Former WWE champion Daniel Bryan has reportedly been cleared to return to action after being absent from WWE programming since WrestleMania 35.
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com), Bryan could be written back into storylines on SmackDown Live as early as next week.
Meltzer previously reported that Bryan was dealing with an undisclosed injury that WWE was keeping "closely guarded" and added that it is still unknown what the injury was outside WWE circles.
Bryan last appeared at WrestleMania 35 last month when he dropped the WWE Championship to Kofi Kingston.
There was concern regarding Bryan's condition among outside observers since he was out of action as an in-ring performer from 2015 to 2018 with head injuries and was forced to retire at one point.
Bryan returned last year at WrestleMania 34, however, and he reemerged as one of the top stars in the business by beating AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. That occurred in lockstep with a heel turn that saw Bryan become a holier-than-thou character who even changed the design of the title to make it more eco-friendly.
Kingston emerged as Bryan's primary challenger thanks to a groundswell of support that was reminiscent of Bryan's popularity leading up to WrestleMania 30.
Bryan paid it forward by putting Kofi over at WrestleMania, which could have set the stage for an eventual rematch. With Bryan having been out of action, however, WWE went forward with a heel turn for Kevin Owens, who will face Kingston for the title at Money in the Bank.
If WWE does bring Bryan back in the coming weeks prior to Money in the Bank, it is difficult to envision how he will figure into plans. The men's Money in the Bank ladder match is already filled, and unless he is added to the WWE Championship match to make it a Triple Threat, he probably isn't in the mix there either.
Even if WWE simply reintroduces Bryan by having him cut promos before entering into a feud after Money in the Bank, it would be a huge boost to the blue brand since Bryan is such an entertaining character.
One thing to consider is the fact that WWE announced a Saudi Arabia show for June 7, which could prevent Bryan from coming back until afterward.
Bryan did not compete at WWE Crown Jewel in November. WWE received backlash for holding the event after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
If Bryan once again doesn't wrestle in Saudi Arabia, his big push may resume after that show in June.
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