Daniel Bryan misses competing in the ring. He tries not to show it as he fulfills his duties as SmackDown Live general manager. But this is a man who had been Wrestling since the age of 18, giving his all in the ring to entertain audiences around the world, but unfortunately forced to retire in February of this year at the tender age of 34. His retirement came about as WWE doctors steadfastly refused to clear him to return to the ring, even as outside doctors greenlighted his would-be comeback from a bad concussion. And while it still may be wishful thinking at this point, Bryan’s recent angle with The Miz may point to a potential return to the ring.

The Miz’s finest moment, regardless if it was a shoot or a worked shoot

In Tuesday’s episode of Talking Smack, a SmackDownpost-show segment exclusive to the WWE Network, WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz was the evening’s guest, joining Renee Young and Bryan for what initially looked like a run-of-the-mill interview. Things did get very, very heated, however, when Bryan called out The Miz, who “wrestles like a coward” who is afraid to get hit.

While Bryan praised Miz for fighting a good match against Apollo Crews at SummerSlam, he stressed that he’s not a fan of the way Miz wrestles, and that the former The Real World star and Tough Enough hopeful epitomizes the “soft WWE style” that serves as the antithesis of Bryan’s high-risk move set.

This set The Miz off, and he was virtually unstoppable as he threw back the accusations of cowardice at Bryan, saying that his safe style allowed him to wrestle for over a decade in WWE without getting injured, and that Bryan broke his promise to return to the ring by announcing his retirement earlier this year. Bryan only managed a soft comeback referencing WWE’s decision not to clear him, and Miz fired back by daring his former NXT rookie to “quit and go to the bingo halls” with his fellow indie-style wrestlers.

When Bryan, having gone through all that rage from The Miz, walked out of the Talking Smack set, not a few wrestling fans saw it as an unscripted “shoot” where two men from different schools of wrestling let loose with their derisive opinions of each other’s style. But others saw it as a “worked shoot,” a storyline argument that’s designed to build up for something. Is that something a WWE comeback for the currently-retired Bryan?

Bryan comeback a longshot, but nowa possibility

Going back to the earlier point, there’s seemingly nothing that Daniel Bryan wants more than to wrestle once again.

Earlier this month, he admitted to having a “horrible mental breakdown” soon after his forced retirement, and even if you consider he’s been wrestling since he graduated from high school, 34 is still a very young age for a pro wrestler to retire. A comeback wouldn’t be implausible if one merely considers Bryan’s age, but the WWE is very serious about protecting concussed wrestlers, especially in the aftermath of the Chris Benoit murder-suicide of 2007, where it was found that Benoit had the brain of an 80-year-old man and severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) due to repeated concussions.

Be that as it may, a Daniel Bryan comeback is still improbable, but it’s no longer impossible, given what could be extreme storyline friction with The Miz. It wouldn’t be surprising if Bryan is given one final feud and a couple more matches, and maybe a shot at Miz’s Intercontinental belt as part of the storyline that may have been kickstarted at Talking Smack on Tuesday. This, of course, would require Bryan to wrestle a much safer style, but that would still be something worth watching, should WWE give it the thumbs-up, maybe sooner rather than later.

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