Popular professional wrestler Daniel Bryan has been stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after an investigation revealed he does not have a valid license to operate the forklift he used to win a recent match.
Bryan had seemingly defended his championship against Kane in a fierce contest at Sunday’s Extreme Rules event, but the decision was reversed after he failed to produce a forklift operator’s license.
World Wrestling Entertainment’s strict Rules Committee invoked a little-known bylaw regarding the use of heavy machinery, citing the precedent of Steve Austin’s unlicensed use of a zamboni and beer truck.
Bryan intends to appeal the decision, insisting that he had received personal forklift training from Mick Foley, who once used a forklift in an ill-conceived empty arena match.
Bryan’s appeal to the WWE Rules Committee will, however, likely be mired in red tape for months as the committee continues investigating the longstanding question of whether Corporal Kirchner’s army boots are legal ring attire.
Newly crowned WWE Champion Kane, meanwhile, has taken the championship belt back to his home under the ring.