Views From The Turnbuckle: Cena VS Bryan Preview, Trying To Predict The Unpredictable
The biggest hindrance to John Cena's title reign so far has been the predictability of this matches. His title defenses against Ryback and Mark Henry have hardly been surprising, they more or less involved a larger opponent beating down Cena for most of the match, only for Cena to inevitably make his heroic comeback and finish off the challenger. This is a formula that the WWE has utilized for years with Cena, and only with the right opponent can a different approach be taken.
Fortunately for fans, Daniel Bryan is the right opponent, someone in the mold of CM Punk or Randy Orton, who is so talented in the ring that they can elevate Cena to another level. Bryan has shown the ability to get a good match out of even the most hapless of opponents, so the quality of the match Sunday shouldn't be in question.
The big reason this match is exciting is because unlike Cena's matches at Extreme Rules, Payback and Money in the Bank, the outcome is entirely in question. Mark Henry, and certainly Ryback, lacked the overall popularity to be considered a long term WWE Champion. To knock off John Cena, the WWE has to feel that you can put the company on your back for long stretches at a time, which is one of the reason Cena losses are so rare. Daniel Bryan has firmly established himself over the past year as someone that can do that, which makes him much more likely than the other contenders to take the title from John Cena.
To be the WWE Champion, and for the company to really get behind you as a performer, you really need to have two things. The first would be crowd support, and the support of the fans at events and watching at home. Bryan has certainly shown the ability to connect with crowds in a way that others simply cannot, which puts him in a great position to get plenty of opportunities. The second qualification is that you have to be a reliable performer. Bryan has avoided injury and outside trouble while he has been in the WWE, and coupled with his divine wrestling ability and his relative youth, he is really overqualified for the job.
With all that in Bryan's favor, it should be obvious who is going to win on Sunday right? Well, it normally would be, except that he is facing John Cena, someone whose losses are so rare that almost all of them are considered memorable. The times Cena has lost cleanly with no shenanigans over the past 8 years can probably be counted on Bart Simpson's fingers. It's hard to imagine him losing Sunday, and it is entirely possible that he could chainsaw his way through Daniel Bryan, even if the majority of the fan support was not for him being victorious.
A wild card that makes the match even more unpredictable is the insertion of the Mcmahon's and Triple H's budding feud into the title match. Vince McMahon has made it clear that he is not in favor of Daniel Bryan becoming champion, while HHH has made it equally clear that his father in-law will have to go through him if he were to try and screw Bryan. This extra twist sets up the match to have a non-clean finish, which can either go for or go against Bryan.
In my opinion, there is only one way that the WWE could possibly screw up this match, and that is if they have Vince McMahon screw Daniel Bryan. It has been reported that the WWE is very committed to having this VKM/HHH feud go all the way to Wrestlemania, where it would headline the event in some fashion. Vince McMahon has appeared on Raw recently, and the reactions from the fans have been somewhat lackluster. If Vince screws Bryan, he will receive a lot more heat, but it would also kill Daniel Bryan's momentum. Now is the perfect time to elevate Bryan into a permanent headliner, and a loss Sunday may cripple him from ever reaching that potential. In my opinion, it would be a radical move in a desperate attempt to get more heat on Vince, and I really hope that they don't go that route.
As if this all wasn't enough to comprehend, it has been teased recently that Randy Orton would cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase to take the WWE Title from whoever holds the belt. It is entirely unpredictable what will happen with Orton Sunday, as he is just as likely to sit on his hands and bide his time as he is to march down to the ring and defeat the champion. If Bryan were to knock off Cena, only to lose the belt to Orton seconds later, the reaction from the fans would be so fantastic that it just might destroy the IWC as a whole. Orton may very well be a full-blown heel come Sunday, so for him to pop in and swipe the title from the beloved Bryan would only aid him in his quest for heat, and a big-title win would shape him into the dominant heel that was so successful for him over the years.
These days, it seems all too often that the outcomes of championship matches are too easy to predict. Thankfully, for the first time since Wrestlemania, the WWE Title could realistically go either way, and the two wild cards of the McMahon's and of Randy Orton insure that the WWE Title match will have a fast and furious finish.
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