Analyzing the Growth of John Cena and Daniel Bryan Over the Past Decade

Justin LaBarFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2013

Next time you watch a dark match or what might seem as an irrelevant match on a WWE “C” level show―pay attention because it could be the big main event 10 years later.

Watching videos like this from a 2003 episode of Velocity shows wrestling coming full circle as an up and coming John Cena on the main roster beats a young Bryan Danielson who is making appearances for WWE as a classic enhancement talent or jobber.

This match is a good flashback and summarizes the path Cena and Bryan have traveled that will come to a head at SummerSlam in a match for the WWE Championship.

Cena came up through the WWE system. He's homegrown talent and the WWE prototype (no pun intended). Bryan was the journeyman who was undersized and visually not up to WWE's standards for poster boy look.

Even in the limited time, there was an exciting pace to the match. Two different styles and backgrounds in the ring. That is a big sell to me on the match we'll be paying to watch at SummerSlam when so much more will go into every spot.

Since 2003, Cena evolved his look and he did evolve his range. Despite the Cena haters on his move set, he has learned how to work with every kind of style and body type in the ring. As with anyone, the better his opponent, the better he does. His matches with CM Punk are a great showing of that.

Since 2003, Bryan seems to have gotten faster and more creative in the ring. I think he can have a five star match with anybody. His placement of spots and psychology is a gift.

This match to me is like watching Shawn Michaels versus Bret Hart from 1992 Coliseum home video in a ladder match. The match is hardly talked about and wasn't on a big stage. If only we knew how these two in the ring would shape wrestling and life five years later.

I feel the same will be for this 2003 Velocity match after this feud concludes between Bryan and Cena because once this feud is over, the business will have gone with another big change.

This feud will be the beginning of a new era for Bryan's career, Cena's career and the wrestling business.