SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan refused to give up on the dream of wrestling again, even though he formally announced his retirement on the Feb. 8, 2016, episode of Monday Night Raw.
Bryan—who retired at the advice of doctors after suffering a series of concussions and a brain lesion—has sought medical clearance to perform in the ring again. His wife, Brie Bella, is also confident that Bryan will return to wrestling. Appearing on Lillian Garcia's Chasing Glory podcast, Bella had a major update on her husband's health:
"From like, literally, the day they told him he couldn't do it anymore, he has flown himself all over the United States to all different doctors to figure out what he could do to help turn that 'no' into a 'yes'. There's been like eight doctors who are like, 'You can wrestle'. A lot of doctors can't see why he can't get in that ring again...I think [the WWE is] looking at it. He is on such a mission to get back into that WWE ring."
Bella also noted that Bryan's desire to wrestle again caused problems early in their marriage while she was pregnant, but it's a telling sign if she's now supporting him to wrestle again.
Last month, Bryan told The Trentonian that he was trying to get cleared, and that "WWE would love to have him back." It's worth noting that Bryan originally asked for his release when the WWE wouldn't clear him to wrestle, hoping to find work in a different promotion. But WWE refused to grant Bryan's request, and he would retire shortly after.
Bryan's last match took place at a SmackDown taping on April 14, 2015, when he and John Cena defeated Cesaro and Tyson Kidd in a tag team match. Bryan became the face of the WWE in the PG Era, headlining SummerSlam 2013 and WrestleMania XXX.
The three-time WWE Champion was one of the top all-around performers the company has ever seen. If he could get back into the ring, then Bryan's underdog story would have another telling chapter. We'll see if he gets the green light from WWE doctors, and if the company will let him back into the ring.