The WWE had something special when John Cena and CM Punk were chasing each other around the company, reaching for the brass ring. The rivalry may have been the last great combination the WWE has put together since the days of The Rock and Steve Austin. Now, with the company moving in a new direction, it is apparent Cena may finally be at the crossroads each wrestler faces once they have hit the apex of their career with nothing left to but, get this, wrestle.
[adinserter block=”1″]I realize this might come as a shock to us all (yes, hint the sarcasm), but there really isn’t anything left for a man who has 15 world titles to his credit to do. Facing Rusev for the United State Championship is more for the benefit of putting the mighty Russian over on wrestling’s biggest stage. WrestleMania XXXI might be where Rusev suffers his first loss at the hands of the company’s top draw, but it does not mean he won’t look like a million bucks doing it.
The can be said for Daniel Bryan, who still does not have a true opponent for the big event. If you look at the contestants in the Intercontinental Title Ladder Match, Bryan is not an official entrant in the event – yet. That could all change.
The WWE would do well to place Bryan in the mid card match, much like they have done to Cena for several reasons. The most obvious could be title unification. The WWE has placed both titles on performers with little growth in building the belts up as stepping stones to the WWE World Title. Had this been Vince McMahon’s WWF (which it isn’t), the Intercontinental Champion would be hard charging toward a date with the company’s title holder. When is the last time we saw that?
Cena’s new “position” in the company and the WWE’s hope to squash the “Yes!” Movement have put both superstars, who beat the hell out of each other at SummerSlam 2013 in position to unify the titles and give the fans what they want – one more great rivalry.
There was never a rematch for the WWE World Title when Cena lost his strap to Bryan two years ago. It makes perfect sense and what’s more, it’s good for business. Despite the influences of The Authority and the move to promote the next generation of WWE superstars – Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Rusev and Bray Wyatt – the company needs Cena to help bridge that gap. He still has to deliver, just not on the same level that has kept him at the top. Is he still the WWE’s top draw? Yes, but he must now help push the wrestlers nipping at his heels to toward the apex.
Since it would appear Bryan is not in any immediate plans for a title reign as the company’s front man, this too keeps himself and the “Yes!” Movement relevant. Title unification is also crucial to the WWE as both titles mean nothing, but one title with more than just five or six wrestlers attempting reach for it means something – it means more fan support – which leads to ratings.
[adinserter block=”2″]I would be very curious to see what happens in 17 days. Does Cena win and defend America? Does Bryan fight through what could be eight wrestlers (if Goldust or Sheamus joins the mix) to grab glory? This isn’t like Nikita Koloff holding the United State Champions in the NWA and beating then National Heavyweight Title Holder Wahoo McDaniel to unify the titles. This is more about two wrestlers who can build a program based on what hasn’t happened, but what should happen. And in the end, give the WWE something to be excited about and the fans what they have wanted to see for some time.
This is one rivalry that must find its way back to the consciousness of the WWE for both Cena and Bryan to remain relevant when they aren’t chasing the bigger prize the company has to offer.