Daniel Bryan v John Cena
The Rebirth of the American Dragon?
Sunday, August 18th 2013 marks a momentous day in the history of professional wrestling. WWE’s ‘biggest party of the summer’ rolls into the Staples Center once again with SummerSlam and on paper the show looks immense. It seems that each year WWE have an inside joke in the office where they make SummerSlam look like it’s going to be absolutely incredible but then the actual show is something of a let down match wise. But this year I think it will live up to the hype.
I think this because the main event is one that any true professional wrestling fan should be foaming at the mouth to see: the 12 time reigning and defending WWE Champion John Cena will face off against Daniel Bryan in the main event (surely?) of the show. Any one who has read this blog will know that I’m a huge Bryan mark, he’s probably the main reason that I still fully enjoy wrestling today.
For the record, I think that WWE’s Pay Per Views this year have been awesome since WrestleMania. Extreme Rules was great, Payback was surprisingly awesome and Money In The Bank showed once again that it’s the newest member of the ‘Big Four’. I fully expect WWE to carry on with this roll of great shows. But I am really looking forward to that match. I feel it really does represent a paradigm shift within WWE. In 2011, CM Punk shot through the McMahon glass ceiling and propelled himself into the main event echelon of WWE. But since WrestleMania 28 there has been a storm brewing in WWE. In the opening match, Daniel Bryan lost to Sheamus in 18 seconds. But the crowd weren’t having that and they started chanting a simple word: No!
You see, Bryan is on the cusp of something truly special. Here we have one of the most talented professional wrestlers to ever walk the earth and he’s possibly about to achieve immortality in California. If Bryan wins, he becomes WWE Champion. But not just that, he has to do it by beating John Cena. And unlike with CM Punk, where the entire angle was seized upon by the corporate side of WWE which led to Punk becoming everything that he claimed to hate, Bryan’s rise to the top has been almost completely organic.
Bryan isn’t where he is because of politics, buy rates or merchandise. Though I’m sure Bryan’s links to Shawn Michaels and his awesome shirts help. Bryan is at the level he’s at because the crowd demanded it. For months and months Bryan would be the most over guy on the show while he was part of Team Hell No with Kane. Every night he’d go out and have the match of the night. But he was always seen as small time. A crazy man with a wild beard. A joke.
But sometime in April 2013 all this changed. Team Hell No’s series of matches with The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) were at such an incredible level that Bryan somehow did the impossible and got even more over. It’s not just the vocal minority of internet smarks who are chanting for the man from the same town as Kurt Cobain. Every component of the WWE Universe is fully behind D Bry. From children to old men, from soccer moms to investment bankers. It’s everyone. For weeks and weeks Bryan has been drawing a response that we truthfully haven’t really heard since the beginning of the 2000’s.
And the best thing about it is that Bryan deserves every bit of success that he’s getting. He’s just that damn good. For over ten years Bryan has been at the top of his game when it comes to the ring. He’s practically flawless between the ropes. I’m expecting a great match tonight. I don’t give a damn what anyone wants to say about John Cena, he’s a great wrestler. Put him in there with the American Dragon, give them thirty minutes and lets watch them tear that bitch down.