The following story was broken on our Elite section overnight. If you want to get all of the news first, you can join our Elite section by clicking here.
Former WWE star Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson, the name we'll have to get used to calling him by again) was released today as punishment for going beyond the company's PG standards and practices during the NXT invasion angle on Monday, according to sources within the company. The belief among those I spoke to is that when Danielson choked Justin Roberts with his tie, he broke a company protocol that was put in place after the Benoit tragedy that talents were not to use ropes or objects to choke opponents.
I am told that the final decision was made earlier today and Danielson was informed shortly before the company publicly announced it. For those who are thinking this is an angle, I am told by everyone I have spoken to that it is not, although I want to point out a number of wrestlers in the company do believe it is a work.
For those who are wondering why the company is giving Danielson such a harsh punishment, well a former company executive is running for office, although how much of a cause and effect is there is anyone's guess. It's certainly a viable theory, since the company has been very gun shy about going outside of their PG rating.
There's no word as to whether Danielson was aware of the protocol at the time of the angle, although the Roberts choking was one of the elements that made the end of Raw so memorable. It's interesting to note that at least on the company's Youtube.com channel, the incident, including the choke, are still available for viewing.
The loss of Danielson will immediately change the future of the WWE NXT angle since he was considered the most versatile and well rounded performer of the group and would have been extremely important in carry the brunt of the in-ring work load.
The release of Danielson does put him in an amazing position on the independent scene. How many top flight stars get signed, leave, and get released right after laying out the WWE champion?
We'll have more on this as it develops.