All Elite Wrestling have been in talks with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk for some time, reports Dave Meltzer on today's episode of Wrestling Observer Radio.
Meltzer was following up on a trio of reports: two from Bodyslam's Cassidy Haynes on Bryan signing with AEW and potential debut plans, plus Fightful's revelation that Punk is in talks for an in-ring comeback. While he couldn't confirm that either man has inked a deal with AEW yet, Meltzer said he wouldn't be surprised if Bryan, in particular, had done so.
With Bryan, AEW's working agreement with New Japan Pro Wrestling is critical. While many factors will go into any decision on his wrestling future, he is particularly keen to work in NJPW, with whom AEW are collaborating with. WWE's Nick Khan was previously in negotiations to form a NJPW/WWE relationship, seemingly motivated by a desire to entice Bryan to stay - but it appears the AEW agreement is as strong as ever.
This deal makes AEW the favourite to land Bryan. Meltzer stated that if it wasn't for the COVID-19 pandemic, he feels Daniel would already be working for the promotion.
Bryan hasn't wrestled since losing a title vs. career match to Roman Reigns on 30 April.