Despite remaining the WWE World Heavyweight champion after Payback, the futures of Daniel Bryan and his belt remain as unclear and uncertain as ever.
Per Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, WWE officials recently received some discouraging news over the weekend about the star's condition. While it was initially hoped that Bryan would be cleared within eight weeks to get in the ring again, indications are it may very well be longer:
While the initial plan for Daniel Bryan all along was for him to retain the WWE World Heavyweight championship as he was slated to return within eight weeks, WWE received word over the weekend that Bryan may not be cleared in time for the Money in the Bank PPV.
Interestingly, Johnson notes that Stephanie McMahon's promo on Raw, in which she vowed to strip Bryan of the title if he couldn't compete against Kane in their scheduled Stretcher match and crown a new champion in the Money in the Bank Ladder bout, was "pretty much a shoot."
The Money in the Bank pay-per-view is currently scheduled to take place in Boston on June 29. Will Bryan be ready by then?
Of course, the most important thing here isn't the state of the title or WWE's pay-per-view business but Bryan's long-term health. Considering the star's ambition and insane work ethic, it's almost certain he'll be pushing himself to return as early as possible and work the match with Kane.
But is this really a smart move?
Should WWE strip Bryan of the belt?
Rushing back from injuries usually doesn't end well for anyone in wrestling (look at Rey Mysterio). If Bryan needs those extra few weeks off, he should take them.
Granted, it would be hugely disappointing, not only for the wrestler himself but for his fans, to see him stripped of the belt at Money in the Bank.
But it would hardly be the end of the world. He could go after the title again when he's better, and some of his best work has come as an underdog babyface chasing the championship.