Scenario #4 - It's pretty much all a work, not leading anywhere, and is just being used to get "buzz" for Talking Smack and Smackdown, as a whole: Sadly, this is probably the most likely of all the scenarios. Are a lot of the emotions displayed on Talking Smack coming from a real place? Of course they are. Are there some truths being told behind all of the anger and bravado? Most definitely. However, Bryan's injuries are far more complex than, say, a broken bone or a torn ligament. It's not something to take lightly, and it's not something you can just come back from with a few months of working out extra hard in the gym and at physical therapy sessions. He had to walk away from in-ring competition for a reason, and that reason doesn't just come and go like a bad headache. Short of the aforementioned advances in science and technology, it's tough to envision a situation where any of WWE's doctors allow Bryan to compete again. Fans of his that haven't already come to terms with these facts probably need to start soon, or they're going to set themselves up for a lot of disappointment in the future.
Scenario #5 - This is going to lead to a turn for either Bryan or The Miz: While I don't believe this is a viable option, I have seen it discussed on social media, so I'm including it here. I've seen one scenario discussed that leads to a heel turn for Bryan, and one that leads to a face turn for The Miz. I know, I know... just roll with it for right now.
The Miz face turn idea is pretty simple. It just sees Miz fighting and scrapping, doing everything he can to prove that the things Daniel Bryan says about him are false, eventually leading Bryan to respect him, and in turn, portions of the WWE Universe to respect him, as well.
The Bryan heel turn is just a little less sane, but this is the way I saw it described... Bryan continues to throw obstacle after obstacle in Miz's path, only for Miz to overcome them all, which leads to Miz earning a one-on-one WWE Title shot at some big event like SummerSlam. During the match, we get a ref bump or some other type of shenanigans, which leads to Bryan coming out in an attempt to set things straight, only to hand Miz a foreign object or deliver some kind of kick to his opponent, etc. Forget the fact that Shane McMahon, as Smackdown's Commissioner, would probably overturn the match result, fire Bryan and make Miz start back at the bottom somewhere. Forget the fact that nobody wants to see Daniel Bryan in a heel role, let alone a heel authority figure role. Forget all of that. I'm merely passing along the things I get to see on social media.
Forgetting about possible scenarios for a minute, I hope this isn't leading to any type of in-ring return for Daniel Bryan. I've long since given up on those hopes and dreams. If it were some sort of an angle, he would have returned by now, obviously. The fact that he hasn't wrestled in two years now screams out everything you need to know. I hate to use this term again, but barring those major advances in science and technology, providing what amounts to a miracle, I don't want to see him return. I have no desire to watch one of my all-time favorite professional wrestlers die in the middle of the ring because he was too stubborn to walk away and stay away. Any week now, he is set to become a father for the first time. How selfish does one have to be to roll the dice on your own life like that when you have a wife and a child to take care of? It would be a dumb decision if he was single with no children. Being in the situation he's in now exponentially increases how stupid a decision it would be to return to the ring.
When Talking Smack first started, I was telling friends of mine that I thought it was all going to end up being pointless. The stuff with Bryan and Miz was entertaining, and it was going to keep people tuning in, but it wasn't ever going to go anywhere further than that, and it's going to make a lot of people sad, at best, and at worst, mad. I just don't see any way Bryan wrestles in a WWE ring again, and God help her, but I would hope that Brie Bella can talk (or slap) some sense into her husband if he's even thinking about wrestling somewhere next year when his contract is up.
We'll always have the WWE Network and independent DVDs.
We'll always have *points at sign* WrestleMania 30.