If Daniel Bryan wants to return to in-ring action in the WWE, it won't be Vince McMahon's call.
Former WWE superstar and current SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan had to announce his retirement from in-ring action last year. Bryan followed advice from doctors to retire after suffering a brain lesion and series of concussions throughout his career.
However, Bryan has said many times that he's trying to get clearance from doctors to compete again. He recently said that WWE would love to have him back, and wife Brie Bella has supported Bryan's goals of trying to get back into wrestling.
But, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required), Vince McMahon informed Bryan that WWE Medical Director Dr. Joseph Maroon will have the final say on whether or not he can return to wrestling. Maroon is a veteran neurosurgeon who has studied brain injuries and tumors for five decades.
Prior to his retirement, Bryan hoped to keep wrestling and asked the WWE to release him - hoping he could find work in a different promotion. But the company wouldn't grant his request, and Bryan would ultimately retire on the Feb. 8, 2016, episode of Monday Night Raw.
There have been rumors that if WWE won't clear Bryan to return, he will leave his role as SmackDown GM to find a wrestling gig elsewhere - perhaps in Ring of Honor or New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Bryan's run with WWE only lasted from 2010-15, but he had one of the most successful careers in recent memory. The "YES" movement swept over the wrestling world, and Bryan became the face of WWE. He headlined many pay-per-views, including WrestleMania XXX, and won three WWE Championships in his career. There's no doubting that a return would bring a drastic impact to the wrestling world - no matter which promotion it is.
For Bryan, the possibility of him wrestling for WWE is in the hands of a well-respected and experienced doctor. For now, we all play the waiting game and see what Dr. Maroon says.