WWE SummerSlam is nearly upon us, leaving countless superstars in position to alter the trajectory of their respective careers. Perhaps no two matches hold as much weight as those involving WWE's world championships.
With two highly-competitive matches on the horizon, it's imperative that both world titles change hands.
John Cena will defend the WWE championship against Daniel Bryan in the SummerSlam main event, providing a climax to the most talked about storyline in the wrestling world. Christian will challenge Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship in the other match, serving as a lower-profile but equally as meaningful match for one of the world's most important belts.
Here's why they should both change hands.
Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena
The King of the Indies versus the Face of the Franchise. If we told you that this match would be happening five years ago, you'd probably laugh in our faces and claim that it's nothing more than a pipe dream.
Well, now it's happening. And we all know how it needs to end.
Daniel Bryan is one of the most popular wrestlers in the world today, pairing world class technical ability with an easy to relate to personality. Beyond that, he's a wrestler who has scratched and clawed his way to the top and now deserves his time on top of the biggest company in the world.
And the storyline leading up to this event offers the perfect design.
For those who haven't been watching, Bryan is currently engulfed in a storyline in which WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon publicly berates him, claiming he's not championship material. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon attempt to argue the opposite, while reigning champion John Cena handpicked Bryan as an opponent.
In other words, it's win or answer one critical question—what was the point of the build-up?
Bryan has become every fan's favorite live act, screaming "Yes!" with a chorus of thousands echoing his every word. More importantly, he's become the face of the most vital storyline in the WWE today.
Randy Orton cash-in or not, Bryan needs to win the WWE championship.
For those who recognize Bryan's work as Bryan Danielson, you know how important he is to the professional wrestling industry. He helped carry Ring of Honor to their current position and become known as the face of independent wrestling.
Now, he's headlining one of the biggest events of the year against the biggest name in all of wrestling—sorry detractors, but even you can't deny that. To have him win this match would not only alter Bryan's career, but it would display a shift to a new generation in WWE.
A generation that can be fronted by an elite in-ring performer who has as much star power as any in the industry today.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
Alberto Del Rio is an excellent in-ring performer who has undoubtedly become one of the top heels in the WWE today. Christian, meanwhile, is a supremely popular face who, if we're being blunt, didn't do much to earn this specific title shot.
With that being said, Captain Charisma should be the wrestler who walks away with the World Heavyweight Championship.
Del Rio has been as devious as ever in recent weeks, using cheap shots to escape with victories and viciously beating former manager Ricardo Rodriguez. In that time, Del Rio has also struggled to piece together a consistent string of victories.
So why not have his meltdown reach a new low and send Del Rio into a storyline that would actually benefit from the absence of a world title?
Should Del Rio lose, the downward spiral would continue and his unpredictability as a heel would improve. He could unleash attacks on top faces, developing future storylines with wrestlers who may not already be in the main event scene.
Del Rio is a high-quality champion, but in this case, he'd be better suited as a wrestler who further develops his character without the belt.
As for Christian, he's a popular and talented enough wrestler to hold the World Heavyweight Championship. More importantly, he's a face, which plays into something very important on "Friday Night SmackDown."
The owner of the Money in the Bank briefcase is a heel named Damien Sandow.
To have Sandow cash in on Del Rio would be far less appealing than if he were to do it against Christian. Known for his ability to play both sides of the coin, Christian would be able to help Del Rio get over in the match and a potential storyline.
If WWE were to hold off on the cash in, Christian would also help SmackDown develop other heels, which they're presently short on.
There is no sense of urgency to get the belt off of Del Rio and rightfully so. If WWE hopes to improve their brand, however, this is the perfect time to send Del Rio off on a separate storyline and thus allow Christian to serve as the main event champion to usher in a new era of "bad guys."
We all know SmackDown needs the help.