Daniel Bryan hasn’t been shy about his desire to step back in the squared circle in recent months, despite being unable to obtain clearance from WWE’s doctors since retiring from in-ring action in early 2016. He has been trying everything to get cleared by the company to make a return to the ring, and though nothing has been announced regarding a change of heart on WWE’s part, there have certainly been reasons for fans to keep hope alive, such as Bryan’s increasing importance in SmackDown Live‘s main event program right now.

It’s no secret that Daniel Bryan’s contract with WWE is up this year, and that if they won’t let him wrestle, he will go somewhere that will. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, the leader of the Yes! Movement had this to say:

I assume that if I don’t wrestle by WrestleMania, I probably won’t be wrestling with WWE at all. That’s my assumption.

He went on to praise the rigorous testing WWE makes their performers undergo to make sure they are in the condition to wrestle, but also note that time it not on his side.

It’s not a black and white answer. There are a lot of issues with me getting cleared by WWE. They have a very strict protocol, which is a good thing, but the timeline of all that happening was not the best for me. It’s an interesting situation that will develop.

Though television storylines have been strongly teasing a Daniel Bryan vs. Shane McMahon showdown at WrestleMania 34, it remains to be seen if a WWE return for the former four time WWE World Champion is in the cards, or if wrestling fans will have to get their fill of the GOAT somewhere else.

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