Big Match John will be making his first appearance on Smackdown in quite some time this Friday night, with his cameo likely to be setting up his WrestleMania 36 program. But after having done it all, what is there left for Cena to do exactly? Does he put over a younger talent? Does he have one last big marquee match-up like his previous confrontations with The Rock and The Undertaker?
Let’s look at the most viable options for the Doctor Of Thuganomics to face on the Grandest Stage Of Them All.
After warring with Roman Reigns for what feels like 17 years over on SmackDown, the esteemed 'King' Corbin will need something new to sink his teeth into. It's not a stretch to imagine the wounded royal coming out of his cage bout with Reigns at Super ShowDown and immediately targeting a legend to repair his deflated ego.
John Cena fits the bill.
Corbin retired Kurt Angle at last year's WrestleMania, and it'd be in-character for him to fire out a similar challenge to Cena in 2020. Lose, and John would be banished "forever" from the WWE realm (at least until everyone forgets that stip and he fancies another big payday). Win and he'd get to embarrass the 'King' like everybody else.
Despite raising the ire of social media whingers everywhere, Corbin is a solid heel who's Teflon and useful to WWE's bookers. He can be written into almost any scenario without worries for the future, because he's so easy to hate. Those boos will keep coming, and they'll drown out any Cena haters.
Babyface vs. babyface here, or is it?
Daniel Bryan's return from the heel dark side was facilitated by Bray Wyatt's apparent need to change everyone he comes into contact with in some way. We’ve seen a slightly more unhinged D-Bry since the loss at Royal Rumble, which culminated in Heath Slater getting his ass handed to him on Smackdown. This change in attitude would lend itself nicely to a match with John Cena a much, as two goody two shoes wrestlers going at each-other has always been hard to invest in.
It would also fit in nicely with WWE’s relentless merchandise machine. If WWE don't mind putting a heelish spin on Daniel for a month or two again, then they might be able to capitalise on Cena's rainbow procession of t-shirts that steal money from parents who only want to make their kids happy at shows.
Bryan, who recently launched an eco-friendly shirt onto the marketplace, wouldn't approve of Cena's hats, shirts, wristbands or anything else he was pushing from merch stalls near you. "Never Give Up"? Yeah, never give up peddling merch that harms the environment…
El Ídolo' vs. an idol is the draw for this one.
Andrade's recent Wellness Policy hiccup hopefully won't lead to some unnecessary punishment from WWE's top brass. It's a good sign that he hasn't been stripped of his United States Title, but it's important they don't decide to give him some sort of televised spanking (not literally) by having him drop the belt quickly when he returns. Current rumours do unfortunately suggest that this could be happening soon, but it would be ill-advised on WWE’s part.
Right now, Zelina Vega's prime client needs marquee wins that'll help him take a leap up the company ladder in time for the coming post-WrestleMania slump in business. Besting John Cena would be a feather in Andrade's cap, and it'd be straightforward to book. Don't forget Cena's own history with that US belt, and how much he did for the secondary strap several years ago.
His open challenges provided some of the best TV matches in recent WWE history. Now, he could take that sort of thing to pay-per-view, albeit with a twist. Cena would be hunting for the title, not fighting off hungry newcomers, and he'd love Andrade's big bumping style.
So it happened. Goldberg utterly squashed and destroyed The Fiend at Super Showdown.
What does it mean going forward for the Universal Championship and Goldberg? That much is anybody's guess. More than likely a showdown, and passing ox the torch, with Roman Reigns when he inevitably wins the Elimination Chamber... but how about that one final, big, marquee match up against Cena?
If that's not WWE's current plan, then it should be. The fans are quite rightly pissed off about the latest instalment in Vince's part timer obsession. So why not go one step further and have John Cena, the ultimate part timer, come back and dethrone Goldberg to move past Ric Flair's record and add further credence to the arguement of Cena being the GOAT? Sure, a part timer handing the belt over to another part timer seems pointless, but Cena is a hell of a lot more popular than Oldberg is with the WWE Universe.
The combined name value between Cena and Goldberg alone sells it. Tack a retirement stipulation onto this 'Mania monster match and you'd have a match for the ages, giving Goldberg the send off he deserves.
"He isn't a big enough name"
"It's disrespectful to Cena"
Sit down. Shut up. Elias is the future of this company and you know.
We’ve already seen Elias and Cena interact on a few occasions but it has never really done anything for Elias moving forward. However, a match at WrestleMania against one of the greatest of all time could go a huge way toward establishing Elias as a top guy on Smackdown. We've we've glimpsed of potential, only for it to be cut short at a moments notice, but WWE and Vince are clearly still high on Elias.
Elias’ time is now (See what I did there?). He is arguably the most over that he has ever been in WWE and is having some truly memorable and entertaining moments with the likes of Strowman, Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Nakamura. Let’s face it – he probably wouldn’t beat Cena on the grandest stage of them all. But just going toe to toe with Cena would surely elevate Elias and get eyes on to him who otherwise may not even know who he is.
Who would you like to see Cena throwdown with? Comment below!