The history of John Cena and Daniel Bryan

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July 19, 2013

One is a big, beef-eating strongman from Massachusetts who’s goofy and gritty in equal measure, with a personality as clean-cut as his Dudley Do-Right jawline. The other is an undersized, hairy, vegan grappler from Aberdeen, Wa., whose face is as scraggly as a Wild Thing and who mainly communicates in one-word responses at earsplitting volume. And at SummerSlam, John Cena and Daniel Bryan are going to beat the hell out of each other with the WWE Championship at stake.

It’s a main-event matchup the WWE Universe has dreamt of, but never thought it would see: the big-hearted standard-bearer battling the ferocious underdog who, as he’s happy to tell you, was never entirely sure he’d make it to the dance in the first place. The career trajectories of John Cena and Daniel Bryan are so different they seem to have come from different planets, but ironically, the two SummerSlam combatants have been orbiting each other for 10 years.

Before Cena and Bryan meet for all the marbles at the summer classic, step back and walk the long, strange path that led them here.

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