Daniel Bryan is officially getting back in the ring. Bryan will make his return next week on WWE SmackDown when the show moves to Thursday nights on January 15, marking Bryan’s first match in eight months.
I think this could be intentional in taking focus off of Bryan in the Rumble. If Bryan were to mark his first match back in the Rumble, I think fans would expect him to win. If he doesn’t it could get ugly and if the WWE is going with Reigns or someone else, it could turn into a Batista situation. On the other hand, Bryan returning and winning the Rumble would be one of those moments that you never forget, making the 2015 Rumble something to talk about for years.
Several reports recently surfaced indicating that the WWE are not as committed to putting Reigns over in the Rumble as they were months ago. According to those reports, there is some serious consideration being given to Bryan. I can tell you this. Bryan winning the Rumble and then defeating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania for the title would be one hell of a story. The biggest question I see is how much the WWE wants to commit to Bryan and that is a question nobody will know until January 25.
The argument against Bryan is of course his physical history. Bryan is no labeled as an injury-prone wrestler, yet to my knowledge Bryan’s recent stint on the unable to perform list is the first time I can ever remember where Bryan missed a substantial amount of time in the ring. I think it is a little unfair, especially when you look back at the injury history of Randy Orton and John Cena and I can guarantee you that they missed more time in their WWE careers than Bryan. Thus the injury label on Bryan is a little unfair.
Regardless, I love the unpredictability of Mania and the Rumble. Recent years have seen very predictable Rumble and Mania booking which tend to play out exactly as you’d expect it to, for better or worse. This year’s Rumble is different and I love it. Welcome back Daniel Bryan!