Daniel Brya is no longer under contract with WWE, according to numerous reports from late Tuesday night. Bryan lost a WWE Universal Championship match to Roman Reigns on this past week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown and, per stipulation, was banished from the Blue Brand after the loss. The former world champion had stated in numerous interviews that his contract would be expiring soon, and over the weekend WWE moved his WWE.com profile over to the alumni section. According to Fightful Select's Sean Ross Sapp, Bryan's contact "either expired or was set to expire last week" following his match with "The Tribal Chief," but added this does not necessarily mean he's leaving WWE.
The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer then dropped a report confirming Bryan's contract was up, but that WWE "is pushing hard for him to sign a new deal."
Bryan has indicated in various interviews that he'd like to stay with WWE on a part-time schedule but also have the freedom to wrestle for other companies, a deal that's unheard of within WWE.
"I brought [the idea] up to a lot of people," Bryan said on the My Mother's Basement podcast. "I don't think [a hair vs. hair match in Mexico] would happen. I also think that now, more than ever, it a time when people are open to new ideas. I think I have made some headway. Whether any of it actually happens, who knows. I don't think people truly understand how great a lot of WWE Superstars are because we don't necessarily put on a pure wrestling product, we put on a sports entertainment product.
"If all of a sudden you saw Cesaro in New Japan, people would be like, 'This guy is the greatest.' If you put Otis in New Japan, people would be like, 'Holy cow, this guy is amazing.' Like, Vader from the 90s type vibe. It's just a different presentation," he continued. "I think it would be a cool and unique contribution in wrestling, as far as giving back. I also think it'd be good for WWE and wrestling in general for them to go and learn at other places. I wouldn't be the performer that I am today if I hadn't wrestled in Japan or the UK, where it was all comedy. All of those things add to your depth and when it's time to put you in a top position, you can do a number of things."
Bryan also confirmed last week that he's currently dealing with a neck injury.
"I’m going to be 40 in May and my daughter likes to get on my shoulders to pick leaves from a Japanese maple in front of our house [and he couldn’t this time due to the pain]. You get to that point where it’s like, how long can I do this full-time and still be able to do those kinds of things with my daughter? What’s the right balance between part-time and that sort of thing? It may be that it’s just every once in a while when the urge strikes, or maybe like a schedule where it’s like eight months on, these months off," Bryan told TV Line.0comments
"One of the coolest things about wrestling, and just be being an independent contractor in general, is that you can say, 'Well, I really only want to do this amount of work.' What that amount of work is, I have no idea yet. I still have to figure it out. But I also need to be respectful of the people who are relying on me to go to work. I have to give them an answer sooner rather than later," Bryan said. "I’m trying to figure that out, trying to be responsible as an employee of somebody who’s taken care of our family very well. But then also, trying to take the time to figure it out."
Stay tuned for more details on Bryan's status as they become available!