John Cena has announced via Twitter that he’ll be back actively competing in the ring on Memorial Day edition of Monday Night Raw on May 30. This opens up a whole new perspective for WWE programming as “The Face that Runs the Place” will surely be inserted instantly into the upper-card. Now WWE Creative just has to decide what it wants to do with the returning superstar.
The possibilities of adding Cena into storylines are numerous and WWE will in all likelihood make a big deal about it, in spite of the fact that the booking of its superstars has changed dramatically since WrestleMania and the subsequent arrival of a whole new crop of NXT sensations as well as indie darlings – be it in singles or in tag team action.
Cena is WWE’s top dog and will not be used as a stepping stone for any of the newcomers seeking to make an impact, no matter how powerfully they are booked. There is also a strong belief by wrestling fans that Cena may be thrust into the United States Championship picture again and restore prestige to a belt which has become more of an afterthought, as we have witnessed with its more recent holders, Alberto Del Rio and Kalisto. There is no doubt that Cena would thrive in that role, much like the way he did when he issued his open challenges in 2015, making the United States Championship meaningful. However, WWE might be tempted to utilize his star power at the top of the card and make him the one to finally put WWE back on path of where it’s always wanted to go.
Let me explain. The idea all along has been for John Cena to pass the proverbial torch as the face of the company to Roman Reigns. Cena could be pivotal in establishing Reigns as the next top guy, but this journey needs to be gradual, believable, and above all a well-written WWE narrative priority.
Roman Reigns is currently labeled a “tweener” and is yet to make a heel turn. Though his turn may be further accelerated with his feud with AJ Styles, it is widely expected that Reigns will retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship till at least SummerSlam. Whether or not Reigns turns full heel before the summer, doesn’t really matter. If he does, the story will write itself. Reigns would want to prove a point and add an extra trophy to his resume: beating Cena and burying the man who has been at the helm for over a decade, but now past his prime. If he doesn’t turn, the storyline could rest on Cena’s shoulders who could declare that Reigns is a man who isn’t worthy of the title due to his “tweener” nonchalance and his mockery of the fans who clearly don’t like him. The bouts would be stellar as well. From a purely in-ring standpoint, Cena could help carry Reigns and the duo could produce some of their best matches together.
Should WWE still doubt about Reigns as the next top guy and decide to make Cena victorious in this feud, then the pair could first of all face off in the Money in the Bank main event. Reigns would retain via disqualification, cementing his heel status in the process. Cena would then get his rematch at Battleground. Again, Cena would be denied the title as a result of some technicality or stipulation. Cena could then claim the title by beating Reigns clean and become a 16-time champion in the SummerSlam main event, making history in the process. This would make for a massive, epic bout. It also has the advantage of being a fresh matchup.
If WWE goes the other way and gives Reigns the rub, then the Samoan badass could either retain in all three bouts or, alternatively, drop the title to Cena at either Money in the Bank or Battleground before recapturing it at SummerSlam.
Whatever the outcome, WWE would have some marquee main events to boast about and both Cena’s and Reigns’s star power would be optimized. It’s a built-in story that makes sense. It sounds good. It’ll look good. Book it now.