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Daniel Bryan At A Career Crossroads

Does the WWE have another “Edge-like” situation on its hands with the continual rash of injuries to superstar Daniel Bryan?

Because of his history and the fact Bryan, the current Intercontinental Title holder, is out of action again with no true timetable for his return, should we as fans be prepared if the “Yes!” movement taking a permanent vacation from professional wrestling?

The WWE put out a one page story, begging the question, “What will become of Daniel Bryan and the Intercontinental Title?” It’s a topic I am sure many of wrestling fans and people in the business are asking of the David-like hero who fights in a world of Goliaths on a nightly basis. Only now, his high-octane and body-abusive style may have finally caught up with him, possibly putting a major fork in the road of his greatness.

Right now, the shock of not knowing when Bryan may return to the ring (which has been said to be the end of June) means many things for the performer, the Intercontinental Title and the WWE. The company needs him in the ring with the support of his minions in the stands cheering him on.

It’s a precarious situation for the WWE, the company that dealt with his injured neck while having to relinquish the WWE World Title. Now, once another belt is around his waist, a concussion has sidelined him, which to the dismay of everyone involved seems tragic. I for one am holding my breath.

In keeping with protocol – which is WWE speak for staying in character, the story states …

“A spotlight first shined on this issue when Bryan was not medically cleared to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Bad News Barrett at Extreme Rules. Then, this past Monday, the flames of speculation increased tenfold when the “Yes!” Man’s wife Brie Bella provided an update on her husband’s current condition, which didn’t include any definitive details.

“It’s worth noting that, less than a year ago, Bryan was forced to relinquish the WWE World Heavyweight Champion due to a career-threatening injury. If his current status proves to be as serious this time around, is history destined to repeat itself for his current reign as Intercontinental Champion? Could he conceivably be stripped of a second title in two consecutive years?”

Edge knows about this all too well. A performer in the prime of his career and one of the MVP’s of the promotion being forced into early retirement because of neck injury that became the curtain call.

In a small story on WWE.com, almost four years to the day of the story on Bryan’s MIA status, we read…

“The Rated-R Superstar had been suffering numbness and uncontrollable trembling in his arms and hands. This is not the first time Edge has experienced these symptoms of nueropraxia. An MRI administered at Atlanta Midtown Diagnostic Imaging last Monday was sent to Dr. Joseph Maroon, a renowned neurosurgeon and professor of neurosurgery at The Pittsburgh School of Medicine. After careful examination of the MRI, it was determined that Edge would never be cleared to compete again, and thus, he is forced to retire.”

Could a similar fate, should Bryan get back in the ring and suffer another traumatic injury, be in the near future?

Wrestling’s brutality is played out every night with dropkicks and 5-Star Frog Splashes. We’ve all seen the disclaimers of the injuries being real and “Don’t Try This At Home” which prompted all of us to consider what it would like to jump 20 feet in the air and land on a mattress. We’ve seen this before. We witnessed it many times. Darren Drozdov was paralyzed. Steve Austin and Kurt Angle with neck injuries. Mick Foley and Terry Funk not knowing when to say the word, “STOP.”

Bryan’s future is still in the wrestling ring until he is told otherwise or he himself makes a decision. As popular as he is today and the sacrifices he has made over the years, which he has shared with his followers and the WWE Universe, it would shock me if he had to stop what he loves doing for a living. But if I also see the humane side to this and the idea of living a life which is not confined to a wheelchair. It may not be now, but at some time, the high-flying superstar and leader of the “Yes!” Movement may have to utter a word we really do not want to hear – “NO!”

It looks like WWE’s injury history may be repeating itself.

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