As we noted, Bryan lost the big career title match against WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns on Friday at SmackDown and as per the stipulation he is now banned from the Blue Mark. Bryan was quickly transferred to the WWE Alumni roster after the show.
In an update, Fightful Select reports that multiple sources inside and outside of WWE have indicated that Bryan’s contract with WWE expired last week or was due to expire last week following the loss of Reigns. . Senior sources noted that they had heard about the contract expiring, but Bryan had not spoken openly about the status of his contract, at least they were aware of it.
There was also no particular goodbye backstage on SmackDown as if Bryan wasn’t going to move forward, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those goodbyes didn’t happen in private.
It should be noted that this does not mean that Bryan is leaving WWE, or has not signed again since last week, or that he will not work for WWE without being under contract. Bryan is said to have said he did unconventional work with WWE and for WWE, as he spoke about in recent interviews. The only thing that has been confirmed at this point by Fightful is that several people within WWE had heard that Bryan’s deal expired last week.
Bryan has opened up about his future in WWE and his possible transition to part-time talent for a few months now in media interviews. He spoke to TV Line just before the game with Reigns and responded to reports that his WWE contract was expiring later this year.
“It’s funny that people gravitate towards the ‘September’ date, and I think that’s because that’s where my last contract ended, but it doesn’t end in September,” he said. revealed Bryan. “I’m still trying to figure out what it looks like.”
Bryan continued in this interview and talked about his future.
“I had a tag team game at SmackDown (recently) and it was a lot of fun,” he said. “But my neck was destroyed. I will be 40 in May and my daughter loves to shoulder my shoulders to pick Japanese maple leaves in front of our house. You get to this point where it’s like, how long can I do this full time and still be able to do this stuff with my daughter? What’s the right balance between part-time and that sort of thing? It could be just once in a while when the urge is on, or maybe like a schedule where it’s like eight months, those months off.
“One of the coolest things about wrestling, and just being an independent contractor in general, is that you can say, ‘Well, I just really want to do this volume of work.’ What is this amount of work, I have no idea yet. I have yet to find out. But I also have to be respectful of the people who rely on me to go to work. I must give them an answer as soon as possible. I’m trying to figure that out, trying to be responsible as an employee of someone who takes very good care of our family. But also, by trying to take the time to understand it.
Stay tuned for more on Bryan’s status in WWE. He hasn’t made any public comment since last Friday’s loss to Reigns.