The clock is ticking on Daniel Bryan's current contract with WWE, and as of now, his future in the company is uncertain.
Regardless of whether he stays or goes, it is slightly surprising WWE isn't doing more to make the most of the time they have him for. His return to the ring at WrestleMania 34 was heavily touted and highly anticipated by fans, yet it didn't take long for him to feel like just another wrestler on the roster.
Of course, that is far from being the fault of Bryan. Rather, WWE Creative has yet to put him in a position to truly flourish, first in the feud with Big Cass and now in the reunion of Team Hell No.
On the bright side, Bryan and Kane reuniting for the first time in five years on the June 26 edition of SmackDown Live received a raucous reaction from the audience in attendance. Wrestling fans live for nostalgia (hence why the Attitude Era is remembered as fondly as it is), and Team Hell No is the latest example of that.
In WWE's defense, Team Hell No was a beloved act for as long as it lasted from 2012 to 2013. They reigned as tag team champions for nearly eight months and contested a string of strong matches with the likes of The Shield, Dolph Ziggler and Big E, and The Rhodes Scholars.
Then again, there was a reason they went their separate ways: Bryan's popularity became too much to ignore and thus it was time to break him back off into singles competition.
It is insane that despite being out of action for nearly three years, Bryan remains one of the most well-liked Superstars in the entire organization. He still has plenty to offer to WWE in an in-ring role as a top star and therefore should not be slotted at anything less than the main event scene.
SmackDown Live is stocked with star power at the moment and only so many notable names can be competing for the WWE Championship at one time. Currently, AJ Styles finds himself the face of the blue brand with Rusev set to challenge him for the gold at Extreme Rules on July 15, leaving Bryan on the outside looking in for the foreseeable future.
It isn't imperative Bryan compete for the championship as soon as possible, but he would be more of an asset to SmackDown toward the top of the card than he would be in the tag team division.
Unfortunately, the tag team scene has been on ice since WrestleMania. The Bludgeon Brothers play their roles well, but nothing they have been involved in lately has been incredibly exciting, though this pending program with Team Hell No could change that.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Team Hell No sounds fun on paper, but the bottom line is that this last hurrah for The Beard and Kane as a unit should not stretch beyond Extreme Rules. Team Hell No regaining the tag titles would undoubtedly be a memorable moment, but in the long term, it is a total waste of someone with the star power of Bryan.
With SummerSlam right around the corner on August 19, Bryan has no business meandering in the tag team ranks when there are potential programs with Andrade "Cien" Almas, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura and The Miz awaiting him.
At this stage of the game, Kane needs Bryan much more than Bryan needs Kane. The Big Red Monster was noticeably slower in his first bout back alongside The Beard against The Usos on Tuesday night, but he was wisely kept limited in the tag team environment.
Once this reunion runs its course, Bryan will have plenty of opponents to mix it up with on SmackDown. Kane may be the one who is left spinning his wheels, but anything would be better than having them feud for the umpteenth time post-Extreme Rules.
All good things must come to an end eventually, but in Team Hell No's case, the team lasting longer than it needs to would be detrimental to Bryan's stock on SmackDown.