teaming with Shane McMahon to defeat Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
WWE.com announced regarding his return, "Bryan underwent a full review of his medical history and received comprehensive neurological and physical evaluations independent of WWE. He was cleared by each doctor as well as WWE's Medical Director, Dr. Joseph Maroon."
Daniel Bryan Helping Talent Develop Their Careers
Although Bryan was in a main event feud with The Fiend, he was also assisted with helping other talents develop their careers. Bryan has competed in quality matches against Kofi Kingston, Mustafa Ali, and even NXT Champion Adam Cole, losing to all three of them and help boost their careers. He also has a bitter rivalry with The Miz, which helped boost his career.
As a General Manager of SmackDown, the WWE Universe could tell that Bryan was just doing the best with what he was given, but desired to return to the ring. The promo that Bryan did in Washington on that February 8, 2016 episode of WWE Raw seemed to have been the last of Bryan's time in the ring. However, Vince McMahon allowed him to return to the ring after "more than two years of extensive evaluations," and he has been one of the biggest WWE superstars since his 2016 return.
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