The exact medical situation of former WWE champion Daniel Bryan is anything but clear. He has claimed on multiple occasions that he is healthy enough to compete in the ring, but WWE doctors refuse to clear him after he suffered multiple concussions over the course of his career. All that eventually led to a tearful retirement speech on Raw and then a role for Bryan as the General Manager of SmackDown Live.
Bryan may still be under exclusive contract with the WWE, but he’s been very public about getting back in the ring when that contract expires. Whether he goes to New Japan or tours around North America wrestling in high school gyms and bingo halls, the fact remains — Bryan desperately wants to wrestle again.
Bryan originally made a name for himself in Ring of Honor under the name Bryan Danielson (aka his real, legal name), starting in 2002 until he left the promotion in 2009. The management of ROH has changed since the days of Bryan Danielson was World Champion there, but the current man in charge says the promotion would welcome him back with open arms, should he truly want to resume his wrestling career.
Joe Koff, the current Chief Operating Officer of ROH, recently spoke to Fansided.com about the potential of signing Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson when he officially becomes a free agent.
“Well I don’t think it’s any secret, and all the previous ROH wrestlers know, that they are always welcome back in Ring of Honor. This is their home, so to speak,” Koff said. “We never chided anybody for leaving for what they thought were greener pastures. And look, a lot of them have succeeded on a far greater platform than we could have provided them at the time.
“So if Bryan Danielson would love to come back, I didn’t work with him personally while he was here, but I would personally welcome him back.”
As fans, we would certainly love to see Daniel Bryan back in the ring, regardless of what name he uses. The real concern is his health, though. As the science of concussions, brain damage, and CTE gets more advanced, there is an overgrowing concern that allowing Bryan back into a wrestling ring could dramatically alter or shorten his life at some point in the future. He would almost certainly have to modify his breakneck (no pun intended) wrestling style in order to put less wear and tear on his body, something that he not be capable (or willing) to do.