RUMOR: AEW reportedly has signed Bryan Danielson

According to a report from Cassidy Haynes of BodySlam.net, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) has signed with AEW, with a source describing him as “100% locked in.”

It was further reported that Bryan was looking for a reduced work schedule for comparable money he was making in WWE.  It is also being said he was also looking for creative input regarding his character and the opportunity to work in New Japan Pro Wrestling. 

According to the BodySlam report, both conditions were met. 

In a second report from BodySlam Bryan’s AEW debut is scheduled for the AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam show that will take place at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.  It was further stated that Bryan’s debut is being saved for the Queens show so AEW can wrap up plans going into the All Out pay-per-view. However, it was further noted that plans could be change, with reports of CM Punk possibly signing with AEW.  as potentially moving up (or back) Bryan’s debut.

Bryan first signed a deal with WWE in August 2009 and made his debut in a dark match on the January 4, 2010 episode of Raw, defeated Chavo Guerrero. After he was briefly released, due to the neck tie incident with then ring announcer Justin Roberts, he returned at SummerSlam 2010 as a surprise entrant. 

His last appearance for WWE was the April 30 SmackDown, when he lost to Roman Reigns in a WWE Universal Championship match on SmackDown, with the stipulation, that a loss would have him (Bryan) banished from SmackDown.  We reported on May 5 that Bryan’s contract expired, and WWE was pushing hard for him to sign a new deal.  

In a separate report from PWInsider, WWE has no internal discussions about Bryan returning to the company, and that he was not on the list of plans for merchandising, licensing and action figures to be released by Mattel.