On the most recent episode of Smackdown Live, John Cena cut one of his trademark emotional promos about how much he loves WWE, as a prelude to accepting a challenge from AJ Styles for a match at SummerSlam. It was passionate, heartfelt, and the fans in attendance ate it up. But someone who wasn’t entirely thrilled with Cena mocking AJ Styles for having to work in other wrestling companies besides WWE, and it was Smackdown GM, Daniel Bryan. During the debut of “Talking Smack”, a new post-show created by WWE, Bryan got a little heated talking about Cena telling Styles that AJ would “just go work somewhere else” if he left WWE.
It’s hard to blame Bryan, someone who had to toil on the independent circuit for so long so he could live his dream of being a wrestler, for feeling like Cena was denigrating indie wrestlers for working outside WWE in order to both make a living and continue doing what they love. But more importantly, this happened on WWE’s own show, and it will be interesting to see if there’s any fallout, public or private, from Bryan’s comments in the weeks ahead.