Daniel Bryan is heading to All Elite Wrestling if BodySlam's Cassidy Haynes' report from last week (and the numerous reports that have come out since from various outlets) is to be believed. Bryan has remained silent on the speculation, while AEW president Tony Khan declined from commenting while giving an interview with The New York Post this week. The former WWE Champion had his last match in WWE on the April 30 episode of Friday Night SmackDown and reports that his WWE contract had expired popped up shortly after.
A day before Haynes' report broke, PWInsider's Mike Johnson wrote that Bryan was not listed on WWE's internal roster and would not be included in any upcoming plans for licensing, merchandise or action figure releases from Mattel. Then on Tuesday night Spectrum Sports 360's Jon Alba pointed out that all of Bryan's merchandise was now on sale at WWE.co
A closer look at the shop page shows that there are only 12 items available and, with the exception of two pieces of artwork, everything had its prices slashed. That even included Bryan's version of the hemp WWE Championship he introduced back in 2019.
While the sale doesn't prove Bryan has put pen to paper for Khan's promotion, it certainly doesn't help the argument that Bryan will be heading back to WWE anytime soon. One of the things Bryan openly pushed for in interviews prior to his departure was the desire to wrestle for other promotions while still under the WWE banner. His ability to also wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling is reportedly what helped seal the deal with AEW.
"It'd be interesting if I could wrestle in different companies and WWE," Bryan said at a fan meet-and-greet prior to WrestleMania 37. "That's something I'm trying to weasel my way into right now."
Bryan would go on to compete in the main event of WrestleMania back in April, though the comments he made in interviews after the show reveal his heart wasn't in the match.
"It was really bizarre. Just really, really bizarre...," Bryan told BT Sport. "It's taken me, it's been nine days now since it happened, and it's taken me time to fully process what the experience was like because it wasn't like a normal thing. It was really weird. I felt very - like out of body in it. It was so weird. When I'm wrestling, I feel everything and I feel like I'm really enjoying it," he continued. "Like I'm out there and I'm like 'Gosh,' having fun. This was weird, I was out there and it was almost like I felt like I was detached. And I was out there, and it was so strange, in fact, that before the match started, I got this really weird feeling, I was like, 'Oh no, is this what it's like right before you die? Am I going to die? [laughs] I mean. huh, well, okay.' I was like, if that happens it happens. [laughs]. It was just a really bizarre feeling. I don't know why or how that happened, but it was unlike pretty much anything I've felt while wrestling before."
"I'm not a big believer in signs," he continued. "Most people think of me as like this hippie-dippie kind of thing because I'm an environmentalist, but I'm really not. I really love science and reality-based things. So it was interesting, it was like maybe it's a sign that this is the time to let go of being a full-time wrestler, which is kind of what I've been thinking for a while. When I first started training, Shawn Michaels said, 'The second that you don't get nervous right before you go out, that's when you need to retire.' And I don't necessarily believe that, because for a long time I haven't gotten nervous before I go out. I'm excited because it's fun. But the odd detachment was like, 'Woah, maybe it's' - like I said, I'm either gonna die [laughs] or maybe this is just a sign that this isn't the same type of fulfilling that it was before. It's interesting. I've been trying to - I just said I wasn't hippie-dippie, right? - I've been trying to meditate on it [laughs] and talk to my friends that I'm close with like 'Hey, what is that?'" he added.