WrestleMania 28 Aftermath Changing Daniel Bryan and John Cena
The greatest thing about wrestling fans is they let you know exactly how they feel. When they're happy with something, a loud ovation erupts from the arena. On the flip side, when a fan completely despises something, it is a near-scary sight.
Over the course of this very short decade, WWE poster boy John Cena has garnered himself a lot of heat with much of the WWE Universe. Loud "Let's go, Cena!" chants are often echoed "Cena sucks!" in various arenas.
Daniel Bryan cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase in late 2011 on recently crowned World Heavyweight Champion Big Show to capture his first WWE heavyweight championship. Almost instantly, Bryan became one of the WWE's top heels, which gave him the character he had lacked for so long. His cocky attitude and questionable victories on Smackdown made him easy to hate, and he is good at it. However, WrestleMania may have changed that in less than one minute.
Since WrestleMania 27, the hype began for the "Once in a Lifetime" match between The Rock and Cena at WrestleMania 28. Due to The Rock not being anywhere close to a full-time WWE Superstar, Cena needed other feuds to keep busy. In what is now referred to as "The Summer of Punk," Cena engaged in a feud that skyrocketed the career of current WWE Champion, CM Punk.
While the feud helped Punk, it also helped turn the audience turn against John Cena. For the rest of 2011, "Cena sucks!" chants became so loud that the WWE had no other option than to produce "Cena Sucks" t-shirts.
Leading up to the epic WrestleMania battle with The Rock, Cena began a short feud with the Big Red Machine, Kane. Kane returned from injury as the evil monster he once portrayed, and tried to make Cena embrace the hate from the fans. For a short while, Cena showed the ruthless aggression he once had that made the fans love him in the first place. However, once The Rock returned to begin the hype for their showdown, it all changed for Cena.
For over a month, Cena and Rock engaged in a war of words on Raw.
In many eyes, Cena won the mic battles. Nevertheless, The Rock received louder ovations than Cena every single week. Due to The Rock leaving the WWE right after WrestleMania, many expected Cena to win. However, in what may be considered an upset victory, The Rock scored the pin in the main event. Sun Life Stadium erupted with joy as The Great One defeated the man the fans have been booing for quite some time.
WrestleMania had a different effect on former World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. After he and Sheamus were bumped from last year's card, they opened the show as Bryan defended the title against the 2012 Royal Rumble winner. In under 30 seconds, The Celtic Warrior nailed Bryan with the Brogue Kick and scored the victory to the dismay of many WWE fans.
Many predicted Sheamus to win the gold for several reasons. He was one of the top faces in the company and Daniel Bryan would be able to garner heat without the gold. What the WWE may have forgotten is that before the quick heel turn, Bryan received some of the loudest ovations from the WWE Universe for his pure wrestling skills. Not allowing him to showcase those skills at the "Grandest Stage of Them All" was almost a slap in the face to Bryan and his fans.
The night directly following WrestleMania 28 nearly decided the fate of both Cena and Bryan. As far as Bryan is concerned, the Internet was rampant with dismay of how Bryan lost the championship. The crowd at Raw spoke even louder as they chanted Bryan's signature "Yes! Yes! Yes!" throughout the night, regardless of who was in the ring, including Cena.
Near the end of the show, as Cena was in the ring, the chants quickly changed, and not to "Cena sucks!" Cena cut a typical "Super-Cena" promo where he admitted The Rock was the better man and invited him to the ring to congratulate him.
However, chants got louder and louder and became clearly identified as "We want Lesnar." Moments after the WWE tweeted that Brock Lesnar had arrived in the building, the former WWE and UFC champion hit the stage to an incredible ovation.
Lesnar made his way to a WWE ring for the first time in nearly eight years to go face to face with Cena. As the two former rivals shook hands, Lesnar said nothing. Instead, he delivered an F-5 to Cena, as the Miami crowd blew the roof off of the building to close Raw.
The WWE felt that wasn't enough for the crowd that had been the hottest in Raw all year. They brought out the man they had asked for all night and as expected, they cheered him, a lot. Even after he berated his girlfriend AJ, the Miami crowd stayed on his side the entire way.
The WWE may not have realized that booking a squash match for the World Heavyweight Championship involving a man the fans love to see wrestle was a bad idea. Had the WWE given Sheamus and Bryan time to put on a great match, the fans may not have been as disappointed with the outcome, even if Sheamus had won.
The crowd completely turning on Cena has been a long time coming. Whether the WWE meant to or not, having Lesnar lay Cena out in the middle of the ring nearly solidified that.
While Bryan may not have the popularity with the rest of the entertainment world of Cena, the WWE Universe undoubtedly is enthralled with him. Cena, however, gains more and more hatred from the WWE fans every week. The way things are going, Bryan may eventually take Cena's spot as one of, if not the, top face in WWE. On the other side of that, Cena would do great as the top heel, especially if this feud with huge fan favorite Lesnar is done properly.
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