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WWE News: Betting markets indicate that Daniel Bryan could make his in-ring return with NJPW

Billi Bhatti
3.27K   //    14 Mar 2017, 13:08 IST
Could we see Bryan return to the ring

What’s the story?

UK-based Irish betting firm, Paddy Power, has opened up a betting market for when Daniel Bryan will return to the ring and for which company he will wrestle for. 

In case you didn’t know...

Daniel Bryan stunned fans last week during an appearance on WWE Talking Smack when he teased an in-ring return after his WWE contract expires in 2018. The comment came after The Miz continued to taunt Bryan about not being able to wrestle anymore because of his head injuries. However, Bryan responded with “I can’t or they won’t let me?”

Daniel Bryan was forced to retire from wrestling back in January 2016, after he acknowledged he had suffered several serious concussions from his time in the ring. During his retirement speech, Bryan admitted that his brain 'wasn't as OK' as he thought it was.

During the emotional statement on WWE Raw, he admitted he had been forced to abandon his plan to return to the ring. 

However, despite outlining several issues during his retirement speech, Bryan has made a U-turn over the last six months, indicating in several interviews that it is the WWE that “won’t let him wrestle.”

Last week was also not the first time he had implied it on Talking Smack, however, the specific 18-month timeline certainly made this occasion a far bigger story. 

The heart of the matter

If the WWE decide to change its stance on Daniel Bryan wrestling again for them, the odds of him having another match in the promotion are 7/1. This means you would get $80 back from a $10 investment ($70 profit and your $10 stake back).

The most likely outcome, according to Paddy Power, is for Bryan to sign with NJPW by the end of 2018. The current odds are 11/10, meaning you only get $21 back from a $10 bet. Those odds suggest that the firm believes that Bryan heading to NJPW is a strong possibility.

Odds are also available for Ring of Honor with 9/4 odds of that happening before the end of 2018, with TNA all the way out at 10/1, as the most unlikely option available. You can see the markets listed below.

What’s next?

Bryan will seemingly be stuck in a non-wrestling capacity with the WWE until September 2018. He was probably forced to retire by the WWE based on the number of concussion lawsuits the company is involved in. Bryan did not want to retire and has tried to get out of his contract several times, which was confirmed by Dave Meltzer last year.

Meltzer said:

Bryan did give notice and was told he did not have the right to give notice. Bryan's contract has been frozen due to an injury, a provision in Superstar contracts that helps WWE make up lost time when a talent is sidelined.” 

The WWE were formerly at odds with Rey Mysterio due to this same clause. Meltzer also said:

“Pertaining to Bryan not having the right to give notice, based on the available talent contracts, that appears to be true. The contract can be pretty much permanently frozen unless Bryan takes the WWE to court."

With Bryan stuck in the WWE, he is likely to remain as the SmackDown GM until he is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next year in New Orleans, a fitting city for Bryan’s induction. It will be intriguing to see where the two parties go after that.

It’s unlikely that Bryan will stay on in a non-wrestling capacity, based on his Talking Smack comment and his attempts to get out of his current deal. If Bryan expresses his issues too strongly, the WWE will still induct him into the Hall of Fame, however, it is unlikely that they will allow him to headline the class, knowing that he will be heading elsewhere shortly after his induction. 

Sportkeeda’s take

The WWE and Daniel Bryan clearly are not on the same page regarding this issue. The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan appears to be the best built feud in the entire company, however, a match seems highly unlikely to ever take place.

I believe that Daniel Bryan will wrestle again and that Paddy Power is on the right track by installing NJPW as the favourite to gain Bryan’s services. Some people will criticise the companies that book Bryan after the WWE deemed him unfit to wrestle, however, other companies aren’t being served with concussion lawsuits.

Therefore, the precautionary measures they have to take are much less than those that need to be taken by the WWE.

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Billi Bhatti
In September 2015, Billi Bhatti launched The Dirty Sheets Podcast, with the goal to break and cover professional wrestling news, that people would actually care about — rather than developing a click-bait news site. The Dirty Sheets Podcast is available on iTunes. Billi was a participant on Big Brother UK in 2007. Prior to Big Brother, he worked as a personal trainer and commercial model, modelling for the likes of Telenor, Birkenstock, Ringspun and Animal. Billi appeared for IPW:UK Wrestling f
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