It has been just over two months since we saw Daniel Bryan wrestle in a WWE ring, and a new report sheds light on why that has been the case. Bryan's last match was on the June 12th edition of WWE SmackDown when he lost to AJ Styles in the WWE Intercontinental Championship tournament. Bryan remains involved with WWE in regards to their creative team for SmackDown, but he has not been traveling to Orlando.
According to this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Bryan's absence from the ring has been for a very good reason. It has coincided with the final month of his wife's (Brie Bella) pregnancy, with the couple hoping to remain safe as she entered those critical final weeks before giving birth. Brie went public with her concerns about Bryan working the television tapings during the pandemic when he was around wrestling. Bryan chose to play it safe and remain out of Orlando due to this reason.
There has been speculation that Bryan could be open to returning in the not too distant future. WWE changing their taping locations from the smaller and cramped WWE Performance Center to the much larger Amway Center in Orlando would certainly play a role in this decision. We have seen Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn return to action since the switch, and these returns seem to be at least in part due to the fact that a larger open air environment is safer as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has been just over one month since Bryan and Brie had their second child, so we will have to wait and see how long Bryan remains out of action. Certainly nobody would fault him for taking as much time away from the wrestling ring as he wants with a newborn child at home.
Even so, Bryan has been active as a member of the SmackDown creative team. He has had a fair amount of input with creative and where his own storylines have been directed for quite some time, but he has been getting more and more involved with the show as a whole. A July report from the Observer noted that Bryan is effectively now part of the writing team on SmackDown, while Edge has been doing the same with Raw.
Who do you want to see Bryan wrestle once he eventually does return from his hiatus? Let us know in the comments section below, and give me a follow on Twitter @ryandroste for all things WWE and AEW.