Bryan Danielson / Daniel Bryan's contract has expired...

Crazy if true. And literally the biggest free agent (who still wants to wrestle) in the last twenty years.

Let the speculation begin…

Personally, a Jericho / Mox- like deal that lets gets him in the AEW main event mix, combined with NJPW work, and picking any other places (high profile indie spots) to work as well mixed in, to me would be most interesting as a fan.

Bryan Danielson in Blood Sport… Showing up in Mexico, etc.

WWE will always be there. He can always go back for a final run.

He always talks about people he wanting to work all these dream matches outside the WWE system… Time to put his money where his mouth is.

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I just don’t see him leaving. I could see him using all this to negotiate a more favourable deal with WWE that allows him to work in Mexico and Japan.

At the end of the day, I don’t think he wants to jeopardize his wife’s chances of returning to the ring by making any drama.

I’d love to see him leave WWE though, he has been completely wasted especially in the past year. Anyone remember his partnership with Gulak that led to nothing? The guy who coached Bryan now gets roses kicked up his ass.

They had an opportunity to go all in with Bryan after he initially came back but WWE never will. He should know that and if he comes back it’s on him when he is wasted again

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Yeah I definitely don’t think he’s showing up to blood and guts today like some people have said. His wife may want to go back there and as such he’s not gonna rock the boat without thinking it through at least.

Yeah this seems just like a technicality and I don’t see him jumping to another company.

While my post is total fantasy booking… The idea of his contract expiring being a “technicality” feels very strange.

You don’t let one of your biggest star’s contracts just expire / don’t try and resign them for months and months prior.

In 2018 it felt like much more of a sure thing that he would resign. The world wide non-WWE landscape was still a little different than today. Seeing that Moxley and Jericho have proven that they can thrive outside the system, while feeling like every bit of a major North American star as talent on WWE tv.

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I don’t think WWE would ever say no to the Bella’s.
I don’t think WWE would ever do something to burn a future bridge with Bryan… And holding his choices against his wife, strikes me as something that would do that.

I also think in 2021, it doesn’t make sense to punish a wife for their husband’s action. Lana seems to get plenty of TV time… WWE would be all over Renee is the opportunity presented itself.

But he’s not a big star to Vince. He’s a goat-faced, B+ player who doesn’t eat steak.

Which is why I think he gets some sort of deal where he can’t go to another North American company but can get out of Vince’s face regularly and wrestle internationally, goddamnit pal.

And to me, if Bryan is still the artist who craves personal satisfaction and fulfilment, then maybe he wants the chance to show he can be a needle-mover and an A+ player outside the WWE.

Again, completely fantasy booking and talking as a fan.

Wow, so nice this thread hasn’t immediately devolved into being called an idiot, or sharing what out of touch managers from the 80’s would say about the matter…

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As a fan I’d love to see him in dream matches on other shows. As a realist I’m not sure we will. I think he will stay on at WWE and eventually transition to a behind the scenes role.

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Tony Khan needs to capitalize on this by tweeting that tonight is going to change the face of wrestling forever.


Yes, based on history, it’s hard for anybody to believe he will leave… But I do feel like this is the most realistic chance of it happening.

Also, Bryan / Joe / Punk are all free agents right now. So many possibilities.

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Yeah it is the most realistic rather than him asking for a release.

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It depends. The release Rusev so not the same thing.

When someone elects to leave I think more of the AJ Lee and Punk situation where she says they made it hard for her to stay

Good point about Rusev. Okay, well I’d again point to the Moxley / Renee situation.

Also, the idea of WWE keeping him under a deal that allows him to work elsewhere is hard for me to believe.

Remember when Joe came in? This was obviously pre-AEW, but they gave him something similar. Within months they changed their mind and he was exclusive to WWE.

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Yeah that’s a fair point. However I think back then they didn’t view AEW the same way and they actually honoured Moxley on his way out.

You might be right in that it may not impact the Bella’s at all. But look at Sean spears for instance – they released his wife for perhaps unrelated reasons but still.

Whether it’s real or not I’m sure part of the discussion in the Bryan family is them potentially working on rival brands.

Daniel Bryan does have a top spot right now. He was in the main event of wrestlemania and he just had championship matches and would likely finish his career out being in high-profile matches. Whether he’s completely creatively satisfied or could have better matches outside is probably a valid point, but he certainly is not in a bad position in WWE and given the money he’s getting you have to think that he’s not going to jump without some serious thought.


Yes imagine having those three all available right now and able to walk into a company. You would literally have a re-creation of the nWo in terms of star power

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Agreed 100%.

That’s said, I’d imagine the months leading up to this expiration would have been filled with “serious thought”.
If he legitimately hasn’t re-signed, there is a reason. I imagine it’s not financial.

If this were 10 years ago, I think he’s gone. But for a guy who very rarely doesn’t share what he’s thinking in interviews, they all in the last year are giving off a guy who doesn’t have a ton of motivation or goals he once did. It’s not to say he doesn’t fulfill the fantasies of the questions he’s asked, but that zest I remember him having about going to Mexico in interviews with like, Edge and Christian, when he was previously retired, isn’t coming off at all anymore. He doesn’t sound unsatisfied and often we forget that dream matches aren’t dream living scenarios for these people.

It’s smart for him to take it to this point though. You aren’t getting nearly the leverage you can have by re-signing while under contract. And I generally think if you’re Bryan Danielson and happy and can choose to do something between full and part time with WWE and a few spots here and there in Japan and Mexico or go completely into AEW/ROH/Indys, etc, you’re going to pick the former which gives you the best of both worlds. And probably the best payday.

And he’s gotta know - if he can get this international window cracked open for current WWE stars, it opens the door for his colleagues to one day get that benefit too, and in the long run, that might be one of the bigger and world-changing gifts to this industry can accomplish.

I know this has been brought up a lot… However, no matter what, WWE is looking at NJPW / CMLL / AAA as competition.

WWE’e entire platform for growth the last few years has been “Global Localization”, which essentially means growing international NXT brands.

The idea of letting Bryan or anyone performing for non-WWE owned entities, is not likely to me. Bryan going to NJPW while under contract to WWE, works against WWE’s focused strategy of growing their own brand internationally.

I’ll say it again, when Joe came in, that’s the exact sort of deal they let him have. Within a month or so, they went back on it and had him under a full-time deal.