Monday, July 15, 2013

SummerSlam Preview: WWE Champion John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan

SummerSlam Preview: WWE Champion John Cena vs Daniel Bryan
Given the opportunity by Raw General Manager Brad Maddox to name his challenger at SummerSlam, WWE Champion John Cena could have taken the easy way out. Instead, he did just the opposite, choosing as his opponent a Superstar who many consider the top performer of 2013, Daniel Bryan.
In naming the submission specialist as his No. 1 contender, Cena showed no small amount of respect for Bryan and the WWE Universe. Before making his decision, Cena polled the WWE Universe on the July 15 edition of Raw, taking their opinion into consideration. Few can deny that Cena chose wisely, as the WWE Universe chanted "Yes!" along with Bryan.
Tenacious, versatile and double-tough, Bryan is equipped with a sophisticated grappling acumen and enough athleticism to give any foe — regardless of the size or strength disparity — a tall challenge. Moreover, a slew of brave performances in recent months, punctuated with a submission victory over Randy Orton, have firmly endeared Bryan to the WWE Universe, which now embraces the bearded warrior with a gusto that rivals the adulation that the Cenation pays its commander-in-chief.
Although their paths have intersected before, Cena and Bryan’s journeys to the main event of SummerSlam are far from similar. The Champ has stood atop WWE almost since the day he arrived more than 11 years ago, using his power-based offense to accumulate 13 World Title reigns. Bryan, a one-time World Heavyweight Champion, has never held the WWE Title, and has toiled in relative obscurity for more than a decade, honing his craft in places as far away as Japan and venues as modest as high school gyms. These experiences all have served to make him arguably the most technically gifted competitor today, a fighter who relies on technique over might.
Despite their considerable differences — stylistically, aesthetically and otherwise — Cena and Bryan are bonded by a mutual desire to be the absolute best, and in WWE, only one title signifies that: the WWE Championship.
Daniel Bryan will have his moment in the sun when the 26th Annual SummerSlam takes over the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, but will WWE’s “Yes!” man have what it takes to displace the always-gutsy Cena, who seems more determined than ever to keep possession of the championship gold? Find out when the action airs live on pay-per-view Sunday, Aug. 18, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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WWE Monday Night RAW results 7/15/2013

WWE Monday Night RAW results 7/15/2013 in BROOKLYN, N.Y.

Brad Maddox addressed the WWE Universe
An appearance by WWE Champion John Cena led Maddox to declare that The Champ would be allowed to pick his own challenger for SummerSlam. Of course, the sudden appearance of Money in the Bank contract holder Randy Orton threatened to derail that proclamation before it even took hold, but it was an intrusion by Fandango that drove The Viper to the breaking point. 'Bows were thrown and a fight broke out, but thanks to a quick ruling by the Maddox – check out the big brain on Brad – the dancing fiend was made to face The Apex Predator himself in the first bout of the night.

John Cena selected his SummerSlam opponent
With his fate in his own hands, John Cena came to the ring in the closing moments of Raw to fulfill Brad Maddox’s history-making edict. But even with a smorgasbord of championship-caliber Superstars staring him in the face, Cena turned, instead, to the WWE Universe to help him make his choice. Not only did they responded with gusto, but they tipped their hand early as to who they wanted him to pick.

Showering The Champ with “YES! YES! YES!” chants, the WWE Universe guided Cena through a series of potential opponents (alas, Cena vs. Slater at SummerSlam will have to wait) and helped him land on a competitor who he – and the WWE Universe – seemingly felt deserved the match the most: Daniel Bryan. And in case his three-letter response was ever in doubt, WWE Unvierse, well … he said "yes" "YES!!!"  

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WWE's 25 hottest bodies; John Cena #2

WWE's 25 hottest bodies; John Cena #2

Back before he was the biggest Superstar of his generation, John Cena went by “The Prototype.” It was a fitting moniker for a guy who — with his exaggerated biceps, skyscraper traps and cable tight abs — looked like he’d been sketched by a comic-book artist who just sucked down his third 5-hour Energy. The Cenation leader’s bodybuilder physique gave way to a more utilitarian armor better suited for absorbing the rigors of the ring as he matured into an 11-time WWE Champion. However, the ladies of the WWE Universe never stopped screeching whenever The Champ yanked his shirt off.


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WWE Pay-Per-View Results: Money In The Bank 2013

WWE Pay-Per-View Results: Money In The Bank 2013

PHILADELPHIA – All the might of The World’s Strongest Man wasn’t enough to wrest the WWE Championship from its world-beating bearer, as John Cena prevailed over a motivated, menacing Mark Henry to retain his prize for the third straight pay-per-view event at Money in the Bank 2013.

It was a challenge that Henry had feigned retirement and played every dirty trick in the book to attain, a bout meant to cap off a nearly 20-year career that had never included a WWE Title win. It was a brutal, inspired effort by one of WWE’s most enduring Superstars against its most decorated champion. It was one part physical, one part mental … and, when the dust had settled, it was still not enough for Mark Henry to get the job done.

It had, for some time, been looking like Cena’s days at the top were numbered. From Henry’s SAG-qualifying “retirement” speech to his foreboding threats toward The Champ over the last two weeks, the No. 1 contender had Cena’s number in the weeks leading up to the match. Henry’s career spent holding all major accolades except the WWE Championship seemed to have pushed him to a new level of aggression in pursuit of the ultimate prize, but Henry’s dismissal of Cena’s resilience was, ultimately, misplaced

The No. 1 contender seemed eager to assert his dominance over The Champ from the get-go at Money in the Bank. Henry kicked off his challenge by throwing powerful strikes and headbutts that drove Cena into the corner, but the behemoth seemed in no hurry to put the champion away quickly. Seemingly reveling in the opportunity to pick Cena apart, Henry used the ring itself to his advantage, slamming Cena into the steps and bouncing his head off the ropes in a grisly opening salvo that left the champion reeling, culminating the sequence in a pair of “kaiju”-caliber giant body swings that sent The Champ airborne.

Henry’s maneuvers weren’t enough to put Cena away for the three-count, but The World’s Strongest Man seemed far more preoccupied with the dismantling of Cena’s legend than his body. Humiliation was what he aimed to do in Philadelphia, and he certainly accomplished it for the better part by virtue of sheer power. An early attempt by Cena to hoist his 400-pound challenger up for a bodyslam went about as well as it did on Raw, and it looked for a very long time as if the mighty Cenation general was destined to be simply outpowered in the contest.

Cena found some wind by throwing body shots and shoulder blocks that finally took Henry off his feet, but while the subsequent Five-Knuckle Shuffle hit home, The Champ was unable to complete his famous finishing sequence and execute the Attitude Adjustment when his legs buckled under Henry’s weight once again. As Henry hoisted Cena up for further punishment, The Champ countered with a tornado DDT and, using every ounce of his strength, finally heaved The World's Strongest Man into the air for an Attitude Adjustment.

Alas for Cena, it was not enough.

The triumph of Cena’s Attitude Adjustment turned sour when he attempted a cross-body and Henry snatched The Champ out of the sky. He pulverized the titleholder with the World’s Strongest Slam, but Cena kicked out yet again to keep his reign alive. Henry turned to chicanery at this point, exposing a turnbuckle to use as a weapon — a strategy that backfired when The Champ shoved Henry himself into the bare steel and capitalized off his disorientation to lock in the STF.

The World’ Strongest Man escaped the hold by reaching the ropes, however, as Cena’s resilience began to build, Henry’s own confidence began to fade and he went for his most blatant cheap shot yet, shoving Cena into the referee and booting The Champ with a low-blow while the official regained his bearings. The illicit kick wasn’t enough to get the job done either, though, and The Champ kicked out at two once again.

At this point, the No. 1 contender looked to put the contest away with another World’s Strongest Slam, which Cena writhed his way out of, slipping from Henry’s clutches and to lock in the STF once again. Henry seemed as though he’d break the hold with the ropes again, but The Champ proved once again that heart is the strongest muscle when he grabbed the titan by his ankle and hauled him to the middle of the ring. With no sanctuary available to him, Henry finally succumbed to the submission hold and ended the bout with three taps to the canvas.

While Henry hobbled his way out of the ring, Cena immediately sprang to his feet in a dramatic reversal of their roles of late, seizing his title in preparation to fight lest The World’s Strongest Man look to make an example of him once again. Such a scrap was not to be, though. The humbled Henry slowly trudged back to the locker room in defeat lamenting what could have been, while a short distance away, Cena ascended the turnbuckle and basked in the glory of his Philadelphia win.

For all his power, Henry had considered himself a lock to win from the minute the match was announced. But perhaps he shouldn’t have been surprised that John Cena prevailed to defy the odds. It is, after all, what he does.


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