This Week in Wrestling: 2/8/16

The Daniel Bryan Saga Continues...
The Daniel Bryan Saga Continues…

EDIT: Daniel Bryan as of early Monday afternoon has officially retired from wrestling. He announced over Twitter he will be on RAW to further elaborate.

With WrestleMania looming closer and closer, it’s becoming more and more apparent that we may never see Daniel Bryan wrestle again. As per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Daniel Bryan had indeed asked for his release at one point, but WWE blocked him from doing that. Essentially because of his injury, his contract legally binds him to WWE until at the very least he’s medically cleared by WWE doctors.

As we all know by now, Daniel Bryan’s been out for an extended period of time due to a career-threatening concussion. However, other than the WWE doctors, lead by Dr. Joseph Maroon, Bryan’s been medically cleared by outside doctors, in particular the staff from UCLA and also the staff from the Arizona Cardinals. One can wonder that since Dr. Maroon was so heavily featured and villainized in the recent film, Concussion, there’s a sense of protection going on here with the doctor. The fear’s obviously that if he clears Bryan too soon, his entire reputation (or what’s left of it in the eyes of many) could be ruined.

There’s also the problem that WWE has clearly not handled this entire situation very well, it’s been nothing but bad PR on their side when it’s come to this issue. It’s very obvious Vince McMahon and company have not communicated this well at all to Bryan, nor have they offered him any options to keep him busy, other than being depressed on Total Divas. If the injury truly is as serious as Dr. Maroon must think it is, then why has Bryan been seeking outside opinions? Why is he not accepting the opinion of not only the company he works for, which is also the largest wrestling company in the world, but why isn’t he accepting the opinions of a supposedly high-level medical staff?

Only time will tell and this year’s WrestleMania will be a good place to get a pretty good idea of what Daniel Bryan’s future will be.

Finn Balor on the Injured List?
Finn Balor on the Injured List?

Over the weekend, Finn Balor appeared to have injured his ankle during an NXT live event. It’s unclear how serious the injury is, but given his appearance on the following live event, it doesn’t look to be more than a sprain.

The following event, Balor still appeared though on crutches, with Bayley coming out to his entrance, doing it in full as well. He was in the ring with her and even took a few half-falls. Clearly if he was seriously injured they wouldn’t let him even go out to the ring and risk aggravating the injury, so it’s likely just a sprain, or something not too serious.

Most of the tapings leading up to NXT Takeover: Dallas have already been completed anyways, so the timing couldn’t be better all things considered. As long as Balor is healed up by then, everything should be fine.

NXT Talent Released
NXT Talent Released

A number of NXT developmental talent was released over the weekend, the three notable names on that list were Marcus Louis, Sylvester LeFort and Bull Dumpsey.

It’s not surprising to see any of them go, none of them were being used and were not connecting with the crowd, albeit Dempsey had a small run with the BullFit gimmick.

I’m wondering if because we’re seeing a lot more high-end talent coming into NXT that they’re starting to trim the roster down to make way for them. Obviously if you’ve been keeping up with the tapings and the spoilers, Shinsuke Nakamura will be reporting to NXT, his debut match being against Sami Zayn at NXT Takeover: Dallas. With Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows still possibly coming to NXT to join the Balor Club, you have to speculate that perhaps this is just thinning out the roster to accommodate the new signings. After all, there’s already a ton of people in the developmental system, I’m sure WWE’s not willing to be shelling out money hand over fist for people they’re not using.

Oh wait, Fandango and other “Superstars” are still on the main roster…

Rey Mysterio's Lucha Underground Debut
Rey Mysterio’s Lucha Underground Debut

While it wasn’t an in-ring debut, we finally got what we were waiting for, visual confirmation of Rey Mysterio in Lucha Underground.

At the end of Episode 2, we hear that familiar voice talking to another character and in the end, finally see that familiar mask and face of the legendary luchador. I’m super excited to see how he performs in a promotion like Lucha Underground where the chains are off for everyone.

Axl Rotten Dead at 44
Axl Rotten Dead at 44

And unfortunately this week we end with a death in the wrestling community. Brian Knighton aka Axl Rotten passed away at the age of 44.

I don’t know much about him as I was really young during ECW’s heyday, but I did know of him and probably saw a couple matches involving him that ECW put on the odd time I managed to watch the program.

My condolences to his family and friends, he will be sorely missed.

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