Daniel Bryan’s WWE contract expired several months back and he has been away from pro wrestling since with his final WWE match taking place on the April 30th episode of Friday Night SmackDown against WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, which was a Career vs. Title Match. It was then expected that Daniel Bryan will re-sign with the WWE and remain with them in some capacity as the WWE was believed to have had talks with NJPW, which was one of the factors that would have made Daniel Bryan stay, but reports indicated that Bryan has already made a decision of signing with AEW.
Bodyslam.net first reported that Daniel Bryan is “100% locked in” to be going to AEW and that his AEW debut was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 22 on the Grand Slam special episode of AEW Dynamite from Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. It was then reported that Bryan’s AEW debut is now set to take place earlier than originally scheduled and that is at this Sunday’s All Out PPV.
Dave Meltzer noted on a recent edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the big surprise for this Sunday’s All Out PPV, Daniel Bryan, is “100& locked in” to be making his AEW debut Sunday night, which multiple AEW sources have confirmed. Meltzer also noted that if Bryan does not debut on Sunday, then it would be due to a change in plans.
Newly-signed AEW Star CM Punk has been dropping hints and teases for weeks now that Bryan is debuting for the company soon. An in-ring segment took place last Wednesday on Dynamite, where CM Punk reacted to the crowd chanting “YES” and told them that those chants were somebody else’s shtick and that they just need to be patient and wait for a little bit longer, which could be considered a confirmation of Daniel Bryan signing with AEW. Punk also said during an interview that if he were to come back to pro wrestling, then the one guy that he would want to face is Daniel Bryan.