John Cena’s United States Championship Open Challenge has easily become one of the best things WWE has going each week. We didn’t get to see it on WWE RAW this past week, but the title will be on the line tonight at WWE Hell in a Cell. Several of WWE’s top young stars have answered the challenge, only to come close but never beat Cena.
Interestingly, there are only a few WWE NXT stars that have answered the call, and there are many others who could do so. According to the Wrestling Observer, there is a strong chance that NXT star Samoa Joe answers the challenge tonight. He’s in Sacramento, California, for an NXT event. Due to the WWE Hell in a Cell PPV being in Los Angeles, California, it would only take a short flight for him to be there. Or a long drive — they have enough time.
However, there are others who claim that Samoa Joe, Tyler Breeze, and even James Storm are all out of the running for such a move.
TNA star Kurt Angle is said to be in town, as well. While it is pretty obvious he cannot answer the challenge due to being under contract with TNA, his presence is still going to get some attention from fans.
The real contender for the challenge is said to be Daniel Bryan, who has been out with a concussion injury since the spring. He has reportedly been cleared by an independent neurologist for months now, but WWE has kept him back through their own personal neurologist. Daniel Bryan reportedly met with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and WWE Executive Triple H regarding his comeback. It was said that a third opinion would be sought out, and if that doctor were to clear Bryan, he would be allowed to return to action.
It appears as if he has indeed been cleared.
According to Scott Keith, the same man who reported the John Cena update on where he would be on his break as well as other news, Daniel Bryan could be set to answer the challenge. This is what was emailed to Keith and what he wrote on his website this morning.
“I landed in LA about 2 hours ago. It was a fairly empty flight, but one Bryan Danielson happened to be sitting a few seats in front of me. Yada Yada Yada, I feigned ignorance as to whom he was, chatted him up. I lied and said I was a neurologist and he told me that he had actually just been cleared from a concussion and was going back to work tomorrow. He didn’t tell me what he did, so it’s not as if he confirmed it, but it doesn’t take rocket appliance to put two and two together. Do with this info as you wish, worst case Ontario you post this email, I’m wrong, and Bix talks about how dumb you are for the Nth time.”
John Cena is set to leave WWE for a while by tomorrow on WWE RAW. This means that someone needs to take his spot as United States Champion, but also there is a need to replace his starpower. That is by no means an easy thing to do. However, Daniel Bryan is clearly very popular, and could help a good bit while John Cena is out.
It has been rumored ever since the public found out about Cena taking time off that Bryan would be coming back. The reason it has taken so long is because of WWE. He has been cleared, but they are super cautious these days due to the concussion lawsuit they are facing right now. If Bryan were to not be ready and would have come back too early, he might have gotten hurt and that would have destroyed WWE in court.
Many believe this is the main reason he has not been allowed to return, and it had virtually nothing to do with his safety, even though it was in doubt before he got cleared by another doctor. The doctor who saw Daniel Bryan worked the Super Bowl for the NFL and has seen many athletes, so this is not some guy in a shop outside of Seattle that would clear anyone who paid enough.
All of this being said, WWE still has nothing concrete set for tonight. Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe both could be up for the job, but if WWE feels one is best, then the other might be in town for no reason. All of this could also be a smoke screen so that the real challenger is kept a secret. WWE is not against doing this.[Images via WWE, YouTube]