Friday, July 31, 2015

Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and the Divas

Ten years ago, I'd have said John Cena was a punk. I am not a fan of white rappers, especially ones who do it part time as a hobby, and Cena was one of the worst wrestling rappers of all time. Like Brock Lesnar, Cena came at the end of my time watching the WWE, when I came back, I wasn't really surprised that Cena was still around, but I wasn't happy about it.

When I came back to the WWE universe, I took an immediately liking to Daniel Bryan. He was just so different than the old style wrestlers, his in-ring skills were impressive and while his beard is pretty nasty, it was unique. Much like Mick Foley, Daniel Bryan had that 'everyman' vibe, that he was just like one us, but his hard work and perseverance took him right to the top of Wrestlemania 30. Every time I heard a story or rumor that Vince McMahon didn't like Bryan, the more I wanted to support him. His work with ROH was phenomenal, whereas Cena has been a WWE company boy from day 1.

So that was my opinion, not even a year ago. John Cena: Fake Ass-Rapper, Daniel Bryan, the Kid Who Made It. In fact if you went back and read my first post on Wrestling Weekday, you could see how much I liked Bryan. Then I started watching Total Divas and it all changed.

I am not going to hide the fact I am a huge Nikki Bella fan. In fact, I've never really been a fan of any woman, for anything, before Nikki. Don't get me wrong, there were lots of talented women whom I respected and liked, either for their art or their output. There are actresses I prefer over others and female musicians who melt my heart, but I'd never consider myself a "fan", in the sense that I'd wear a t-shirt with their logo on it or anything. Nikki is one of the nicest, hardest working, female wrestlers in the history of the story. Seeing things through Nikki's eyes on Total Divas gave me a whole new perspective on Cena and Bryan. In case you didn't know, Nikki is living with John and Nikki's sister, Brie Bella, is married to Daniel Bryan.

On Total Divas, glimpses of the real John Cena peek through. I am sure he is not being himself on camera, who ever is on reality shows? But I've noticed he is not at all like the man I thought he would be. Wrestling is his LIFE, not just in the sense that he spends all his time doing it, but in the sense that his entire world revolves around wrestling. After one messy divorce, he refuses to get married again and he has made it quite clear to Nikki that he does not believe you can be a wrestler AND the father of children and has sworn of kids for his career. Although he can seem a bit cold at times, it makes perfect sense. These guys are on the road for 300, 400 days at a time, sometimes more. I bet if you were to look at Cena's life over the last 15 years most of it was spent on the road or in the ring.
But Cena is also incredibly smart and compassionate. While he clearly can't give his partner the relationship that other people have, he does go out of her way to make her feel special.

When Cena speaks on Total Divas, he comes across as incredibly smart and considerate. He lives in a beautiful home, dates a beautiful woman and has had a great career in the WWE. With the renewed vigor that he's put into the US Title, Cena is now a man who deserves respect. He's earned it, both as a wrestler, as a person, and as a business man. Also, his house is awesome.

Daniel Bryan, on the other hand, seems to be a stuck-up snob. His hipster lifestyle is so ridiculous, its almost funny. You can't save the world by growing your own vegetables, Daniel. He seems to be incredibly frugal, which is hilarious for people who work in entertainment. He has his bank send him notices when his wife spends money, and his house looks like his real estate agent was the una-bomber. There is nothing wrong with being cheap and wanting to save money, but when you start to look like a goat, and your wearing second hand clothes to world wide media appearances, you might have a problem. I have no problem with people wanting to live their lives a certain way, but he seems to resent and dislike most people, primarily I think because they don't share his beliefs. He comes across as a hipster bigot. He doesn't seem to like any of his co-workers, he doesn't enjoy the benefits of his hard work and he seems to generally act like he's better than everyone else. Which would be fine, except for the fact that the only person he ever speaks up against seems to be his wife, who isn't the brightest bulb in the lamp and agrees with everything he says (its her duty as a wife), and his wife's sister, Nikki Bella.

Every time he appears on Total Divas, Daniel Bryan seems to be insulting Nikki for her lifestyle. Whether its the expensive clothes she buys, or the house she lives in, or the fact that she's not going to marry John Cena, Bryan always has some obnoxious comment to remind her of how much better his wife is. It's almost as if he's overcompensating to make Brie feel better; because in their careers, looks, personality and intelligence, Nikki is definitely the superior twin.

Bryan's aversion to modern medicine is ridiculous, given his line of work, and I can't help but think his injuries wouldn't be so severe and his recovery times so long if he just accepted that getting the best medical help is not "unnatural". I mean, by that logic, isn't going to the gym unnatural? How can you spend so much time eating healthy and working out, only to turn around and refuse to use modern means of recovery and rehabilitation?

But the one thing Daniel Bryan does that really gets under my skin is the way he constantly likes to remind Nikki that she isn't going to have children. Come on dude, you have to know that's going to hurt a woman in ways a man can never understand. I mean if you really are concerned about her, if you really think that she's making a huge mistake by giving up marriage and kids, why not man up and confront Cena about it?

I mean this is all personal opinion, maybe Daniel Bryan is active in numerous charities outside the WWE, maybe he's spearheading efforts to convert the WWE to green energy alternatives, I really didn't do any research on the subject. Maybe Daniel Bryan is very outspoken to other people about their materialistic lifestyles and maybe he's really charming and nice outside of Total Divas. Somehow though, I don't think so. I think Bryan just doesn't like a lot of what modern life entails, but he seems to only take it out on the two women closest to him. Nikki Bella shouldn't have to suffer the burden of Bryan's silly lifestyle choices just because her sister married him, and he certainly has no business commenting on whether or not she'll have children. No woman deserves to be shamed for not wanting to live like a hippie or because they choose a partner who doesn't want children. It's childish and frankly, it made me lose all respect for Bryan. I hated to see him leave, but now I don't even care if he comes back or not.

I remember one episode of Total Divas where he asked Cameron what message she was sending to little girls. I think Bryan needs to look at how he treats women and what message HE is sending to young women. Just because you don't sexually harass women doesn't mean you aren't a douchebag.

Not one single time have I heard John Cena criticize or judge someone else. Maybe he's just too smart to do it on camera. Or maybe he's just a really smart, hardworking guy. Cena is where he is because he earned it. Somehow, I think the Bryan's, Daniel and Brie, have already reached their peak, career-wise. I don't want to see Brie go, her and Nikki are a great team, but do I care if Daniel Bryan stays?

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