Daniel Bryan vs John Cena was by far, the best match to take place in the WWE this year. Everything about the match was truly spectacular, from the crowd reaction, to the in-ring psychology, to the surprising finish. I think it is clear that we should all take off our anti-Cena shirts for a moment and give credit where credit is due. John Cena put out an amazing effort tonight, and although his moves may not have been all 100% crisp, he continued to show that he is more than capable of putting on a great wrestling match if he is given the opportunity. It should also never be understated that Cena went out as the WWE Champion to a huge ppv event, and lost to another man, clean and in the ring. At this stage in his career, Cena could totally have the entitlement to go out there and say that he is not going to lose to anybody cleanly. As much as us fans (myself included) love to try to paint Cena as the devil in jorts, it is simply not true, as evident by the humbling way he put over a younger, fresher face who really needed the victory.
As much as I was impressed by John Cena, the match really belonged to Daniel Bryan. I once watched Daniel Bryan wrestle at a high school gymnasium, in front of only a few hundred fans, and to see him not only win the WWE Championship, but to do so in such an overwhelming fashion, was truly a moment that I will cherish forever as a wrestling fan. I had given Los Angeles some flak in my last column about supplying Summerslam with consistently lackluster crowds, but that wasn't the case this year. Daniel Bryan had everybody in the arena eating out of the palm of his hand. The ability to control that massive amount of people, especially in this day and age of the hyper-intelligent wrestling fan, is a skill that comes along only once in a generation, and Daniel Bryan has that.
Somehow more important than the match itself, the post-match fallout is what really drove the fans over the edge. In a much hyped and debated maneuver, Triple H, the guest referee, turned on Daniel Bryan and laid him out with the pedigree. This allowed Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and win his 7th WWE Championship. It is fairly clear that Orton and Triple H are in cahoots, which makes the situation extremely interesting, considering the two veterans storied rivalry dating back almost a decade.
Randy Orton is a natural heel, and watching him play the hero role the last few years was like trying to fall asleep on a chair; it just wasn't comfortable to do. Now, Orton is a much better position, as a heel champion with a corporate backer. With Vince McMahon not making an appearance at Summerslam, it seems likely that a huge announcement of some kind will take place on Raw, explaining what exactly happened at Summerslam. I think it is too soon to judge the WWE's decision to have Bryan win and then lose the title on the same night, but for now, we can at least say that it was a move that got EVERYONE talking, and we should all be looking forward too what is now the hottest storyline in the WWE (well, except for Ryback vs catering, that is on fire).
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