Daniel Bryan's SummerSlam 2013 Performance Cements Status Among Elite WWE Stars
Daniel Bryan may not have walked out of the 2013 edition of SummerSlam with the WWE Championship, but the Superstar cemented his spot amongst the best in the history of the business with his performance Sunday.
The fans were already firmly in Bryan's corner for the month leading up to the bout with John Cena. After putting on an in-ring showcase that made Cena look like a technical master, it was clear to even the most casual wrestling fans that the undersized star is the best pure wrestler on the roster.
Should Daniel Bryan be considered one of the elite WWE Superstars?
Cena is a talented worker, but Bryan’s ability to make the former WWE Champion look as if he posed a real threat on the mat against the submission specialist gives the people backstage the confidence to book Bryan in any situation and expect a great match.
The WWE always knew Bryan was great in the ring, but showcasing that talent on a stage like SummerSlam with the immense pressure of main eventing cemented his spot amongst the all-time greats in the sport.
In-ring work is only a part of the reason Bryan became a megastar Sunday, though.
There is no questioning that Cena is the top star in the WWE, no matter which wrestler wears the company’s premier title. But Bryan proved during the build to the SummerSlam bout and during the event that he has the unwavering support of the crowds.
If the WWE Universe didn’t love him before, the fact that Bryan pinned SuperCena clean without cheating gives all fans the understanding that they are watching the birth of the company’s newest moneymaker.
Smart wrestling fans understood what it meant for the indie wrestling legend to finally reach the top of the mountain, and most people were genuinely happy to see the everyman finally reach his lifelong goal.
While that joy was short-lived, the impact of having the WWE Championship taken away immediately by Randy Orton and Triple H was exponentially more than if Bryan had walked out of Los Angeles with the belt.
After calling the match down the middle and celebrating with the new champion, special guest referee Triple H injected himself into the storyline by turning heel and attacking Bryan with the pedigree. With Orton lurking around the ring, the Money in the Bank winner cashed in his briefcase and stole the WWE Championship.
Watching Bryan win the title, only to have it stolen away in mere seconds, made almost every fan of the sport feel sympathy for him.
While the short title reign was less than impressive, the frenzy the moment created will lift Bryan into the upper echelon of the current roster and will ensure he is viewed amongst the greatest of all time.
Mick Foley may not have worn the WWE Championship for long in his career (47 total days over three reigns), but the impact he made on the sport in that span cemented his spot in history.
The same can now be said for Bryan.
As if it were even possible, the way in which Bryan was robbed of his moment to shine will make the Superstar so much more popular than before.
Who doesn’t want to root for the blue-collar star who had his dreams ripped away?
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