Has Daniel Bryan been cleared to participate in the Royal Rumble or not? There are conflicting rumors right now as to whether we will see him compete.
Despite Daniel Bryan having to retire from in-ring competition almost two years ago now, the SmackDown Live General Manager has been embroiled in a top storyline on Tuesday nights. Bryan played the role of Shane McMahon's adversary, whether he has meant to or not, by leveling the playing field when it comes to the commissioner's beef with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
The whole angle coupled with Bryan's desire to return to in-ring competition has fans wondering whether this all ends in a Daniel Bryan comeback match. It could be against Shane McMahon or maybe even AJ Styles. In fact, there are rumors that the GM could be in the Royal Rumble match this coming Sunday, and is even a favorite to win with some betting lines.
According to The Wrestling Observer, however, despite these rumors and betting lines, Bryan has still not been medically cleared by WWE to compete. There is further talk however that the plan might be to have Bryan win the 30-man match without taking a bump, thus meaning he doesn't necessarily need to be medically cleared to be in the bout. What that would mean for the WrestleMania title opportunity that comes with the win in that scenario would be anyone's guess.
This isn't the first time that Bryan has been used in a SmackDown Live storyline that wound up having no physical pay off. While The Miz was a member of the blue brand, things got extremely heated between him and the GM yet a match never happened because Bryan was not medically cleared. Despite that, WWE still recalled that rivalry by having the two of them stare each other down on Raw's 25th-anniversary show this past Monday night.
What this whole Daniel Bryan-Royal Rumble thread has inevitably done is build up many fans' expectations. A lot of the people watching on Sunday night will be expecting Bryan to be in the match, and if he isn't there will be widespread disappointment. If Bryan is not going to be in the match then WWE needs to make sure that there are enough memorable moments throughout the night that fans aren't left wondering what could have been and why they got their hopes up.