Mark Henry is challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship at the company’s upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view on July 14. The match is a result of the recent “retirement” promo that Henry cut on Raw which ended with Cena taking the World’s Strongest Slam in the middle of the ring.
Even though the spot garnered some serious attention and props from the WWE faithful who praised Mark for his performance, I think we all know that he’s not winning the belt from Cena.
This likely will not make many WWE fans happy, as Cena does have his fair share of critics who would love nothing more than to see him lose the strap at Money in the Bank. And Mark is definitely a favorite, a guy who has spent an entire career punishing opponents and wowing crowds with his insane strength.
But he has as much of a chance walking out of that pay-per-view with the WWE title as I do. And as far as I know, I’m not booked that night.
Don’t misunderstand me here; I’m not suggesting that Henry should not get a WWE title run. I happen to be a fan of Mark and have been for a long time. In fact, I feel that this promo has made him relevant once again in the eyes of fans and is one of the most important moments of his WWE career.
Yeah, it was that big.
But just because he is now rubbing shoulders once again with Cena on the main event level that does not necessarily mean that he is meant to take the championship from him. At this point, I’m actually beginning to wonder who will be the next WWE Champion.
The first name that immediately springs to mind is Daniel Bryan. The guy is on such an incredible roll right now and is considered by many to be the hottest Superstar in WWE. All eyes are on him as he continues to impress both in the ring and on the mic. I could definitely envision him challenging Cena for the WWE title.
Winning it, however, is another matter entirely.
CM Punk is always an option. The Best in the World may be preoccupied at the moment with the Paul Heyman angle but he eventually will come out of it. Punk and Cena have put on some great matches before; perhaps we will see it happen again sometime in the near future?
But Punk is certainly headed for a showdown with Brock Lesnar at some point and that feud alone could keep his focus off Cena and the WWE Championship for quite a while. In fact, I expect Lesnar or Heyman to cost Punk the win in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
It’s at this point that I could keep going down the list, naming one Superstar after another, giving the pros and cons of each man’s chances of beating John for the WWE title. I could. I have time.
But the bottom line is that while there are a few names that sound viable to me and would likely make good, if not great, WWE Champions, the fact is that I don’t believe it’s happening anytime soon. I just don’t know if there is anyone in WWE who can tow the company line and make the kind of money for Vince McMahon that John Cena can.
And that includes Mark Henry.
Therein lays the real issue. Because whether we’re talking about CM Punk’s 434 day title reign or The Rock’s 70 day title reign, the truth is that whoever wears the WWE Championship is basically just keeping it warm for Cena. Because eventually, John gets the belt back.
And that’s the way it’s been since 2005.
As long as WWE continues to believe in Cena and feature him as their top guy, then he will always gravitate back to the company’s top championship. That is reality and everyone in WWE, including Mark Henry, understands that.
So the real drama in Henry working Cena for the gold may not be whether or not he can take the belt, but rather how good he will look during the match and what WWE will do with him afterward. For me, that is the real concern; is this sudden spotlight that is currently shining on Henry merely there because WWE didn’t have anyone else for Cena to work right now?
While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, I don’t know if it helps Mark in the long term. If all he takes away from this match are bragging rights that he physically destroyed John Cena, beating him within an inch of his life, then so what?
That happens to John nearly every week.
Even so, I am looking forward to Mark Henry taking on John Cena for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank. Mark has earned some spotlight and I hope that something good comes from all this.
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist and Consultant for Bleacher Report and a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report
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