Daniel Bryan was, of course, stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on this past Monday’s Raw.
As a far too smug Triple H and Stephanie McMahon announced to the fans, the move came after company doctors determined that Bryan would not be cleared to compete by the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on June 29.
The title will now be up for grabs in the Money in the Bank ladder match, with Cesaro, Randy Orton, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio currently scheduled to compete.
But what is Bryan’s future now that he is no longer the title holder?
His health and the state of his neck still appear to be up in the air. Worrying reports from F4Wonline via WrestlingInc emerged last week indicating that not only was the star recovering more slowly than was expected, but he was actually getting worse and losing more strength in his arm.
It’s no secret that Bryan has utilized a brutal, hard-hitting in-ring style for much of his career. He has a strong work ethic that has made him one of the greatest technical wrestlers in the world today—but it may have also shortened his career considerably.
Honestly, Bryan should have calmed down his in-ring work after he left Ring of Honor and signed with WWE in August 2009. But he didn’t. Not really.
One thing is for sure: If Bryan’s future in wrestling is going to be positive, he absolutely has to tone down his style and start working in a safer and more conservative manner. He can’t continue half-killing himself with big bumps week in and week out.
At the very least, he could save that stuff for special occasions like WrestleMania or SummerSlam.
Is there truly any compelling reason to badly beat your body up for a mere television match?
(This may apply to guys like Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, too, who have probably hindered their long-term futures with big, and unnecessary, bumps over the past few years.)
There is good news, though: F4Wonline via WrestlingInc reports that WWE intends on keeping the star in the title picture whenever he does return. His planned match with Brock Lesnar for SummerSlam still appears to be on, too.
It’s no wonder the company still wants to invest in Bryan. Despite his health problems, he’s still one of the most popular and talented wrestlers on the roster. Arguably, he’s also as close to a potential replacement for John Cena as WWE has ever gotten.
There’s no question he can be a significant part of the company’s future. But the star absolutely has to reconsider his intense in-ring style going forward. It’s simply not worth it anymore.