10 WWE Stars Who Left And Returned More Badass

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.


If only we could include Daniel Bryan on this list.

Daniel Bryan returned to WWE in what was a genuinely magic moment on the March 20, 2018 SmackDown. He returned - initially - as a badass, selling for and fighting off the combined might of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn with such life-affirming electricity that one forgot, momentarily, that "Kami" were hardly a threat. An oddly structured WrestleMania 34 payoff followed, in which Bryan was attacked before the bell. It was an eye-rolling premonition of the events that followed; Bryan didn't return as a badass, but rather a Flanderised version of the Bryan we once knew. Opposed by a parade of giants, the message was clear: Bryan, a genuine polymath, was typecast as an underdog.

To intercept the incoming criticism: yes, as of Tuesday's SmackDown, The Miz feud is happening. That doesn't make any less deflating the preceding few months of boring Big Cass battles. Wrestling can be good all the time in different promotions. Only in WWE is mediocrity somehow accepted in the wilderness months before a Big 4 pay-per-view.

"Just wait."

Why wait?

But there is hope for Bryan yet - even on the evidence of WWE's dismal recent history...


Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!