Doubts linger over the long term future of Daniel Bryan on the back of relinquishing the WWE Intercontinental Title. In this Sunday Sermon, the team have their say over the future of one of WWE’s top stars.
Craig: This is the sort of Sermon we don’t really want to have to write. I’m sure everyone on here wishes Daniel Bryan was in perfect physical condition and able to star week in, week out on WWE programming.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It’s been six weeks since Daniel Bryan captured the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania 31. I certainly hoped it would kick start a revival for him as well as for the belt itself, instead it has been the US title that has become a prominent part of Raw television and, as for Bryan, he’s back on the shelf for a yet unannounced amount of time and has relinquished the gold.
So, what does the future hold for the former American Dragon and is that future an in-ring one?
Brian: I’m probably going to say something that will be unpopular…but I think it’s time for Daniel Bryan to retire. He’s got nothing left to prove. He’s won every title…he’s had big matches…..he became one of the most popular stars in recent memory….it is time for D-Bry to take care of himself.
I know he loves the business and he has been an exceptional ambassador for it…but at the end of the day…he has a wife and family to think of.
Craig: I think that’s got to be a seriously considered option. Ultimately, only a few people will really be in the loop as to how serious his injuries actually are but on the face of it they don’t appear to be minor knocks, do they? I think bowing out on a high rather than having to work a completely different style – a very non high risk style – would be better for him, his health and his family. Would be a very sad demise though.
Russ: Not unpopular at all. Edge also had to make a choice of career or health. Don’t forget these days the guys in the top table earn far more than they did 30 years ago, those guys had to wrestle pretty much every day to get even a little ahead. D-Bry won’t have a problem getting a job either in the WWE or elsewhere.
Brian: If D-Bry did come back…would he alter his style or would he still wrestle the way he has always wrestled….with a reckless abandon? I think he can’t change a tiger’s stripes….and therefore Bryan would always wrestle the only way he knows how.
It’s just a shame considering all those years he put in during the indies and Japan and to finally make it to the WWE and succeed only to go down with injury after injury. It just seems a bit unfair to him.
Jamie: From what I’ve read he’s having problems with his shoulder. If that is the case, then I’d say it’s maybe a bit premature to discuss retirement. The guy’s body just needs an extended period of time to heal, without getting banged up every week. However, if his problems stem from a neck injury then it probably would be wise to look at the bigger picture and consider his options outside of the active roster. Head and neck injuries end careers, but it’s very seldom you see arm, shoulder or leg injuries claiming the career of a pro wrestler. Obviously it does happen, I just hope it doesn’t with Daniel Bryan.
Can anyone else see the similarities with Shawn Michaels here? He was 33 when his career was considered over too…
Brian: I do see the similarities with both Shawn Michaels and Daniel Bryan in the fact that they both wrestled hard and gave up their body to sell. Shawn did take a few years off and perhaps that’s what D-Bry needs to do..perhaps start a family with Brie Bella….get 100% healthy both mentally and physically…etc.
Jamie: It sounds like we’re all in agreement that if Bryan’s injury is serious that he should walk away, at least for the time being. But, what if he just came back too early? What if he just needs to rest up for a couple of months? Will WWE ever run with him at the top of the card again?
Given the precedent set by WWE’s booking of ‘injury prone’ Dolph Ziggler and their obvious initial reluctance to push him in the first place, I fear that we may have seen the last of Daniel Bryan in the WWE Title picture.
Craig: I can’t help but agree with you here, Jamie. If the WWE can’t, for a better word, trust him to remain injury free then he’s certainly not going to get a sustained push near the top of the card. That in itself is a real shame.
There have been people advocating him tone down his style for years. PW Torch’s Wade Keller has been a long term commentator calling for him to reduce the high risk stuff and during an interview on the Stone Cold podcast, Austin questioned Bryan about his top rope dropkick that sees him land on his back.
Should Bryan have heeded those warnings?
Brian: To answer your question….if he wanted to preserve his career for the long haul..then yes he should have stayed away from many of his high impact moves. On the flip side of that, a wrestler needs to wrestle his style. Daniel Bryan seems like a guy who is either all in or he is all out. There doesn’t seem to be an in between with him in any way.
Russ: Exactly, Bryan not doing what make him Bryan takes it away from not just himself, but the fans too. For his own well being, I hope he makes the right decision…
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.