In kayfabe, Daniel Bryan has been "banished" from SmackDown, following a loss Friday night to Universal champion Roman Reigns. With Bryan making several recent statements regarding an urge to work other places (in conjunction with being under contract to WWE), many wonder what Bryan's future in the business holds.
Speaking with TV Line, Bryan discussed his contractual status with WWE, noting that his contract doesn't actually expire in September as many assume (though he didn't reveal its official expiry date). He also admits he's not sure what's next for him in wrestling. As he turns 40 later this month, Bryan ponders the toll that wrestling has taken on his body so far.
"I had a tag team match on SmackDown last Friday, and it was a lot of fun, but my neck was just wrecked," Bryan admitted. "I’m going to be 40 in May and my daughter likes to get on my shoulders to pick leaves from a Japanese maple in front of our house [and he couldn’t this time due to the pain]. You get to that point where it’s like, how long can I do this full-time and still be able to do those kinds of things with my daughter? What’s the right balance between part-time and that sort of thing? It may be that it’s just every once in a while when the urge strikes, or maybe like a schedule where it’s like eight months on, these months off."
In regards to the amount of work he's willing and able to do going forward, Bryan added, "One of the coolest things about wrestling, and just be being an independent contractor in general, is that you can say, “Well, I really only want to do this amount of work.” What that amount of work is, I have no idea yet. I still have to figure it out. But I also need to be respectful of the people who are relying on me to go to work. I have to give them an answer sooner rather than later.
"I’m trying to figure that out, trying to be responsible as an employee of somebody who’s taken care of our family very well. But then also, trying to take the time to figure it out."