Daniel Bryan has already announced that he will in fact participate in the 30-man over-the-top-rope battle royal at the Royal Rumble at the end of this month for a chance to be in the main event at WrestleMania 31. Bryan wrestled and won in last year’s main event at Wrestlemania 30, defeating Randy Orton and last year’s Royal Rumble winner, Batista.
Now WWE.com released a statement revealing that in addition to the big move for Smackdown going to Thursday night, it will also feature Daniel Bryan’s in-ring wrestling return as well.
“Will Danial Bryan compete when SmackDown makes its move to THURDAYS, this week at 8/7 CT on Syfy? Yes!
WWE.com has learned that the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion will make his in-ring return to action on Smackdown’s monumental Thursday night premiere. The news comes on the heels of Bryan’s announcement during the Dec. 29 edition of Raw that he would once again lace up his boots after a long-standing injury to battle in the 2015 Royal Rumble Match.
Who will “The Beard” face? Will he pick up right where he left off? And will The Authority have anything to say about it? Find out this Thursday night at 8/7 CT on SmackDown!”
Since the kayfabe firing of Dolph Ziggler, Eric Rowan and Ryback, the return of Bryan will help boost the faces in the fight against the newly reformed Authority. Bryan hasn’t competed in in-ring action since the main event of Extreme Rules last year when he defeated The Demon Kane with his WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line.
When Daniel Bryan left he had to vacate his title, which was won by John Cena at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Cena then lost the belt to a returning Brock Lesnar in an absolute beatdown in the main event of SummerSlam. Lesnar again defeated Cena at the following Night of Champions pay-per-view and now the belt will be decided once more between Cena and Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. However, “Mr. Money in the Bank” Seth Rollins is now involved, making it a triple threat contest.
Bryan’s first opponent back could go a long way in deciding who Daniel Bryan will feud with going into WrestleMania. Odds are, he will headline the event this Thursday night on Syfy.