Daniel Bryan cleared for WWE action, possible WrestleMania opponents

By: Nick Avila

Last Updated:

As if “Yes” chants weren’t already one of the most prominent sayings among WWE fans, those chants are going to get a bit louder after news broke that Daniel Bryan was formally cleared by WWE for in-ring action.

WrestleMania 31 in 2015 was the last pay per view Bryan wrestled in. That day, he won the Intercontinental title in a seven-man ladder match. Almost a year later, Bryan retired on Feb. 8, 2016, due to neck injuries, recurring concussions and failure to get cleared by the WWE medical staff.

Now, with Mania 34 right around the corner, Bryan’s return to action adds even more buzz to the wrestling event of the year. Bryan had teased his return via Twitter prior to this announcement, but had more so made it seem like the only way he’d return to the ring was if he was no longer a part of Vince McMahon’s company.

Now, the hot question is “who will Daniel Bryan face at WrestleMania?” As much as we’d all love to see Bryan go after the move-stealing Miz, Mr. Must See already has his match at Mania in a triple-threat with Seth Rollins and Finn Valor. Back to reality. Well, here are a few out-of-the-box possibilities.

DANIEL BRYAN VS. SHANE MCMAHON

For months it’s seemed that the rivalry between Daniel and Shane has been bubbling, growing closer and closer to overflowing out of the SmackDown Live pot as both chose sides in the Kevin Owens-Sami Zayn drama that’s been running rampant on SmackDown since Zayn saved Owens at Hell in a Cell.

Now it seems like the opportunity for the two to settle their differences inside the ring is very possible. Shane has been involved in plenty of pay per view matches over the past year and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he returned for another next month.

For Bryan, this would be an easy return and easily could go down as a fan favorite match since Shane has always been a high-flying performer.

DANIEL BRYAN VS. JOHN CENA

While Cena is attempting to get The Undertaker to come back from his somewhat retirement, the storyline could easily be veered in Bryan facing Cena at Mania. The story would have to come along much faster than comfortably possible, but could be centered around the Cena-Kane match that is to take place next week on Raw.

Bryan was Kane’s teammate during their time as Team Hell Yes and as much of a force as it would be, I think most fans would turn a blind eye at the storyline to see Bryan face (and defeat) Cena at WrestleMania.

DANIEL BRYAN AND SHANE MCMAHON VS. KEVIN OWENS AND SAMI ZAYN

Due to Shane’s constant interference in Zayn and Owens’ in-ring attempts at title belts, he’s set himself up for a 2-on-1 beatdown. That is until Bryan steps in and comes to the aid of McMahon, setting up what’s probably the second most likely among these storylines.

DANIEL BRYAN AND KEVIN OWENS VS. SHANE MCMAHON AND SAMI ZAYN

This is what I meant by out-of-the-box. Honestly, since Bryan vs. Shane or Bryan-Shane vs. Owens-Zayn seems to be the most logical option, this is just a speck of random juggling of stories. Zayn turns on Owens in what is set up by Shane McMahon playing his “corporate” role. Shane and Zayn come together to cost Owens from being added into a potential fatal-four way at Mania between Randy Orton, Bobby Roode and Jinder Mahal for the United States belt. The US gimmick being one of Owens’ most known, it would be acceptable to throw him into the mix.

This leads to Owens being eliminated from contention in that match and looking for a Mania match. Obviously he’d want his revenge on Zayn and Bryan, furious over McMahon once again getting too involved and going around the SD Live general manager’s decisions, wanting some payback from Shane as well.

Featured Image: 2017 Topps Road to Wrestemania