Daniel Bryan's Friendship with John Cena Will Morph into Rivalry

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterDecember 17, 2013


John Cena pushed for Daniel Bryan to get a championship opportunity on Monday's WWE Raw, but it won't be long before those two Superstars are looking to knock each other out.

The man who struggled with a Napoleon complex earlier this year will not stand to be someone's little buddy for long. Cena's support will eventually be seen as condescension. The younger brother in this relationship will eventually kick the older brother in the mouth.

Randy Orton opened the first Raw after TLC in celebratory fashion.

His shoulders bore both the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship. Cena talked about the new pressure that those titles created and how Orton should have to defend his gold on Raw.

He proposed Bryan be the first challenger, not himself.

Bryan, who has been cheated out of title chances for most of the second half of 2013, had no issues with the handout. Desperation is an excellent cure for pride.

The moment was reminiscent of when Cena chose Bryan to be his challenger at SummerSlam. The question is, how long will Bryan be OK with being a charity case of sorts?

On the main event of Monday's Raw, it took Orton getting himself disqualified for the champ to keep his titles. Even working with a banged-up arm, Bryan had Orton fearful of defeat. He headbutted him from the top rope, kicked him loopy and clamped on the Yes! Lock, a move that had Orton's eyes widen in panic.

Orton escaped the cowardly way, hitting Bryan with a low blow so the referee would end the match.

Cena soon came charging in. The hero had to avenge Orton's wrongdoing. He climbed atop "The Viper" and pounded him with right hands.

Many folks would take that act as a sign of solidarity, but Bryan has a history of mental instability. He's likely to begin to resent Cena, causing friction between them.

Chances are, needing to be saved and/or avenged was emasculating for him. He may feel that Cena is playing the white knight, thus forcing him to play the damsel in distress.

This is WWE's path to Cena and Bryan renewing their brief rivalry. 

Theirs has been an amicable relationship for the most part. Even after Bryan defeated Cena at SummerSlam, leaving him without his title belt and a black eye swelling on his face, the two men weren't truly enemies.

Cena shook Bryan's hand and talked about how much respect he had for him.

That respect has apparently continued with Cena serving as Bryan's biggest supporter. In a showdown before TLC with Orton, Cena used Bryan as an example of someone who achieved greatness. On Monday, he was both Bryan's friend and advocate.

The dissolution of that allegiance is inevitable, largely because there is drama to be had in having those two collide again.

No partnership is safe in WWE. As close as Triple H and Shawn Michaels have been over the years, their fights have left rings wet with blood. Edge and Christian were as close as brothers and ended up swinging steel chairs at each other's heads.

Even actual brotherhood isn't enough to sustain peace between Superstars, as Matt and Jeff Hardy or Bret and Owen Hart can attest.

A Bryan vs. Cena rematch is one that promises a great match. Their SummerSlam clash was one of the year's best.

John Cena calls for medical attention for Daniel Bryan.
John Cena calls for medical attention for Daniel Bryan.WWE.com

Beyond that, though, there's a story teeming with energy here. Should Cena knock off Orton at some point, Bryan will be frustrated over seeing his current ally accomplish what he couldn't. Jealousy will turn Bryan back into the angry, irrational headcase he was at the tail end of Team Hell No's existence.

Bryan is a warrior. He doesn't need Cena's assistance or sympathy. 

When Cena is done with Orton, he'll see a pair of red boots flying toward his face. Bryan will be out to prove that he's no plucky underdog in need of help, instead taking hold of the championship that has floated just beyond his grasp.