Daniel Bryan was more than willing to commentate on the Cruiserweight Classic (CWC), but didn't particularly want the SmackDown Live General Manager job.
Although it only feels like it happened yesterday, we are fast approaching the two year anniversary of Daniel Bryan's retirement. In 2016, the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion was forced to retire due to a build-up of injuries and despite Bryan's best efforts, he has still not returned to in-ring competition, whether that be for WWE or otherwise.
Even though the night in question was an extremely emotional one and many of us wish Bryan could still wrestle, we didn't have to wait long for him to return to WWE. During the summer of 2016, Bryan came back in two capacities. He took up the role of SmackDown Live General Manager, a role he still occupies to this day, and also sat alongside Mauro Ranallo as the color commentator of the first ever CWC.
Turns out that while Bryan was extremely excited about being part of the CWC as was evident from his demeanor during the show, he did not want to return as a GM. Bryan discussed being forced into the role with Pete Rosenberg recently. "They told me, 'you're coming back as the General Manager.' That wasn't a question. That's not an ask. And I was like, 'argh, I don't know if I want to do this'," Bryan admitted.
Bryan hasn't exactly hidden the fact that he would rather be back in the ring wrestling as opposed to playing an on-screen authority figure. WWE is reluctant to clear the GM for in-ring competition and it almost feels like he is simply running down his contract so that he can go elsewhere and do what he really wants to do. For what it's worth though, we're sure fans would rather have Bryan as a GM than not have him Bryan at all.
2018 is going to be a very telling year for Daniel Bryan. While the exact date is unclear it seems that his WWE contract is up at some point this year. He has also said that if WWE hasn't cleared him to wrestle by WrestleMania 34, it's unlikely that they will ever clear him. If that is indeed the case and we don't see Bryan wrestle between now and then, expect him to be moving on in the not so distant future.