Daniel Bryan to Debut at All Out?
Now that CM Punk has finally made his anticipated return to professional wrestling in AEW, there's a new worst-kept secret in the business: Daniel Bryan—or, more likely, Bryan Danielson—is also heading to Tony Khan's promotion.
Punk himself all but gave it away Wednesday on Dynamite, and several journalists have since reported on Bryan's impending AEW bow.
"I have been told he will debut at All Out," Bryan Alvarez said on Wrestling Observer Live. "I will not say 99.999999 [percent]. All Out is not in Aberdeen [Bryan's hometown]. They didn't rent out a separate building for the return of Daniel Bryan. I was told weeks and weeks ago that his debut was going to be in Queens, from a very good source. It is now apparent, it appears, he will not debut in Queens, so there was a change. I believe that he is going to debut at All Out on Sunday."
Bryan has been out of action since losing to Roman Reigns in April, at which point his WWE contract expired. While many figured Bryan would return to WWE given his familial ties, the rumors about him bolting for AEW grew louder as the summer progressed.
And there appears to have been truth to the speculation. Bryan looks set to appear in AEW within a month of Punk's debut, and Khan's company has all the momentum in the wrestling world. Ratings are reaching more than a million per week for Dynamite, while WWE is coming off a lackluster SummerSlam full of questionable booking decisions.
This feels like we're in the midst of a seismic shift in professional wrestling.
Brock Lesnar's New Contract Details Revealed
WWE backed up its proverbial Brinks truck to get Brock Lesnar back into the fold for an appearance at SummerSlam, but don't expect him to suddenly start being a TV regular.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio reported that Lesnar's contract only calls for between eight and 12 matches (h/t Jason Ounpraseuth of Wrestling Inc). The deal is expected to run through WrestleMania 39 season, so we're looking at the typical Lesnar quarterly appearance.
Odds are that his first match of his latest deal will take place when WWE returns to Saudi Arabia in October. WWE set up Finn Balor as Reigns' next opponent for the Universal Championship on Friday's SmackDown, and odds are that the program will bleed into the build for September's Extreme Rules pay-per-view.
Lesnar is back to do Lesnar things and nothing more. That's fine for WWE's purposes, but it would be a mistake to have him be the person who ends Roman Reigns' excellent run with the universal title.
Bianca Belair, Carmella Knew of Becky Lynch's Return
Becky Lynch made her in-ring return at SummerSlam in perhaps the most polarizing segment of a WWE broadcast this year, squashing Bianca Belair in under a minute to take the SmackDown Women's Championship. After Belair helped prop up the division throughout the pandemic, many saw her loss as a disrespectful decision.
While WWE seems to be building Lynch as a heel—another questionable move—it appears as though Belair herself has taken the situation in stride. Fightful Select reported Belair and Carmella were among the few people who knew ahead of time that Lynch would be returning (h/t Kellie Haulotte of Wrestling Inc). Her name was left off the call sheet in order to avoid any spoilers.
Belair was also reportedly upbeat about the situation after the match and has drawn praise for her professionalism.
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