Daniel Bryan Injury: Updates on WWE Star's Recovery from Neck Surgery and Return

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2014

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - Daniel Bryan celebrates after winning the main event during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 20

David Shoemaker of Grantland.com has a troubling update regarding Daniel Bryan's comeback:

Updates from Friday, Aug. 15

Spinoff Online provides comments from Daniel Bryan, who spoke about when he expects to return:

When do you think that return might happen?

I mean, I’m hoping soon, but I don’t think the doctors are thinking it’s going to be that soon. The problem is nobody really knows. I’m doing my best to recover as fast as possible.

Updates from Saturday, Aug. 2

SeScoops.com has the latest on Bryan:

As noted by Daniel Bryan himself during the press conference held after he single-handedly stopped burglars who were attempting to rob his home, he will be requiring a second surgery to fix some physical issues he is currently dealing with.

The good news is that the second operation is not another neck surgery, as it’s actually a nerve issue he is dealing with in his right elbow that is causing weakness in his arm. The bad news, however, is that as of right now, early estimates are that Bryan will be out of action until after the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in January of 2015.

Updates from Wednesday, July 9

The latest update for Daniel Bryan is not encouraging, according to WrestlingInc.com:

Word is that Daniel Bryan may now need shoulder surgery. A full exam recently revealed a lot of different shoulder and neck issues that Bryan has.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding Bryan's condition, he is out of all WWE plans and there is no internal estimate on when he will be back.

Updates from Sunday, June 29

On the pre-show for the Money in the Bank PPV, Daniel Bryan addressed his injury, according to WrestlingINC.com:

Updates from Monday, June 9

On tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw, The Authority had a major announcement regarding Daniel Bryan's status for the Money in the Bank PPV slated at the end of the month. WWE's Twitter account passed along the news: 

Updates from Saturday, May 31

Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com, via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, reports potential plans for Daniel Bryan this summer:

It's said that Bryan wrestling a match before the June 29th Money In the Bank pay-per-view is highly unlikely. Bryan's return is still very much up in the air.

If Bryan's not ready to do the Buried Alive Match against Kane at Money In the Bank, they're hoping to do it at the Battleground pay-per-view on July 20th in Tampa.

Updates from Thursday, May 15

WWE posted an update on Daniel Bryan's recovery from neck surgery:

Updates from Tuesday, May 13

Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com passed along an F4WOnline.com (subscription required) report discussing the possibility of Daniel Bryan being stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship:

There was talk backstage at last night's RAW that WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan won't be out of action but for 1 or 2 months. The feeling was that WWE likely won't strip him of the title if he's out just 1 or 2 months.

Obviously it's too early to make a call and they won't know for sure how long Bryan will be out until doctors get in and perform surgery on Thursday. Until then, word coming out of RAW is that everything is still up in the air until surgery is over.

Middleton also passed along a report from PWInsiderElite (subscription required) with more details on Bryan's injury:

Word coming out of last night's RAW is that WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan has a broken neck. It was described as a minor break. Bryan will be undergoing a simple procedure this Thursday, not something complex like neck fusion surgery.

The belief is that he will be out of action for 6-8 weeks. At RAW last night, WWE officials were looking at SummerSlam for a potential return.

The injury came from years of Bryan working the in-ring style that he does, not just one instance. There were some people talking like the diving headbutt from the forklift & pallet at Extreme Rules may have furthered the injury but that hasn't been confirmed.

Regarding the status of the WWE World Heavyweight Title, the belief is that when they get done with surgery, if there's nothing too bad discovered then they will likely keep the belt on Bryan. If they get a bad report from surgery, then Bryan could be stripped. Obviously WWE could decide to keep the title on Bryan and then change their minds at any moment.

Original Text

The triumphant story of WWE World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan's rise to the top after a nine-month push has come to a screeching halt and will be shelved for the time being thanks to a neck injury.

On the May 12 edition of Raw, Bryan addressed a raucous crowd and revealed a neck injury suffered during his feud with Kane will require surgery, as captured by WWE's Twitter account:

While Bryan didn't establish a timetable for his return, he reassured those in attendance that he will make it back, per the WWE Universe Twitter account:

WrestleZone.com confirmed that Bryan is slated to undergo surgery on Thursday:

The injury places Bryan and the WWE in a precarious situation, to say the least.

With Bryan's injury, the company's top feud for its most prestigious strap just hit the shelf for an unknown duration. With the Payback pay-per-view on the horizon, that's horrible news considering the WWE is still without another top star in CM Punk. That leaves John Cena to carry the load with The Shield cleaning up the scraps of the main event scene.

Perhaps more important is Bryan's status. As Mike Killam of WrestleZone muses, Bryan's timetable for return could mean an ultimatum by the company:

It's an unfortunate reality of the business that an injury could strip WWE's top star of the belt. One Dolph Ziggler knows a thing or two about that situation:

The oft-injured Ziggler hasn't been the same since being hit with the label, and Bryan could find himself in the same situation if he has to miss a lengthy period of time. Upon his return, he could not be as over with the crowd and considered an injury risk by those in charge, meaning another run as the top face in the company would be no guarantee (cue the "he's too small" theorists). 

Suffice it to say, the outcome of Bryan's operation has a lot hanging in the balance. 

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