WWE has moved Daniel Bryan into the alumni section alongside former superstars no longer associated with the company.
The former world champion was banished from SmackDown after failing to capture the Universal Title from Roman Reigns in a tense main event on Friday night, with his immediate future unclear.
Now, there is another wrinkle as Bryan’s profile has been moved to the alumni page where he appears alongside the likes of Darren Young, Dash Wilder (now known as Cash Wheeler in AEW), Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) and Dean Malenko.
His contract is set to expire later this year, but his exact status is unclear.
There is every chance this is a case of WWE committing to the storyline by confirming the Leader of the Yes Movement isn’t attached to any brand.
Fans have been speculating where Bryan will go next, and whether he will move to Raw or even NXT, with the latter throwing up plenty of dream matches.
While the black and gold brand feels like the best move for the former American Dragon, this seems like WWE will be playing up the idea of him as a free agent before confirming any news.
Bryan appears alongside some very interesting names (Photo: WWE)The last time WWE moved a superstar to the alumni section with little warning, The Big Show had left and was swiftly announced as AEW’s newest signing.
Now going under his real name Paul Wight, the legendary star jumping ship was a huge surprise – although it would be an unprecedented shock if Bryan has made the same move this suddenly.
Whatever happens, fans know the technical wizard is looking to wind down his in-ring career after welcoming his second child with wife Brie Bella.
Back in December, he told BT Sport: ‘I’m switching priorities in my life where for years wrestling has been the key focus. Like my contract is coming up soon, and we’re looking at me transitioning to maybe less than a full-time wrestler.
‘My time of being a full-time wrestler are numbered. I’m more going to be like a full-time dad, part-time wrestler. Wrestling is my side job, daddy is my most important job.’
It should be noted that although Bryan recently vocalised his desire to wrestle outside of WWE, he also seemed to suggest he would like to be able to both rather than leaving the company for a change of scenery.
This makes an AEW moved unlikely, although he recently heaped praise on current AEW, AAA and IMPACT Wrestling world champion Kenny Omega.
‘It’d be interesting if I could wrestle in different companies and WWE,’ he recently said. ‘That’s actually something I’m trying to weasel my way into right now.’
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