Ever since Daniel Bryan’s WWE contract had expired, he had not made any public statement and it would even seem that the WWE had no interest in bringing him back as he wasn’t in any of the discussion the WWE had for several months and he also was not brought up when discussions of Stars listed for merch, licensing and future action figure releases by Mattel was made.
Cassidy Haynes of BodySlam.net reported that Daniel Bryan has signed with All Elite Wrestling, with a source saying that he is “100% locked in.” The report also stated that Bryan has been wanting to work a more relaxed and reduced schedule for the same amount of money he was making in WWE and that he was also looking to have some creative input on his character and the opportunity to work in Japan, which were all reportedly met.
According to Dave Meltzer on a recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Radio Program, one of, if not the biggest factor in Daniel Bryan choosing to sign with AEW is the company’s relationship with NJPW. Meltzer also noted that he is not sure if Bryan has officially signed with AEW, but everything so far indicates that the deal is done.
When Daniel Bryan was still working for WWE, he made his intentions perfectly clear that he wanted to wrestle people outside of the WWE like ROH Pure Champion Jonathan Gresham and AEW Star Jungle Boy. He also has reportedly been open in wanting to work with other pro wrestling companies.
WWE reportedly had talks with NJPW for a possibly working relationship, which was done to allow Bryan to work for both pro wrestling promotions, but there has not been any updates to those discussions as AEW has been continuing to work with NJPW due to their already existing working relationship. Bryan’s AEW debut is reportedly set to take place on the September 22nd Grand Slam episode of Dynamite in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.
This is what Dave Meltzer said:
“As far as Bryan Danielson goes, I’m pretty sure that whatever decision…I mean there are a lot of factors that are going into whatever decision he would make and it was New Japan, AEW, and WWE.”
“I don’t think he didn’t consider anybody else. He has loyalty to WWE and Vince McMahon and has a lot of friends in WWE. At the same time, in the end, the company who had the relationship with New Japan was going to be the favorite to get him.”
You can check out Dave Meltzer’s comments below: