SK's take on the rumour that Daniel Bryan has rejected a contract extension
Earlier, we reported that Triple H has provided an update on the possibility of Daniel Bryan returning to the ring at the Television Critics Association winter press tour - and it didn't look good.
Well, there are now reports emerging that Daniel Bryan has rejected a bumper contract extension at WWE because he sees his future as an active in-ring performer, and the contract would not currently allow him to wrestle.
Things had actually seemed to be looking up with regards to a return, with Daniel Bryan saying he feels more confident than ever about returning to the ring when speaking to Sam Roberts recently, and also being used as a special guest referee - both at Clash of Champions and in a dark segment which saw him run the ropes with Sami Zayn.
Daniel Bryan was forced to retire from in-ring action back in February 2016 when it was revealed that he was struggling with the same kind of neck injury that forced former WWE Champion Edge into retirement, not to mention multiple concussions, but the recent tensions with Miz and Shane McMahon, coupled with Kurt Angle's in-ring return, had led many to believe we may see the former World Champion make his much-anticipated return.
Triple H's comments were pretty unforgiving on the matter.
"There can be no exception, medically. If the belief is that he's not healthy enough and it is a risk for to perform, then I don't know why we would ever allow him to step in the ring unless it can be proven otherwise.
"We have some of the best medical people in the world working for us. Our wellness policy, our concussion programs, out protocols - I'll put them up against any on the planet. The medical experts will make the determination of whether Bryan can set foot in that ring or not, personally, for him, I know it's something he loved doing and own hope he has that opportunity. But at the same point in time, he's married and has a child. We serve the human being first."
Daniel Bryan has always maintained that wrestling is more important to him than money, so this isn't a shock revelation after hearing Triple H state that, in no uncertain terms, he isn't cleared for a return.
In our opinion, this seems like WWE may have been open to Daniel Bryan being cleared by their doctors and may have given him every chance, but it possibly just hasn't happened.
From everything that's happened over the past year, from his rivalry with Miz, the backstage chokeslam from Kane and now tensions with Shane McMahon, it seemed like either WWE were planning for a possible return OR just trying to give Daniel Bryan the closest experience to being a wrestler possible without having him actually take bumps.
There had previously been speculation that Cody Rhodes wanted to headline his own event against Daniel Bryan later this year and, with no word yet on when Daniel Bryan's current contract ends, it is a possibility. Daniel Bryan remains adamant that doctors are clearing him to compete, just not WWE doctors who, ultimately, have the final say on him competing in WWE.
While it's heartbreaking to see Daniel Bryan sitting on the sidelines after retiring so young, and while it is a huge loss to have such a great talent unable to work, health and safety must always come first. Given the huge issue surrounding concussions in both wrestling and just sport in general, it's no surprise to see WWE being extra cautious around this issue.
We can only hope for Daniel Bryan's sake if he does wrestle again outside of WWE, that he proves them wrong.