Daniel Bryan hasn't wrestled in over two years, but WWE fans may not have seen the last of Bryan stepping inside the squared circle.
Speaking on Barstool Sports' From The Top Rope podcast (h/t Pro Wrestling Sheet's Connor Casey), Brie Bella said Bryan has been working to get healthy enough to wrestle and that she'd welcome him joining another company if it meant being able to continue his in-ring career:
"And I told Bryan, 'You do have a daughter, so always remember that. But if the doctors finally give you the green light,' I go, 'Go! This is your dream and passion. You have one life to live and I will never hold you back.' ... Because I love to wrestle, and I would hate if someone told me you can’t do it. And if WWE doesn’t allow it, then I said, 'Go somewhere else. It's all on you.' Obviously he would love to be able to get back in that WWE ring, but I know for a fact my husband is going to find his way back to the ring. He honestly is."
During his farewell on the February 8, 2016, edition of Raw, Bryan said doctors had advised him to step away from wrestling:
Bryan said during an interview with ESPN's Jonathan Coachman he had suffered 10 documented concussions and likely more that went undetected. He also said he had experienced post-concussion seizures that he had hidden in the past.
Fans got excited when Bryan and The Miz went head-to-head on the Aug. 23, 2016, edition of Talking Smack, after Bryan had taken over as SmackDown Live's general manager. During their exchange, Bryan said he would be wrestling if he had received medical clearance from WWE. The Miz responded that if Bryan wanted to wrestle again, he should quit and "go to the bingo halls with your indie friends":
The Miz later explained much of his and Bryan's interaction was unplanned, dashing hopes it was part of a long-term storyline to get Bryan wrestling again.
Bryan teased fans again, though, a few months ago when he tweeted to Ring of Honor world champion Cody Rhodes, telling Rhodes he may have to come back if Rhodes is close to beating his record title reign:
Daniel Bryan @WWEDanielBryan
Congratulations! Being @ringofhonor champ for 462 days transformed me as a wrestler and was one of the best times in my career. Enjoy it! https://t.co/alSLGCeNcX2017-6-25 00:02:31
Daniel Bryan @WWEDanielBryan
Side note, if you hold the @ringofhonor title 462 days I may have to come after you, which would be 9/28/18. Be forewarned! #FinalCountdown https://t.co/alSLGCeNcX2017-6-25 00:04:51
Bella said on From The Top Rope that her husband has tried medical treatments from across the country to address his brain injuries and has recently been undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Almost every WWE fan would love to see Bryan wrestling again, but sports fans have become well aware of the long-term consequences repeated brain trauma can have on athletes as the NFL's handling of concussions has become a major story.
Bryan has accomplished everything he possibly could in a wrestling ring, be it during his time in WWE or on the independent circuit. There's no reason for him to jeopardize his future health by making one more run as an active competitor.