"John Cena is an entertainer. I am a wrestler."
On this week's Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan had some choice words for John Cena. Cena responded with some valid points of his own that deserve further examination.
Cena was correct in stating that Bryan's verbal attack was not original. It is safe to say that almost everyone, even the biggest Cena fans, know from a technical standpoint that Bryan is the better wrestler.
Even Cena does not deny Bryan's skill in the ring and chose him as his opponent for SummerSlam—one of the WWE's Big Four pay-per-views. Such a decision, in and of itself, is indicative of the fact that no one denies Bryan's top-tier performance in the ring.
However, Bryan, to his own detriment, is completely ignoring the reason why he has become exponentially more popular over the last year.
Bryan is profoundly and increasingly entertaining. Yes, he is a wrestler, but the most important factor above everything else is that Bryan is an entertainer who just so happens to back up his gimmick with an arsenal of impressive maneuvers.
Bryan then goes on to say that if he were fired tomorrow, he would still be wrestling all over the country. Cena, according to Bryan, would just go home if his career ended tomorrow.
Initially, I thought this was a severe blow to Cena's character, but Cena goes on with an even more valid rebuttal.
Why should Cena accept any less than WWE? And even further to his point, why should Bryan? Bryan is in the big leagues. Why is he talking about getting fired? Why is he talking about going back to the independent wrestling scene? Why is Bryan attracting negativity to his career at a point when he couldn't be any more "over" with the WWE Universe?
In this sense, Cena hits the mark. Bryan should not settle for less. The WWE Championship should mean everything. Bryan should be focused on there being no other option but being WWE Champion.
Everyone has speculated for a long time on to whom Cena would eventually "pass the torch." It should be clear by now that Cena and the WWE brass are not going to give THE spot to someone who attacks Cena's wrestling skill and his appeal to a younger audience.
The list is long for those who have failed in using this tactic—Mark Henry, Ryback, CM Punk and eventually even The Rock in most recent memory.
Because if you do that, you are just proving to the WWE that you don't get it.
Being the face of the company is not about being the best wrestler, the best talker or the best dressed. It has and will always be about being the best entertainer.
Bryan is a better entertainer, and he needs to not only accept that, but also embrace it. His T-shirts sell, his catch phrases stick, his matches engage the entire arena and his appearance is unique. He can make you laugh, he can make you angry and he can make you chant just about anything.
But if he doesn't realize that soon and use it against Cena, the only superstar walking out as WWE Champion come SummerSlam will be Cena. And if Bryan isn't careful, Randy Orton will capitalize on the opportunity, as he always does, and steal the spotlight from the formidable goat face.