wrestling / Columns

Santa Brought Us John Cena. What Will WWE Do With Him?

December 27, 2018 | Posted by Steve Cook
John Cena Smackdown

A couple of weeks ago we found out that John Cena would be making his long-awaited return to WWE. The last time we saw him appear in a wrestling ring was at October’s Super Show-Down in Australia. He was supposed to compete at the Crown Jewel event but was one of two WWE Superstars that pulled out of appearing on the card.

He did an interview with the Toronto Sun explaining his impending return to the company he loves more than life itself:

“I do apologize for being away for so long, but I have these wonderful opportunities to try and be a part of another storytelling universe that I truly enjoy. I was given the choice of taking one month to catch my breath and live what I would call a normal life. It took me about two seconds to turn that down. On December 26th, I return to Madison Square Garden and do a nice live event run with the WWE right up through the middle of January.

None of these shows are televised. I’m literally just doing it because I want to get back to a place I feel most comfortable and to working with people I can call my family. And I want to have some fun.”

Did anybody actually believe this? Well, I’m sure the part about wanting to have some fun is legit. But did anybody really think that John Cena was going to work some WWE live events and that none of them would be televised? Even if WWE wasn’t panicking over record-low ratings during football season, they would be foolish not to have Cena appear on their broadcasts whenever possible.

They would also be foolish to limit Cena to one brand. Mr. McMahon-ta Claus made sure everybody knew that their favorite wrestler would be appearing on Raw & SmackDown Live in 2019.

Let’s not over-react here. All of us know that John Cena’s acting career is taking off and he’s going to be working on movies more often than not for the rest of his life. I realize that sounds a little over-dramatic, but it’s true. Actors spend most of their lives on movie sets. A major role on camera in a motion picture is pretty much a 24/7 gig until shooting is over, and longer than that for people with major roles behind the scenes. These folks are perfectionists, as they should be because their work lasts through all of time. With TV shows, you can half-ass your way through a lot of episodes and still be considered legendary. You got one shot with a film.

Cena realizes this. That’s why he pointed out in this interview with Chris Van Vilet how it’s pretty much impossible to shoot movies and have a full time wrestling career at the same time:

”When you do a movie you are not allowed to do anything else. Because if I go do Monday Night Raw and Seth Rollins puts my nose over here, that messes up the movie. And not just like ‘well, you’ve messed up the movie.’ People don’t understand, there are 150 people on a movie set who are financially dependent on that movie getting done on time, that movie moving costs everybody money and sets the movie up to fail, which means we don’t get to do another movie, which means these people don’t get to make money. This is their livelihood.”

I love how he shouted out Seth Rollins there. Some people will be like “See, he put Seth over” and others will be like “No, he pointed out how unsafe that asshole is”. They can both be right, though calling Seth an asshole seems harsh to me. I don’t know the guy.

The $64,000 question is what WWE will do with Cena while he’s around during the Road to WrestleMania. Last year’s story of him trying to earn his way on the card was an interesting one. I wasn’t a fan of the part with Undertaker, but a lot of people seemed to like it. Some even liked their Mania “match”, which I attribute to mass hypnosis. They could just have Cena ask for a rematch for two months while he screws off on Raw & SD every week, but that doesn’t seem like a productive usage of his time.

What could John Cena do on SmackDown Live?

John’s already being advertised for next week’s SmackDown, so I suppose we can address that first. There’s always the possibility of a clash with The New Daniel Bryan, as John Cena can simply show up and book himself into a title match. It would be ironic to see Bryan fall victim to the same thing he put AJ Styles through back in 2017. You know Bryan knows all of the ways that Cena harms the environment each & every day.

Speaking of AJ, there’s that possibility too. Styles is fresh off of punching Vince McMahon, a feeble old man that I can see Cena coming to the defense of. I mean, I’d rather see Styles vs. Cena again than Styles vs. Triple H, or Styles vs. Shane McMahon & Miz.

One match I don’t want to see again is Cena vs. Randy Orton, but we sure can’t rule that out. Especially since Orton’s spent his past several months wrestling against people in his age group.

Its really a wide-open landscape for Cena on SmackDown, unlike for Cena on Raw, where one thing stands out to me.

What could John Cena do on Raw?

The role I see Cena in on Raw seems obvious to me. Maybe it’s not to anybody else, or maybe I’m giving myself way too much credit. I know, it’s another situation where it could be both.

There’s a guy on the Raw roster that WWE really wants to be a big deal. As a heel he’s pretty much been unstoppable, up until some minor issues lately. Even with losses to the likes of Dolph Ziggler & Finn Balor on his record, this man is still treated like the next top star.

Drew McIntyre already has one legend’s scalp on his wall. We didn’t hear from Kurt Angle for weeks after Drew dismantled him in what was pretty much a squash match. That night, along with some other key moments, set him on the path he’s on now.

A major win over the man Santa himself dubbed the greatest of all time could pretty much make Drew McIntyre. What better way to have John Cena go away to make a movie? If Drew goes over strong enough, nobody will question it.

There’s always the Undertaker…

Dear God, I hope that idea rests in peace. There’s a very good chance it happens, as Undertaker has been more active in 2018 than he has been in years. Unfortunately, nothing he’s done has made me want to see more. And how do you follow up their last match? Have Cena squash Undertaker? I just don’t see the point.

John Cena’s return should have a point. He deserves all the accolades he’s received over the years and all the success he’s having in Hollywood. He also deserves to be involved in something relevant when he’s on WWE television. From where I sit, the same old stuff with guys from back in the day isn’t.

article topics :

John Cena, WWE, Steve Cook


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