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Posted in: My Two Centsss
My Two Centsss - Is John Cena Retiring Sooner Rather Than Later?
By Super Chrisss
Aug 30, 2017 - 10:59:38 AM

Tom Jenner rocks!

I can’t believe I’m even asking myself this question, as John Cena won his sixteenth world title just over six months ago, but I can’t help wondering if The Champ will no longer be here. At least not full-time or even as a regular part-timer. What has got me thinking this way? Well, come September 24th, at WWE No Mercy, John Cena will have officially wrestled the second of what many people would consider a WrestleMania-worthy ‘dream match’ in about six weeks’ time. I may not be a booker, but I can’t be the only one who finds it odd that WWE will have given away Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura FOR FREE on SmackDown, and will soon be giving us Cena vs. Roman Reigns at a B-level Pay-Per-View in less than a month. That’s crazy!

The truth of the matter is, John Cena has been around for a long time, folks. Some would say too long. That’s not his fault, as he mentioned during his amazing verbal burial of Reigns (more on that later) – he’s still competing at every major PPV event because no one (especially not Roman) is ready to replace him. As a John Cena fan since his debut vs. Kurt Angle many years ago, I don’t mind having Cena around. He’s had more great matches than arguably any other top guy in WWE history (although, to be fair, he’s had many more opportunities to have those epic contests) and is the other half of my favourite match of all-time (Punk vs. Cena at MITB 2011). Cena, except for when he’s feuding with Randy Orton, has almost always brought an intangible to the table that made his feuds and matches ‘must-see’.

However, the problem with Cena’s constant presence, both now and then, is a lack of fresh match-ups. In fact, with The Undertaker now officially retired (or so we’re meant to believe), I’d argue the only WrestleMania-caliber matches Cena had left in him were versus Reigns and versus Nakamura. Instead, come October, we’ll have already seen both of those matches. Oops. So who else could Cena possibly face at WrestleMania that is worthy of a match with Cena, is fresh and would feel like a big deal? Let’s run through the candidates…

Roman Reigns: While a rematch between the two would be appealing, I feel it wouldn’t be as a big of deal as it should since they’ve already started feuding. Much like when Cena and Batista fought for the first time at SummerSlam 2008 and then reignited their feud seven months later in time for WrestleMania 26. They had a really good match that night, but it was overshadowed by the Shawn Michaels/Undertaker main-vent and rightfully so.

Seth Rollins: They had an extended feud back in 2015 and I would argue both men were in their in-ring peak back then. A WM34 match between The Architect and The Champ wouldn’t feel fresh, and would probably be a lesser version of their SummerSlam 2015 match. Pass.

Dean Ambrose: Ambrose is the only member of The Shield to never have a one-on-one match with Cena on Pay-Per-View. That being said, every time they have wrestled (once on Raw, once on SmackDown, and part of a triple threat at last year’s No Mercy PPV), it has been quality. However, unless The Lunatic finally turns heel, I don’t see the crowd being hot for a WM match between the two. Turn Ambrose heel and a feud with Cena could be money, maybe even being the vehicle that solidifies Ambrose as a true main-eventer. Of the three Shield members, I’d argue that [heel] Ambrose is the only interesting choice for a WM match.

AJ Styles: I’d love to see another Styles vs. Cena match, but is there really anything they could do differently, both in the build-up as well as between the ropes? I’m not sure, unless Cena turns heel. You know Cena could give Styles that high-profile, five-star WM match that The Phenomenal One has been robbed of for the past two years. My only question is whether they could find a way to freshen things up. Like Ambrose, Styles is a MAYBE.

Brock Lesnar: Part-timer vs. part-timer? No thank you.

Samoa Joe: Prior to Joe’s injury over the weekend, Cena was actually scheduled to face Joe on Raw this week without any prior advertisement. That’s another dream match WWE was ready to give away for no good reason. If WWE aren’t willing to save Joe/Cena for a PPV, or at least announce it a week ahead of time, there’s no way they’ll book a WM match between the two.

Braun Strowman: This match COULD be interesting, is definitely WM-worthy, BUT the story would feel like a rehash of the Roman/Braun feud, to be honest. Plus, you know WWE will keep Braun a heel and push him as an unstoppable monster against the hero John Cena, so I can’t see myself getting invested in that. Cena vs. Strowman COULD work, but that would almost guarantee the WM main-event would be Reigns vs. Lesnar, and Strowman vs. Cena is a simply unacceptable consolation prize.

Kevin Owens: Much like Seth Rollins, Cena has had his best matches with KO several years ago, and like Styles, I don’t see KO and Cena being able to do something different and/or superior in the ring if they had another high-profile match. I do see them having another PPV match in the future, but I don’t think it would be WM-worthy.

Randy Orton: No. Please, no.

The Undertaker: I still really, really, REALLY want to see this match, but Roman Reigns had to go and retire him this year. Thanks, dickhead.

As you can see, there aren’t a ton of WrestleMania options left for Mr. Cena. Other than a heel Ambrose, Braun and AJ Styles, Cena is low on fascinating WM match-ups. Therefore, why blow their load on Cena vs. Nakamura and Cena vs. Reigns so damn early? In my opinion, Cena is planning an early retirement. Either he’s burned out, doesn’t think WWE still needs him around or Hollywood has plenty of gigs lined up for him: whatever the case, I would be shocked if we see Cena stick around post-WrestleMania 34. I don’t think Cena will vanish completely; he will become the new WrestleMania part-timer who shows up around Royal Rumble season every year, sticks around until WM, and then bounces. I just can’t offer any other explanation as to why WWE is giving away all these Cena dream matches so quickly,

You know what else has me thinking this way? I know the rumours floating around are that the Cena/Reigns promo was heavily scripted, but I don’t believe it. Cena is one of the only guys who is allowed to go off-script and talk off bullet points rather than recite a promo line-for-line. I truly believe WWE was testing Reigns on Monday and he failed. He couldn’t compete with Cena and had to resort to insults and foul language to stay relevant. Reigns’ only hard-hitting jab (“You’re not as big of a deal as you think you are”) barely cut deep; Cena is arguably the biggest WWE star of all-time and everyone knows it. That’s like telling a millionaire they’re not as wealthy as they think they are – the bank accounts say otherwise. Besides, if Reigns/Cena was completely scripted, then why did WWE edit out Reigns’ forgetting his lines and Cena getting in a few more jabs on YouTube? Nah, I think Cena cut loose because he knows he’s leaving, he’s untouchable, and he wanted to show Roman he’s still not where he should be in his career. Hopefully Reigns learns and improves from the verbal ass-kicking Cena gave him, but only time will tell.

Look, I have no insider info or sources. But I would not be surprised one bit if Cena is on his final, full-timeish run as a WWE superstar. He has not over-stayed his welcome by his estimation, but he has given more to this business than he probably should have. He is by no means obligated to stick around just because Vince continues to push the wrong people. If he’s doing things on his terms, then the whole ‘free agent’ gimmick makes sense as it allows him to work programs with whoever he wants to with the time he has left.

John, I have no idea if you’re one foot out the door, but if you are, thank you for the amazing moments and matches over the years. And thank you for exposing Reigns for the midcard talent that he is on your way out. It is greatly appreciated, sir.


YOUR Two Centsss: What John Cena match do you still want to see at WrestleMania one day?

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