Re: Which Full timer has threatened Cena's top face spot the most between 2006 and no
Bryan's been doing well, but still has yet to prove that it's sustainable. He's definitely the most over wrestler in a long time...I'd even argue to say since Austin's ascent, specifically in terms of the crowd going bonkers...but we have yet to see if that translates to perking and more importantly sustaining interest. I personally think Bryan could be up to it, but there's some slight tweaking and refining that needs to go into his character. However, that evolution can come in time, doesn't have to be over night.
Punk could have been it, and I firmly believe that. The problem is they didn't go all in with him and for that, they missed a huge opportunity. There are three things that, if done differently, I think would have put Punk on Cena's level, and in a prime spot to potentially take over:
1. The Aftermath of MITB 2011: After Punk won the belt at MITB 2011, he needed to stay away for much longer. He was gone, what, a fucking week? Essentially holding the WWE hostage was the best thing they could have done to further solidify Punk's anti-authority persona and push his anti-hero traits to the max. No, you don't just go and create a new champion in that situation, you have Vince in a manic of what to do with THE title off TV. Not only would that have brought some much needed prestige to the WWE Title at the time, but it would have made the anticipation for Punk's return even bigger. Everything that was done with Punk showing up with the belt at Comic Con, or tweeting pictures of the title in his fridge should have been taken a step further and played out longer.
2. Punk remains champ: There should have never been cash in on Punk after he beat Cena. ESPECIALLY not by Alberto Del Rio. They didn't need to have the "undisputed title match" at Summerslam in the first place either. It easily could have just been Cena's rematch from MITB. Simply have Cena call him out, "you beat me at MITB, but I have a rematch clause and if you're man enough you'll come back and defend that title". Punk comes back to prove he's up to the challenge, as any good babyface would do and you have him go over Cena again at Summerslam. The Triple H issues that came post-SS should have never come to fruition, MAYBE you tease tension, but no match goes down...until far later.
3. Punk vs. Triple H at WM 28: You don't waste Punk/HHH at Night of Champions and you don't get Kevin fucking Nash involved in the whole situation either. Punk need to continue his hot streak after defeating Cena twice, defending the WWE Title, in the main events, of every PPV there after Summerslam, not constantly in the second to last match. You then rekindle the Punk/HHH beef on the Road to Wrestlemania in 2012 leading to them having their epic showdown on the big stage for the title. H would have needed to put Punk over obviously, which I don't know how realistic that would have been at that point...but it's the match that should have happened. The modern day Austin/Vince rebel against authority. It didn't have to close the show either...still could have had Rock/Cena last.
Blood. Urine. Vomit.