Daniel Bryan Returns: Latest Rumors and Preview for WWE SmackDown March 20

Credit: WWE.com

Daniel Bryan’s job will be to quell the chaos that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens created on WWE SmackDown.

Last week, commissioner Shane McMahon announced he would be taking a leave of absence. KO and Zayn ushered him out in violent fashion, dragging him through the arena and beating him down. Now, the returning general manager has to deal with the aftermath.

Bryan has sided with the heel duo in the past. That’s not likely to be the case here as he now has a pair of dangerous insurgents on his hands.

Dallas will host WWE action for the second night in a row as Bryan deals with Owens and Zayn and SmackDown continues to build toward WrestleMania 34.

The United States Championship and SmackDown tag title pictures promise to be in the spotlight. WWE will look to add hype for the WrestleMania bouts featuring Asuka, AJ Styles and others.

News updates, the SmackDown preview on WWE.com and storyline projections help paint an early picture of what’s set to unfold on Tuesday’s show when it airs starting at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.

News, Rumors

Rey Mysterio signing with Nashville-based promotion Aro Lucha doesn’t mean that he’s not returning to WWE. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported: “The company is still moving forward with plans to speak with Mysterio about a potential new deal going forward.”

Both sides are running out of time if they are to get something done before WrestleMania.

Styles, who is set to defend the WWE Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura at The Show of Shows, may need to take it easy leading up to the big event. Johnson noted for PWInsider: “Styles is dealing with an injury, although we have not confirmed the nature of the issue.”

One can presumably expect more talking segments from Styles rather than in-ring action over the next weeks in that case. WWE isn’t going to want to jeopardize one of its top bouts.

While slim, there’s still a chance SmackDown’s GM will take part in a marquee match of his own.

On whether he would be involved in a WrestleMania showdown featuring Owens and McMahon, Bryan told The National in the United Arab Emirates: “I don’t know and I don’t think they know. I think it all depends on whether or not I get cleared.”

Dave Meltzer noted on Figure Four Online: “There has been movement over the past month and protocols that have taken place. There are new doctors who have cleared him in recent months after his belief that his brain has responded favorably to hyperbaric chamber treatment.”

The door isn’t closed on Bryan returning to the ring then, even if it’s only the slightest bit ajar.

SmackDown Streaks

The Bludgeon Brothers looked unstoppable once more. The hammer-wielding bruisers steamrolled Jimmy Uso and Big E last week in their latest display of dominance.

With the win, Harper and Rowan extended their streak to 11 matches without a loss, per CageMatch.net. That includes a 4-0 mark on SmackDown in 2018 so far.

Naomi, meanwhile, has fallen on hard times record-wise. 

The former SmackDown women’s champ lost to Carmella last week and pushed her winless stretch to five matches, per CageMatch.net. She’s only 1-5 in her last six SmackDown contests. She has minimal momentum ahead of the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal.

Marching Closer to WrestleMania

Jinder Mahal is forcing his way into the United States Championship picture.

Bobby Roode is due a rematch against Randy Orton for the title, but this is clearly not a two-man race. Mahal has hung around both men and gotten physically involved several times.

A Triple Threat match is brewing, something that may become official Tuesday.

As of last week, Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship is on the WrestleMania card. The Empress of Tomorrow invaded the blue brand to get some face time with the champ.

Expect more interactions between the two women. WWE will look to increase the animosity between them and build up the bout. 

The Bludgeon Brothers are poised to earn a crack at the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Not only have Harper and Rowan rolled through the competition, they have given the champs personal reasons to come after them.

At Fastlane, The Bludgeon Brothers laid out both The New Day and The Usos. Those teams are now suffering (storyline) injuries as a result. 

The hunt for revenge is sure to begin soon.

Styles and Nakamura will be opponents at WrestleMania, but on last week’s SmackDown, they were allies. Nakamura chased away Rusev and Aiden English, who looked to assault The Phenomenal One. 

Look for Styles and Nakamura’s relationship to continue to shift ahead of their title clash.

Bryan stepped away from his GM duties for a few weeks. In his absence, Owens and Zayn have continued to upend the show. 

The former world champion now has to make things right as fans watch on wondering if he is going to wrestle again. The issues between SmackDown’s authority figures and KO and Zayn have been prominent for months.

We’ll soon found out what that translates to in terms of WrestleMania.