There is smoke in the rumors of Daniel Bryan leaving WWE.
As reported earlier this week, Bryan has been moved from the active list to the Alumni section of WWE.com. Fightful is now reporting that his contract has expired.
According to the report, his contract expired or was about to expire last week and he was officially no longer under contract after his match with Roman Reigns. After the match, he was written out of the storyline when Reigns attacked him with a steel chair. As per the stipulation, he is now “banned” from SmackDown.
Bryan was asked about the status of his contract last week during an interview with TVLine. He did not give a date when his deal would expire, but he did indicate that it was not September as many assumed and that his neck is “just destroyed” and that he is now considering cutting his back. timetable.
Bryan told TVLine: “It’s funny people gravitate towards the ‘September’ date, and I think that’s because that’s where my last contract ended, but it doesn’t end. in September.”
He continued, “I’m still trying to figure out what it looks like… I had a tag team game at SmackDown last Friday, and it was a lot of fun, but my neck was just destroyed. I will be 40 years old in May and my daughter likes to put on my shoulders to pick Japanese maple leaves in front of our house [and he couldn’t this time due to the pain]. You get to this point where it’s like, how long can I do this full time and still be able to do this stuff with my daughter? What’s the right balance between part-time and that sort of thing? It could be just once in a while when the urge is on, or maybe like a schedule where it’s like eight months, those months off.
“One of the coolest things about wrestling, and just being an independent contractor in general, is that you can say, ‘Well, I just really want to do this job. How much work is this, I have no idea yet. I have yet to find out. But I also have to be respectful of the people who rely on me to go to work. I must give them an answer as soon as possible. I’m trying to figure that out, trying to be responsible as an employee of someone who takes very good care of our family. But then also, by trying to take the time to understand it.
Bryan has expressed a desire to work in other promotions, but this news does not mean that he will not sign a new deal with WWE and it is possible that he has already agreed to a new deal or is on a handshake agreement to work temporarily without a contract.
Obviously, promotions like AEW and Impact Wrestling would jump at the chance to sign him if he was interested. At this point, everyone can guess what they will do next. Bryan being “banned” from SmackDown leaves the door open for him to return to Raw or NXT if he chooses to stay with WWE.