John Cena and Bray Wyatt are set to expand WWE's collection of classic promos, as they enter a feud marked by moving speeches.
Much of WrestleMania XXX's spotlight will point at Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker and the WWE Championship, but Cena and Wyatt's contrasting characters and stellar mic-working abilities will lead to that rivalry outshining the others, en route to the Superdome.
After suffering another ambush from The Wyatt Family, Cena called out the clan on Monday's WWE Raw. Wyatt answered it and left the former world champ unable to stand—leaving the arena on a stretcher.
That all but made their WrestleMania clash official. That bout will serve as Wyatt's biggest moment to date, and one can be assured that he will thrive during the buildup to an ultimate blowout.
Wyatt has been haunting audiences since his days in FCW and NXT.
He has since moved his soapbox and taken his sinister ramblings to the main roster. This feud gives him a high-profile target during a time when WWE hype is at its peak.
For Cena, he is at his best against the best. When he drifts, he relies too much on childish humor and giving ho-hum, expected lines. When properly challenged—when the largeness of the moment inspires him, he's a force on the screen.
Against Wyatt, we will see some of Cena's finest work.
The Cena that rose up against CM Punk in 2012 will emerge once more. On Sept. 10 of that year, Punk and Cena faced off on WWE Raw in preparation for their championship collision at Night of Champions.
Cena called Punk's title reign irrelevant as he delivered a focused, passionate speech that upped the anticipation for their match.
Here he displayed his ability to play up his foes' strengths while zeroing in on their weaknesses. He didn't dismiss Punk's ability, but rather emphasized the narrative of Punk's need to prove himself.
That will come into play in a big way against Wyatt. This will be the career apex so far for "The Eater of Worlds." Cena can help sell that element, drumming up drama for their meeting like few others can.
Elevating the emotion of stories is Cena's biggest asset, when armed with a mic.
Leading up to his rematch against The Rock at WrestleMania 29, he showed off that skill. It didn't matter that WWE had failed to tell the story of Cena's worst year—he did it himself.
The drama dripping from his lips, his genuineness and well-paced speech drew in the crowd, regardless of whom their allegiance laid with. He did the most important thing a wrestler can do in these kinds of verbal confrontations—made the match feel significant.
In reality, that WrestleMania match was just a scripted athletic display that has no real bearing on anything. Listening to Cena, though, one is convinced that victory at that event would be world-altering, a historic triumph.
Should he be as successful in doing that against Wyatt, that match will mean far more for the bearded brute—going from a big bout to one that will shape his career.
Punk and The Rock helped inspired the great side of Cena to step forward. This year, Cena goes up against the current best talker in the company. That is certain to lead to resume highlights for both men.
Wyatt's best performances so far have been deliciously disturbing.
Dark imagery, a menacing grin and a powerful delivery have combined to lead him to give rants that have unsettled and enthralled fans. Kane was the first prey in his sight, and Wyatt didn't need to be in the same ring as him to produce great theater.
Before their match at SummerSlam 2013, Wyatt went from telling a story of Icarus to talking about Kane burning.
Kane wasn't often given a chance to respond to taunts like this, but Wyatt's feud with Cena won't be as one-sided—with as much airtime as WWE gives him. Cena will hear a similarly chilling speech and be challenged to top it.
Wyatt has yet to face such an adept speaker. Bryan has charisma and can emote well, but he's not in Cena's class in terms of mic work.
Perhaps that's why Bryan didn't do all that much talking during his brief rivalry with Wyatt. Wyatt frightened fans all by his lonesome.
When Bryan accepted Wyatt's invitation to join his "family," Wyatt exuded a maniacal energy as he celebrated.
Having that same man trade words with Cena is going to produce even better work. Each Superstar's talent will see to that, as will the contrast between them.
Cena's character often feels like a comic-book superhero: just, pure and larger-than-life. Who better to face him than a monster who merges the verbal skill of Lex Luthor and the intimidating presence of Darkseid?
Vince McMahon—the corporate villain—perfectly complemented Steve Austin—the uncouth rebel. The same is true for Wyatt and Cena.
That dynamic, combined with their mic ability, is going to make this one of WrestleMania's most intriguing feuds. Regardless of how the match plays out, classic promos are sure to come before then.
As the knight and the dragon, the light and the dark, crash into each other, the audience will witness verbal altercations sure to be remembered for years.
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