The 2013 edition of WWE SummerSlam, second only in importance to WrestleMania, is finally here, headlined by the unorthodox Daniel Bryan.
Unlike his opponent, WWE Champion John Cena, Bryan has plenty to lose in the main event of SummerSlam.
See, not only are titles on the line, but underlying details for future storylines could have a huge impact this Sunday at Staples Center as well.
For example, say Christian loses to Alberto Del Rio in the World Heavyweight Championship match. Yes, Christian didn't win the strap, but it's also likely the last time we'll see him compete so high up on the card for a very long time.
Just as stars can win titles and further careers, others can take a nosedive off such a pedestal.
The following wrestlers have the most to lose.
Bear with us here for a second before you throw your replica United States Championship at your screen in a fit of rage.
Oh, you don't have one of those?
Ambrose has done more for the United States Championship than anyone since John Cena had a major run with it spanning three different reigns back in 2004. Amazing promos and even better matches have allowed Ambrose to put a spotlight on the title.
The title is relevant again. So the fact WWE is throwing a returning veteran into the mix should scare you a bit. On one hand, Rob Van Dam's contention for the title only further gives it credibility, especially if Ambrose retains.
Then again, if Van Dam wins, where does that leave Ambrose? What about the title? The pairing of Ambrose and the U.S. title has been magnificent. Tearing the two apart for a returning veteran is not a good look—that is, unless Ambrose is headed for much, much bigger things, which is unlikely as of now.
The Best vs. The Beast will meet in perhaps the most hotly anticipated matchup in Los Angeles. The buildup has been fantastic, as CM Punk and Paul Heyman are the most entertaining duo in the business. We knew the eventual split of best friends was coming, but it has turned out better than we could have predicted.
But what about Lesnar? Rumor has it Lesnar is done with WWE until WrestleMania 30, according to F4WOnline (via Wrestling Inc).
If that's the case, how do you decide who wins this match? Do you let Lesnar win and ride off into the sunset with a victory? That means Punk has to somehow rebound and either find a way to continue the feud with Paul Heyman or act like it never happened.
Or Lesnar could lose, but that brings Punk's feud with Heyman to a screeching halt. More importantly, it means Lesnar takes yet another loss, bringing his tally since returning to WWE in 2012 at a pathetic 2-3.
Lesnar is a believable beast no matter his win-loss record, but at some point fans are going to stop buying into the fact he can't be beat.
WWE has a big decision to make here.
The main event between Internet hero Daniel Bryan and John Cena has had a very impressive buildup, culminating in a great showdown between the two on the Raw leading up to SummerSlam.
To recap, Bryan, as if speaking for the smart fans everywhere, told Cena he is not a real wrestler. Rather, Cena is just an entertainer and Bryan wants to win the belt because he is the best wrestler.
Makes sense. Cena's rebuttal was, well, classic Cena. In other words, it was a remixed version of the same promos he cut on CM Punk two years ago before dropping the title at Money in the Bank.
Who walks out of SummerSlam the champion?
The problem is, Bryan has plenty to lose here. Remember a few months back when a guy by the name of Ryback received a ridiculous pop every time he came out? The guy was sitting on top of the WWE Universe and fell flat on his face because WWE was too afraid to pull the trigger.
Don't laugh—it could happen to Bryan. Sure, he's more over with fans than any Superstar we've seen in a very long time. But if WWE fails to pull the trigger and give him the belt, that sudden popularity could wane.
Leave it to WWE to not go with a good thing and prolong the title exchange to test the waters. Ask Ryback how that worked out.
Now instead of just Bryan vs. Cena, we have special guest referee Triple H getting involved and Randy Orton just waiting to cash in as well. It's suddenly a convoluted mess.
If Bryan does not walk out of SummerSlam with the title, it will have been a major loss—and a bigger one than most may realize.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling.