From the WWE Rumour Mill: Update on when Daniel Bryan's WWE contract will expire
It seems that Bryan has much longer left on his contract than first thought.
What's the story?
Speculation has been rife regarding Daniel Bryan and his career as General Manager of WWE SmackDown Live over the past few months. Whilst it has become a well-known fact that Bryan's contract runs out this year, the actual date is quite surprising.
In case you didn't know...
Bryan was forced to retire from in-ring competition back in February 2016 when it was revealed that WWE's medical team refused to clear him for in-ring competition. Bryan's own physician did clear the former World Champion, which has left him open to the possibility of starting a career on the Independent Circuit if WWE doesn't allow him to compete physically before his contract comes to an end.
Bryan was given the role as SmackDown General Manager alongside Shane McMahon, merely months after his retirement, and it seems that it's a job that Bryan has flourished in over the past 18 months.
Currently, he is in a feud with Shane McMahon because of his issues with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. It is unknown how this feud will come to an end, but with WrestleMania now around seven weeks away, WWE fans are hopeful that it will lead to Bryan's in-ring return.
Bryan himself has already confirmed that if he doesn't return to the ring at WrestleMania then it is unlikely that WWE will allow him to.
The heart of the matter
As already stated, it is well-known that Bryan's contract comes to an end later this year, but the exact date was unknown until a fan asked Dave Meltzer on Twitter.
It seems that going by Meltzer's Tweet, Bryan's contract runs out on November 1st, 2018. That means that when Bryan's contract does come to an end, WWE could add a 90-day no-compete clause which will then mean that the former World Champion won't be able to compete as part of any independent company until 2019.
Bryan will remain the General Manager of SmackDown Live until his contract comes to an end since it is highly unlikely he will be signing a new one. It is unknown what his current storyline with Owens, Zayn and McMahon is leading to, but the WWE Universe remains hopeful.
It was thought that Bryan's contract ran out much sooner than November, with many sources stating that it was closer to April. Either way, this gives WWE plenty of time to decide whether or not they are going to allow Bryan to return to the ring in the next few months or not.
WWE has seven months until Bryan is set to walk away from the company, it will be interesting if they try to come up with an attractive pitch that would make him stay.