WWE | Pro Wrestling

Daniel Bryan Talks Injury and WrestleMania 31 Return

Daniel Bryan has remained relatively quiet over the last several months. Bryan has been sidelined since May with an injury. The former WWE champ gave an update recently and according to Bryan, he won’t be back in action any time soon.

Bryan’s story may be one of the most heartbreaking I can recall in years, sans death of course. Bryan ascended on the independents as arguably the best worker outside of the WWE for years. Released twice, Bryan got a third chance and organically became the hottest star in the company. Weeks after Bryan finally got the push we all waited to see, he had to relinquish his belt, his push, and maybe even his career due to a terrible injury.

Since relinquishing his belt months ago, Bryan has remained relatively silent and has all but been banished from WWE television with the exception of mentions during Brie Bella’s matches. Rumors have been spreading for weeks about Bryan’s future and the American Dragon has finally set the record straight on a SI.com podcast.

Bryan told Sports Illustrated that while he is doing okay, he just does not have the strength in his arm to get back into a WWE ring.

“The funny thing is that I actually feel fine. There is nothing wrong with how I feel and the pain is fine. The problem is weakness.

“But given what we do and its entertainment, people rely on us to be stable for each other. It’s just dangerous right now for my opponent and dangerous for me to not have that strength.”

“Before my neck surgery and even after it, I have had a lot of weakness in my right hand. It’s kind of funny because if I was an MMA fighter, the weakness wouldn’t actually be that bad, it would just be an advantage for my opponent,” Bryan continued. “I’m not in a lot of pain, we just can’t figure out how to get the strength back.”

The good news here is that Bryan isn’t suffering with pain as some had thought he was. Bryan appears to be fine and it would seem that he could live life pain-free as a non-wrestler. Unfortunately you don’t work as hard as Bryan did to reach the top and accept this. I am fairly certain from a psychological standpoint it must be a terrible thing to live with.

The big question everyone in pro wrestling is wondering is whether Bryan will return in time for WrestleMania 31. Bryan was WrestleMania 30, even if the WWE wiped away his appearance on the NBC special. A return at Mania would be absolutely huge and let’s be honest about Mania. It isn’t looking like anything special this far out. A return at Mania, even in a match with a mid-card could be huge for everyone, especially Bryan since Mania is close to his favorite city.

“Oh my god I hope I will return by then. I would be so disappointed if I wasn’t back. I would be heartbroken if I couldn’t wrestle in San Francisco next year.”

The one takeaway I have from this podcast is why was this scoop given to SI.com and not the WWE? The WWE is struggling right now with the Network and instead of promoting a Sheamus vs. Rusev match, why not promote “the first live interview” with Daniel Bryan? The company could get the scoop and even invite fans to send in questions through social media. I think it is fair to say that the company is doing whatever it can to keep Bryan away from their fans and that is just a damned shame for everyone. The WWE blew a big opportunity here in my opinion.

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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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