WWE | Pro Wrestling

Daniel Bryan Returning To Action On WWE SmackDown

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.

Bryan will make his long awaited return as part of the kickoff to SmackDown’s switch to Thursday. I see this as both a smart and questionable move. I like the idea of throwing something new on SmackDown to draw attention to the switch. I absolutely hate the idea of giving his return away pre-Royal Rumble and question whether that is truly best for business. Bryan will also be working Luke Harper and Kane on house shows this month.

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.

I am intrigued about the idea of a Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar match at Mania. One of the things that reportedly worries WWE officials is that the fan reaction to Lesnar as a lame duck champion will not be good. While this is to be expected, it certainly doesn’t bode well when you are trying to give Roman Reigns his Mania moment. With Bryan in the match against Lesnar, I tend to think that the backlash will be minimal, with fans more excited about seeing Bryan regain the title. I could be wrong and the landscape could be much different from last year but I think Bryan winning the Rumble and challenging Lesnar at Mania would be better received than Brock vs. Rollins.

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!

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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