Daniel Bryan has officially been cleared to come out of retirement by the WWE.
The former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion has been sidelined as the Smackdown Live general manager for nearly two years, after suffering a series of concussions that were thought to have ended his career.
However, WWE announced on Tuesday (March 20) that a team of neurologists and concussion experts have medically cleared the leader of the Yes Movement to return to the ring.
The WWE says that, prior to this decision being reached, Bryan submitted to a battery of neurological and physical examinations in order to ensure that it was safe for him to wrestle.
Few fans will forget the night in February 2016 when Daniel Bryan brought fans around the world to tears by announcing his retirement live on WWE Monday Night Raw.
“I am grateful,” he told viewers through tears. “I am grateful because of wrestling, I got to meet the most wonderful woman in the world [wife Brie Bella], who’s beautiful, she’s smart, and she completes me in a way that I didn’t even think was possible, and that’s because of wrestling. I am grateful.
“I am grateful because I get to come out here in front of what I feel is my hometown fans, I get to announce my retirement in front of a bunch of people who love me, right? That special moment that I had with my dad, I get to share this moment with my mom, with my sister, with my family, with my friends.
“I get to share that with them, I get to share that with you, I get to share it with my wife in the back, I get to share it with all these wonderful human beings that I have spent the last 15 years of my life with. I am grateful.”
Two years on from that stirring retirement speech, Bryan is likely grateful that his fortunes have been reversed, and it’s now possible for him to step back into the squared circle just in time for WrestleMania 34 on April 8.
(Shane McMahon on WWE SmackDown Live)
It’s not clear yet what Bryan’s return to the active roster will mean for Smackdown Live, since the show’s commissioner Shane McMahon recently announced that he’ll be taking an extended hiatus from WWE.