Now that CM Punk has made his return to the squared circle has the worst kept secret in the business shifted to Daniel Bryan joining him at AEW?
Most every signal points to “YES! YES! YES!” — sorry, I had to.
Bryan (who will probably be Brian Danielson upon his return) was basically given away by Punk on Wednesday, but now it is also hitting the podcast circuit.
“I have been told he will debut at All Out,” Bryan Alvarez said on Wrestling Observer Live. “I will not say 99.999999 [percent]. All Out is not in Aberdeen [Bryan’s hometown]. They didn’t rent out a separate building for the return of Daniel Bryan. I was told weeks and weeks ago that his debut was going to be in Queens, from a very good source. It is now apparent, it appears, he will not debut in Queens, so there was a change. I believe that he is going to debut at All Out on Sunday.”
For those who haven’t been marking the calendars with a countdown of days without him… we have not seen Bryan in the ring since his April 1 loss to Roman Reigns. His contract expired soon thereafter and he has been sitting and waiting on his next move.
When Bryan didn’t make a WWE return at Summer Slam — which sucked and set up some really terrible bookings to move forward — it became more obvious that AEW was set to land the talent.
With the recent release of so many other tremendous talents, which all went underutilized in WWE, we could soon be seeing AEW overtake the longstanding staple.
For those keeping track, here are all the people that WWE has released in the last two years, thanks to lastwordsports:
2020 (50 overall talents): Dash Wilder, Scott Dawson, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Primo, Epico, Rusev, Rowan, Zack Ryder, Drake Maverick, Curt Hawkins, Heath Slater, Eric Young, Curtis Axel, Gerald Brisco, Lio Rush, Sarah Logan, Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, EC3, Cain Velazquez, No Way Jose, Mike Chioda, Kurt Angle, Aiden English, Akam, Rezar, Ace Steel, Aleksandar Jaksic, Cezar Bononi, Dan Matha, Deonna Purrazzo, Edgar Lopez, Faisal Kurdi, Hussain Aldagal, Josiah Williams, Kassius Ohno, Kendo Kashin, Marcos Gomes, Mars Wang, MJ Jenkins, Mohamed Fahim, Nick Ogarelli, Serena Deeb, Taynara Conti, Tino Sabbatelli, Yifeng, Zelina Vega, Sarah Stock, Mike Rotunda.
2021 (62 overall talents with reported corporate releases as well not listed): Bray Wyatt, Andrade, Steve Cutler, Lars Sullivan, Samoa Joe, Chelsea Green, Mickie James, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Mickie James, Tucker, Bo Dallas, Kalisto, Wesley Blake, Mojo Rawley, Velveteen Dream, Drake Wuertz, Jake Clemons, Skylar Story, Ezra Judge, Alexander Wolfe, Kavita Devi, Jessamyn Duke, Vanessa Borne, Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Ruby Riott, Buddy Murphy, Santana Garrett, Lana, Matt Martel, Chase Parker, Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Ariya Daivari, Killian Dain, Marina Shafir, Sunil Singh, Samir Singh, Curt Stallion, August Grey, Arturo Ruas, Tony Nese, Tino Sabbatelli, Ric Flair, Jeff Jarrett, Tom Phillips, Adnan Virk, Canyon Ceman, Bronson Reed, Mercedes Martinez, Bobby Fish, Jake Atlas, Leon Ruff, Kona Reeves, Tyler Rust, Ari Sterling, Asher Hale, Giant Zanjeer, Zechariah Smith, Desmond Troy, Stephon Smith