Summerslam Column: The Making of John Cena vs Daniel Bryan

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When trying to break down Summerslam, I had go with the WWE Championship match alone, because it seems to be the match WWE is most focused on us seeing. I figured if I wanted to break it down, I’d want to do it by a marketing perspective and what WWE will try to do to sell this match to us.

The Daniel Bryan versus John Cana match at Summerslam is one that many hope will be amazing. Obviously the hope is that it will be, but the doubt of it all is still present. Many believe that Cena can wrestle well enough to make the match memorable. There was never a worry when it came to Bryan of course.

I think the match will play to the strengths of both men. Cena will play toward a story-telling side, with power spots due to his size and entertainment ability. Meanwhile, Bryan will play toward a technical side.

When Cena did big matches with top wrestlers like Shawn Michaels, RVD, and CM Punk, he was able to wrestle in a 5 star match with them. To me, it wasn’t the other wrestler that “carried” Cena. It was the fact that he played toward his strengths during the matches and the others played toward their own.


The question is how will this match go?


I think it’s obvious that it will be the main event match of the night. It is for the WWE Championship after all. That means it will be given a lot of time. I’d say that 40 minutes would be enough time to give the two.

Summerslam is a stacked card, and as a result, we’re going to be seeing a ton of big matches take place anyway. With that being said, will the LA crowd be dead by the time the WWE poster boy and new age Benoit go at it?

With all the questions regarding the crowd, I imagine that the two will involve the crowd a lot more than most matches on the card do to that point. Since Bryan is so over these days, he plays to them frequently in the first place. They get involved most of the time on their own, but Bryan is known to pump them up when need be. Cena is a professional when it comes to the crowds himself.


You may not notice the little things he does to get the crowd back on his side or against him, but the man knows how to work everyone in the room. This is something that makes him very interesting to watch in big matches. You expect him to be the “TV Cena”. However, when the lights shine brightest and the cameras come closer, there may not be a better man who can “turn it on” to make a match amazing currently under the WWE banner than Cena.


CM Punk does well with this too, but Cena can make a total change in style and even wrestling thought in big matches. This is why you want to see what he will do.

In the Bryan/Cena match, we are looking to see if Bryan can win the big one against the face of the WWE. That’s at least how we are getting it marketed to us. But the match, in my eyes, will be the match where we see John Cena show he can hang with another great in-ring talent.

With all of the crap on Cena regarding his “5 moves of doom”, it escapes the average fan’s thought that the man can actually wrestle well.

So the crowd will be interesting to see. Will Cena and Bryan play toward the crowd a lot more than usual or will it be the same as a normal match? It at least is worth a thought that WWE may want them to get a lot more crowd reaction than usual.

Outside of the crowd, you have to market to the people watching live at home. The way to do this is to play to what they want, and that’s the wrestling side.


They are already going to play to the crowd with some minor cheap pop ideas. But just like how Punk pulled a piledriver out of the hat to take out Cena randomly, we may see something we did not expect with Bryan/Cena. This will need to happen throughout the match in order for the people at home to remain invested.

To consider a match great, it doesn’t take much these days. You simply have to do things unexpected or “out of character”. If Cena were to start doing several submissions we’ve never seen him do, or see Bryan do some power moves. Then I think some of us would stick around to see what happens next.

I think we can expect both men to work a bit stiff at times, which will allow the live crowd and the people at home to love the match more.


WWE loves seeing things get socially active, so I’d imagine they want the WWE Title match to be trending in some way. That could happen with surprises thrown in.

Going back to the match itself, I feel that a lot of strikes will happen with the two. Cena is a brawler anyway, and Bryan loves to use kicks to the fullest. If he were to redden Cena’s chest or back with kicks, we could possibly see that play into something later in the match.

Triple H is the Special Guest Referee for the match. This means that he will obviously be involved in some way that some will find controversial. Could we see Triple H screw Bryan or Cena? There is a thought that he could do anything while ref for the match. I could see Vince McMahon getting involved some way too. So look for both men to possibly get involved in altercation that could have an effect on the match.


But if we talk about the match between Bryan and Cena itself, I think Bryan will most likely try to go after the arm of course. Probably Cena’s hurt elbow in particular.

This is where things will get interesting if you ask me. Many rumors are out there, but none are confirmed. They state that Cena may be gone for a while after Summerslam to have elbow surgery and nurse other injuries.

As a result of this, I think Cena will pull out all the stops. He will also allow Bryan more liberties than he would other talent. That is for a few reasons. The first is that he can trust Bryan not to try and kill him. The second is that he has little to lose. He’s leaving anyway, and if he were to hurt the elbow more, then what’s the problem? The surgery would be harder? So this is just a few things that might be in the back of his mind when talking about the match with Bryan.

If Bryan were to “take out Cena”, then that could set him up for a potential run after Summerslam as a heel. Maybe his head got too big after taking out the face of the company. The surgery for Cena could have him miss about 4 months or so. That being said, he could be back by the Royal Rumble. This could be the time that WWE could have Cena take back the WWE Title.

It would be cool if they allowed Bryan the chance to hold it that long.

Going from Summerslam to the Rumble? I think most guys would take that run. But hey, that’s just my thought.

Of course, it would involve a Bryan heel turn possibly. Maybe even a Bearded Corporation move would be in the works. There is a lot of ways to play this and market the two men. And we haven’t even discussed what Randy Orton’s role will be in all of this.

But what do you think? Will Bryan and Cena be the match of the night?

Will they do a lot more with this match to make it stand out, thus giving us a shock factor? Let me know your thoughts below.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoeBurgett_WE

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