John Cena and Bray Wyatt are currently in the midst of an intense rivalry. WWE's established top guy and its enigmatic rising star began their feud before WrestleMania 30, and even though they faced off at the showcase of the immortals the fact is that the rivalry isn't over yet.
The story of their rivalry is still being written. And the question is what has John's immediate impact been on Bray's career in the company thus far?
From the very beginning, this storyline just seemed to fit. On one side there is John Cena: the smiling, brave and fearless protagonist that always strives to do the right thing, always walks in the light and a straight shooter from top to bottom.
When it comes to John Cena, what you see is what you get.
And on the other side is Bray Wyatt: the whimsical yet sinister figure that lurks in the shadows, whose motives are all his own, who represents the seedy underbelly of humanity and provides a voice of chaos among the order.
When it comes to Bray Wyatt, nothing is ever as it seems.
The two men are polar opposites, and WWE pitting them against each other is likely just a way for Bray to establish himself and prove what he can do against their number one star. For WWE fans, it's the best pairing that the company could possibly present because of the entertainment value that exists between them.
Bray Wyatt is the devil in the details of John Cena's character. He is attempting to twist Cena's words against him and expose him as the liar that he believes him to be. While Cena smiles and shakes hands, Bray is shaking his head and quietly whispering that it's all an illusion.
Bray is the man in the audience who knows how the trick works, and he can't wait to tell everyone else about it.
Therein lays the real impact of Cena on Bray's character. The fact that John is being placed under a microscope by a man that was not even on WWE's main roster this time last year speaks volumes about the company's desire to test Bray's ability.
He has evidently impressed WWE with what he has done to this point, and for him to even be considered as an opponent for Cena is momentous recognition.
To be seen next to Cena and more importantly to be given ample air time to get over means more for Bray in the short term than perhaps any fan even realizes. With all due respect to Daniel Bryan, Bray is not feuding with a man that is attempting to reach the top; he is feuding with the man that has been at the top for a very long time.
Bray was very entertaining before he laid hands on John, but since then he has made the case why he deserves the main event spot he now enjoys. His promos are above reproach, his laughter rings louder than Cena's and despite the apparent carefree attitude that John has, Wyatt is undeterred.
Bray has risen above Cena's sarcasm and has found a new home in the spotlight.
Some fans may point to the fact that Bray did not win against Cena at WrestleMania 30. However, with a character like Bray's, wins and losses are not the primary concern. The truth is that Bray is just as effective after a loss as he is after a win.
His character is not concerned with beating Cena; he only wants to watch him burn.
Wyatt is having fun with Cena and believes that he is actually making headway with WWE's top talent. Bray's warped perspective on life dictates that he is not aware of the fact that John will likely shake off his attacks and then move on to the next challenger.
Fans are surely very accustomed to that scenario. And if it indeed plays out that way with Bray, no one will really be surprised.
But it's what happens with Bray in the meantime that means more than what could happen afterward. Wyatt must look like a real threat, a legitimate source of danger and chaos in the world of John Cena. Fans need to believe that Bray has the potential to change John, to do the kind of damage that would forever alter Cena's character.
Or, at the very least, they need to believe that Bray believes.
Bray Wyatt has the golden opportunity to face WWE's top Superstar and look very good doing it. John Cena's immediate impact on Bray's character is that fans can now see him as a bona fide main event player.
Bray was given the chance to impress, and he has done just that.