Daniel Bryan’s WWE contract legitimately expired on Friday, April 30, according to several sources. The news was first reported by Fightful Select and confirmed by Dave Meltzer.
On Friday, Bryan lost a match to Roman Reigns with the stipulation that he would be “barred” from SmackDown if he lost.
According to PWInsider, WWE and Bryan are still in talks for a new contract and Dave Meltzer says that WWE “is pushing hard for him to sign a new deal.”
Bryan has been moved to the “alumni” section on WWE.com and has also been removed from WWE’s internal roster, with no current creative plans for him, PWInsider says.
Bryan signed his most recent contract with WWE in September 2018.
In an interview with TVLine last week, Bryan talked about his contract status and his wish to no longer wrestle full time:
It’s funny that people gravitate towards the date “September,” and I think it’s because that’s when my last contract ended, but it doesn’t end in September. I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like… I had a tag team match on SmackDown last Friday, and it was a lot of fun, but my neck was just wrecked. I’m going to be 40 in May and my daughter likes to get on my shoulders to pick leaves from a Japanese maple in front of our house. You get to that point where it’s like, how long can I do this full-time and still be able to do those kinds of things with my daughter? What’s the right balance between part-time and that sort of thing?
It may be that it’s just every once in a while when the urge strikes, or maybe like a schedule where it’s like eight months on, these months off. One of the coolest things about wrestling, and just be being an independent contractor in general, is that you can say, “Well, I really only want to do this amount of work.” What that amount of work is, I have no idea yet. I still have to figure it out. But I also need to be respectful of the people who are relying on me to go to work. I have to give them an answer sooner rather than later. I’m trying to figure that out, trying to be responsible as an employee of somebody who’s taken care of our family very well. But then also, trying to take the time to figure it out.