— Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Daniel Bryan underwent testing prior to the Royal Rumble in hopes of being cleared by WWE doctors. However, that obviously did not happen so Bryan then tried to get his release from WWE but was told that he had no right to ask for one.
— The story goes that much like Rey Mysterio before him, Bryan’s contract has essentially been “frozen” for the amount of time he has been sidelined or in other words, the time he has been out of action has been added to the end of his contract as an extension. Bryan – while already been cleared by at least two independent doctors – was likely hoping to gain his release so he could wrestle for another promotion.
— There is also some speculation that tonight’s announcement could end up being a storyline, but by all accounts, his retirement is legitimate. Furthermore, it appears that the retirement is likely Bryan’s own idea as opposed to something being forced upon him by management.
— The only way Bryan can return to WWE in an active wrestling capacity is if he’s cleared by WWE physician, Dr. Joseph Maroon and Maroon has yet to do that.