WWE is passing off the neck surgery that Daniel Bryan is facing Thursday as well short of being a big deal, but there is concern in the locker room that it might be more than a big deal, and possibly career-ending.
Bryan reportedly has a broken bone in his neck, but WWE is suggesting that the procedure to repair the injury will not be invasive, and that Bryan, the current WWE champion, should be back in 6-8 weeks. That could be overly optimistic, though, according to some insiders, who feel that the situation could reach a point where not only could Bryan have to give up the WWE title, but may not be able to work in-ring at all, or at the least at the same level that he has to this point in his career.
Unlike a big guy like a Batista or Ryback, Bryan, listed at 5’10”, 210 pounds, is practically worthless in the ring as a ground-based guy. Case in point: the flying headbutt off the forklift at Extreme Rules that some feel may have contributed to or worsened his neck condition. Bryan has a nice submission game, but without the headbutts and flying knees to get bigger opponents to the ground, he’s a pip squeak trying to throw much bigger men around, which is not at all believable.
– Column by Chris Graham