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John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan Scheduled for SummerSlam
Perhaps no Superstar in the WWE today has more momentum than Daniel Bryan. He has made a ton of headway as one of the company's top faces, and it can be argued that he consistently receives the biggest crowd reaction. With that in mind, the creative team made a wise decision when it had WWE Champion John Cena choose Bryan as his SummerSlam opponent on Raw. It remains to be seen how the writers will build toward SummerSlam over the next few weeks, but this feud promises to be an entertaining one.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Will Win?
Face vs. face feuds are quite rare in wrestling today, but SummerSlam's quasi-main event will pit two of professional wrestling's top faces against each other. Cena established himself as the face of the company long ago, however, Bryan has just recently emerged as a Superstar who could potentially reach that level in the near future. With that in mind, this is a match that will undoubtedly sell for the WWE across a wide range of demographics.
Cena has obviously been receiving a negative reaction from some fans for a significant amount of time, but he is still the most popular wrestler in the world. Women and children love him, and he also has plenty of male fans as well despite what some may say. Bryan also appeals to a large group of fans. hardcore fans love him because of his impeccable in-ring work, while younger fans enjoy his zany antics. Cena vs. Bryan is a great mix that will lead to a fun build and an excellent bout.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
This match could realistically go either way as it wouldn't be a surprise to see Cena retain as he so often has, but Bryan could just as easily win the title and reach a new level of superstardom. With that said, the Ring Rust Radio panel is in agreement that Bryan will find a way to overcome Cena, and win the WWE Championship. In all likelihood, however, Bryan's reign will be short-lived due to the ever-present danger of Money in the Bank winner Randy Orton.
Orton already seems to have a different attitude since winning Money in the Bank, and the expectation is that his cash-in will fuel a heel turn. Since Bryan is the hottest face in the company right now, there is no easier way for Orton to become a top heel than by cashing in on Bryan after his long-awaited WWE Championship win. Not only would Orton be a big-time heel, but Bryan would become an even bigger sympathetic face. This could then lead to a feud between Bryan and Orton that results in Bryan regaining the title and truly claiming his spot near the top of the WWE.
Rumor Mill: Bryan Win and Orton Cash-In Planned for SummerSlam (WrestlingInc.com via Wrestling Observer)
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar Feud Heats Up
When Brock Lesnar attacked CM Punk on a Raw a few weeks ago, it became blatantly clear that the two of them were on a collision course leading up to SummerSlam. That thought was further bolstered when Paul Heyman turned at Punk at Money in the Bank by hitting him with a ladder. This led to a scathing promo between Punk and Heyman, and it resulted in Lesnar once again attacking Punk on Monday night.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Will the Build Play Out?
While there is plenty of hype surrounding Cena vs. Bryan, the main feud heading into SummerSlam has to be Punk vs. Lesnar. With Punk and Heyman handling the mic, and Lesnar being his dominant self, this entire angle has immense potential. The only concern is that the segment on this past edition of Raw was so strong that it will be extremely difficult to maintain that momentum. That's certainly fair, but Punk and Heyman are so good from a promo perspective that they can keep things interesting.
The best part about this feud is that Punk is actually up against both Heyman and Lesnar. The main focus will be Punk vs. Heyman, but Punk will constantly have to worry about the destructive force that is Lesnar. Also, it wouldn't be a surprise if Curtis Axel somehow got involved. Heyman used Axel as a reason to come to the ring at Money in the Bank, so he'll probably act as a pawn of sorts in this feud, and he simply adds another wrinkle to the situation.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Since this feud promises to be the focal point of the product over the next month, everyone involved truly needs to step up. It's hard to imagine that being a problem, though, considering the fact that Punk, Lesnar and Heyman almost always manage to knock it out of the park. One interesting thing to note is that Punk told Heyman that he would take him and everything around him out. That would seem to suggest that Punk won't only go after Heyman, but he'll go after anyone who is close to him.
That means Axel could very well be in Punk's sights as he attempts to prove a point heading into SummerSlam. Also, perhaps Rob Van Dam might get involved. He isn't currently a client of Heyman's, but he will always be known as a "Heyman guy," and Punk can bring him into the picture. As long as Punk, Lesnar and Heyman maintain the intensity they showed on Raw, this feud will be fantastic. Expect it to lead to a David vs. Goliath clash at SummerSlam with Punk beating the odds, and coming out on top.
Rumor Mill: CM Punk, Several Others Injured at Money in the Bank (WrestlingInc.com)
Money in the Bank Review
There were high expectations for Money in the Bank heading into the event, and while it was far from a perfect pay-per-view, it ultimately delivered. The main highlights of the night were unquestionably the Money in the Bank ladder matches as they provided suspense, non-stop action and surprising results. Damien Sandow opened the show by grabbing the World Heavyweight Championship contract Money in the Bank ladder match, while Randy Orton closed the event by winning on the WWE Championship side of the coin.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was MITB a Great PPV?
Even though Money in the Bank isn't considered a "Big Four" pay-per-view, it can certainly be argued that it has reached the same level as events like Survivor Series and even SummerSlam. There simply hasn't been a bad Money in the Bank event yet as the 2013 edition of the show offered plenty for every fan to enjoy. It wouldn't be fair to call it the best pay-per-view of the year as the John Cena vs. Mark Henry match had a disappointing conclusion, and there were a few bouts on the card that fell flat, but there wasn't much to complain about.
In addition to the Money in the Bank matches, the event featured arguably the best pre-show match to date as Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins defended the Tag Team Championships against The Usos. Although few fans viewed The Usos as credible threats to win the titles, they put on a good show and worked well with The Shield. Also, the World Heavyweight Championship match had a messy ending with AJ Lee interfering, but Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio worked very well together, and eclipsed their bout at Payback.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Money in the Bank featured two top flight matches, and that alone means that it was a strong event. Aside from the matches themselves, though, the booking was largely well thought out and effective. The world title contract Money in the Bank ladder match was extremely unpredictable, so Sandow's win came as a surprise. It was built perfectly, however, as he screwed over Cody Rhodes, which will almost certainly result in a Rhodes face turn and a feud between them.
Giving Orton the WWE Championship Money in the Bank match was a great move as well. Daniel Bryan entered the match as the favorite, but he didn't need the win. Bryan is a rising star, and he's going to be fine regardless. Orton, on the other hand, has been stale for a few years and needed something to energize his character. Money in the Bank can do that as it will likely be the catalyst for a heel turn. There was a lot to like about Money in the Bank, and the developments that occur over the next several months will likely make it look even better in retrospect.
Rumor Mill: Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes Rumored for SummerSlam (WrestlingInc.com via Wrestling Observer)
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Michael Cahill: 330
2. Mike Chiari: 132.5
3. Brandon Galvin: -22.5
4. Donald Wood: -35
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