Daniel Bryan may be forced to undergo a second operation, as his health condition is even worse than first feared.
Just two weeks after undergoing surgery on his neck for a sidelining injury, the former WWE heavyweight champion's condition is in even more doubt after a medical exam found he had serious shoulder injuries.
Bryan himself had previously admitted that his neck injury was worse than originally feared and could require a second operation, and this is the latest setback to his main event career.
After taking years to make it to WWE and substantial time since signing with the company to get over with fans and become the hottest babyface on the roster, it may all be snatched away from the 33-year old.
He seemingly had it all at WrestleMania XXX, when he won the WWE title after a prolonged, fairytale chase that culminated in one of the greatest 'Mania moments in the modern era when he lifted the cherished prize.
It was a heart-warming piece of wrestling history, which was arguably the pique of Bryan's time with WWE.
Certainly more so than his calamitous, half-baked feud with Kane over the title that followed the big event, and things went from bad to worse when he was diagnosed with a serious neck injury.
Severe enough to vacate the championship he had spent so long chasing, the injury could now turn out to be even more debilitating than initially thought.
If a second or even third operation is required, it would surely mean an even lengthier absence from competition, which could potentially stretch towards the back-end of 2014.
Roman Reigns has benefited
One man who has benefited from Bryan's injury at the top of the card is Roman Reigns - of The Shield - whose recent headline push was a result of the loss of the company's most white-hot babyface.
The strapping superstar's ascension would surely have been more of a slow-burner - in a similar manner to Bryan's - had there not been such a dirth in top line talent following the latter's injury.
Whilst it should be noted that Bryan's risky in-ring style could be a contributing factor to the injuries he has sustained - his diving headbutt being one such potentially dangerous move - it is the style the audience has become accustomed to.
The Washington-born superstar's biggest concern should be how he is booked by WWE if and when he does return from injury, as there is a risk his meteoric rise to the top and bond with the WWE Universe could be a distant memory.
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