Last night during SmackDown, AJ Styles had a message for John Cena. The purpose of his message for Cena was unorganized, but the gist was that Cena’s position in WWE is the fault of the WWE Universe. More importantly, Styles has always been better than John Cena. At WWE Summerslam, he’s going to have the chance to prove it once and for all.
However, Cena rebuffed AJ’s message with a passionate speech claiming that he is still in WWE despite all the outside projects he has because he loves the WWE. He wouldn’t wrestle anywhere else out of loyalty to the company, and John Cena made the argument that Styles would have no problem wrestling for another promotion, which he meant with a negative context.
John Cena’s promo wasn’t anything the WWE Universe hasn’t seen before, but it is causing a debate amongst a lot of people such as the General Manager of SmackDown Daniel Bryan, who had a counter argument against John Cena’s loyal view to WWE.
It was revealed by WWE.com that the WWE Network would begin airing a weekly post-show analyzing the latest edition of SmackDown called Talking Smack. Daniel Bryan appeared on the first edition of the show immediately following SmackDown last night and had the following reaction to John Cena’s promo against Styles and his perspective on the wrestling industry:
Bryan shooting on Cena. pic.twitter.com/N2NVVjoHLG
— DTAM (@DeathToAllMarks) August 3, 2016
Three years ago, Daniel Bryan was in a similar position to where AJ Styles is now. On WWE television, Bryan was challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship at WWE Summerslam 2013. During the build-up to that match, he made the same point against Cena during their feud from the opposite perspective.
Bryan claimed that if Cena were fired by WWE, he would return to his luxury lifestyle and never wrestle again. However, if he were fired by WWE like he has been in the past, he’d wrestle anywhere he could because he loves wrestling, not just the WWE. In a nutshell, John Cena loves to play football in the NFL, but Daniel Bryan just loved to play football and would play anywhere.
When you get down to the essence of what John Cena said on SmackDown, he’s saying that he only has the desire to wrestle in the WWE spotlight. What he may be trying to say is his loyalty to the WWE brand is so strong that he couldn’t wrestle anywhere else. Daniel Bryan got “borderline offended” because Cena said that wrestling outside of WWE is a bad thing.
WWE having a monopoly over the wrestling business has made working for the WWE brand the end-all be-all of the industry. The ultimate goal is to make it to WWE, but it’s a hard fact of life that not everyone can make it. John Cena’s brand loyalty is astounding, especially considering he has the option to leave WWE whenever he chooses.
However, it is easier to beat the company drum after being a top star with WWE for fifteen years and wrestling mainly for WWE during one’s entire career. John Cena has had what many consider to be the perfect WWE career, so looking down on a wrestler for making a living outside of WWE and arguing against AJ Styles for that reason on SmackDown makes Cena look very entitled.
It’s an interesting debate that John Cena stirred up during his promo on SmackDown, which just adds more layers to the feud between Cena and Styles. Their rivalry is about two of the best wrestlers of a generation, who both had extremely different careers paths. At WWE Summerslam, Cena vs. Styles is going to enter the history books, but the winner of the match will say a lot about the wrestling industry. It will be remembered as an important match no matter who walks out with the win.
[Image via WWE.com]