On Tuesday afternoon, WWE announced that SmackDown Live general manager Daniel Bryan was medically cleared to return to in-ring competition.
Bryan was forced into retirement back in February of 2016 after issues relating to multiple concussions sustained throughout his career. However, Bryan has been steadfast in seeking treatment for his concussion issues, and it appears that his condition has improved to the point where WWE feels comfortable letting Bryan back into the ring.
While he was forced to publicly retire in February of 2016, Bryan has not actually wrestled in almost three years; his last match was at a SmackDown taping back in April of 2015, just a couple of weeks after Bryan had won the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 31. That title win came just a couple of months after Bryan had been cleared to return from neck injuries that plagued him after he won the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans.
As for what is next: Bryan has been in an on-going feud on SmackDown Live with Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn after the past several months. With Bryan now cleared to wrestle, it would make sense for the former WWE Champion to finally insert himself into the feud in a physical manner, whether that be on the side of McMahon or Zayn and Owens.
Bryan, one of the most popular superstars in WWE over the past several years, in a four-time world champion with the company. Bryan has also won the Intercontinental, United States, and tag team championships in his time with WWE. Bryan was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame in 2016.