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Top 5: WWE WrestleMania 34 Opponents For John Cena

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WWE Elimination Chamber is in the books, and while Roman Reigns ended the night battered and bruised in a Chamber pod, he’s also going to WrestleMania to challenge Brock Lesnar in what is likely to close out the show (sorry Shinsuke Nakamura). With that settled, another item remains open: What does John Cena do at WrestleMania 34?

I am not so sure the answer will be resolved in a week, as John Cena commented he may have to go outside of the normal means to find his way onto the card. That could potentially take a good portion of the next six weeks, as a desperate and conflicted John Cena gets to WrestleMania by “any means necessary.”

The end result? Well it’s always fun to speculate! I give you the Top 5 WWE WrestleMania 34 opponents for the WWE’s resident active legend, John Cena.

5. Elias vs. John Cena

WWE Elias Royal Rumble

The story is there, as John Cena and the man everyone wants to walk with have crossed paths before. Could they embark on a journey that takes us to New Orleans? The last time John Cena wrestled in the Superdome, he defeated Bray Wyatt in a match that seemingly turned Cena into “Mid-Card Match John” at WrestleMania.

While Elias would be more of the same, it wouldn’t shock me if the outcome wasn’t different. Elias can benefit greatly from a win here, and John Cena isn’t spending much more time at the top.

4. Jinder Mahal vs. John Cena

WWE Jinder Mahal

Yes, this is a self-serving option. I’ve been pegged as a “Jinder Guy” since his ascension, and I am totally fine with that. I also called this match when I called AJ Styles going over Jinder for the WWE Championship and Shinsuke Nakamura winning the Royal Rumble (all things I said back in August, by the way).

Jinder Mahal getting “the John Cena match” at WrestleMania 34 is the perfect cap to his unforeseeable year, which started when he put over Rob Gronkowski en route to Mojo Rawley winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33.

If I think John could put over Elias, could he put over Jinder? Honestly, it makes perfect sense to me.

3. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. Braun Strowman vs. John Cena vs. The Miz (c) for the Intercontinental Championship

The Intercontinental Championship is the one accolade that has eluded John Cena in his illustrious career, and challenging for that title at WrestleMania makes perfect sense.

You can include Finn Balor (as I did) and/or Elias into this mix as well, although I see Finn teaming with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson as Balor Club against The New Day in New Orleans, and Strowman might fill the role I have pegged for Cena in my top spot here.

But this match could deliver big time, it makes sense for Cena to want to be in it, and he could even win.

2. Randy Orton vs. John Cena

Randy Orton vs John Cena?

 

Before you completely dismiss this match, consider the history both men have. Consider the contributions they’ve made to WWE during their careers. And consider the options they have in front of them.

As a cross-brand match, this is as big as it gets. They can deliver, and the build could be entertaining. Count me in if this is what we end up with.

1. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon vs. John Cena & Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey Triple H Stephanie McMahon John Cena

Triple H obviously wants the Ronda Rousey signing to work out. It can lead to so many more major name acquisitions as he continues to stake his claim to the leadership of WWE. There are few you can trust in the ring with an inexperienced talent than Triple H.

John Cena is one of those few.

Whoever teams with Ronda Rousey will be a big deal. We know she will compete at WrestleMania as it’s been explained from a storyline standpoint. Now we just need to see who she teams with. Could Cena interject himself into this volatile situation in order to cement his position on the grandest stage of them all?

It would sell, that’s for sure.

 


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Now Is The Time For WWE To Experiment

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WWE Iconics

Few people will doubt my bonafides as a fan of WWE. I’ve been watching almost nonstop since the summer of 1990. I lasted through the sex scandals & the lean years of the mid-90s. I stuck with the company through the doldrums they went through after everybody else went out of business. I’ve been around for John Cena’s entire career & I’ll make it through Roman Reigns’ as well.

With all of that being said, my fandom has ebbs & flows. My interest level in WWE falls right around this time every single year. Once the calendar flips over to September, other things start competing for my attention. The TV ratings & other metrics used to determine level of interest in WWE indicate that I’m not the only one. There are a lot of things competing for our attention as we head into autumn.

  • Of course, there’s the beast that is the NFL. No matter what type of a hit the league has taken from becoming a political hot-button topic, they still dominate the landscape. Sunday Night Football & its status as the top-promoted game each week pretty much kills the wrestling PPV business. Monday Night Football puts a dent in Raw’s most weeks. Add in the college flavor, and that’s a good percentage of people’s weekends booked.
  • Baseball is heading into its postseason. Not such a big deal where I live, but most of WWE’s major markets have baseball teams that are involved. Fans of the Sawx, Yanks, Cubs & other top teams are all into that right now.
  • The NBA is still pumping out storylines & trade speculation. It’s becoming a year-long thing. I mean, Jimmy Butler is pretty far down my list of compelling figures in the association, but people are still going crazy over his potentially leaving Minnesota.
  • Hockey’s almost back. That takes up most of Canada’s free time. Speaking of which, I need to write about the Predators at some point.
  • Heck, when we think about legendary sports figures making unexpected comebacks, anything Shawn Michaels can pull off will pale in comparison to what Tiger Woods is doing. Golf is becoming a thing again, folks.
  • There isn’t just sports. I’m not big into TV series until after they go off the air, but my best friend watches too many of them to count. The fall season starting inevitably leads to him complaining about how there’s way too much stuff to watch & not enough time.

No matter what WWE does this time of year, American interest goes down. It never fails. They could be running five-star matches every single week. Wouldn’t matter. Some of their wrestlers could be cutting some of the greatest promos ever, which would be replayed for decades afterward like they were Dusty Rhodes or something. Wouldn’t matter. They could bring back every legend under the sun to try & get attention. America’s attention would still be elsewhere.

WWE’s next three major shows are a bit outside the box. Super Show-Down takes place on Saturday, October 6 in Melbourne, Australia. Evolution is an all-woman show being held on October 28 at the Nassau Coliseum. Then we’ve got Crown Jewel, the second all-man show taking place in Saudi Arabia this year. That’ll be on Friday, November 2. Three brand new extravaganzas. Two are taking place outside the United States. One is a brand new concept to WWE. All three make sense to me, especially during this time of year.

If Americans aren’t as interested in WWE during this period of the year as they are during WrestleMania season or the summer or whenever else, why not try to engage other markets? Australia has seen yearly tours from WWE since 2002, but they’ve never held a PPV event in the Land Down Under. They do enough business on these tours to keep coming back, and we’ve seen the pipeline of female Australian talent start to bear fruit with the likes of Emma & the Iiconics. I see no reason not to give Australian WWE fans a major event of their own.

I’m not as cool with the House of Saud as many of my colleagues at the Chairshot. I’m not as sold on Triple H’s ability to effect change in the Kingdom & convince Mohammad bin Salman to let WWE’s female competitors wrestle in Power Ranger outfits someday. I watched very little of the Greatest Royal Rumble event. I only watched the Rumble match because I like Rumble matches, and Styles vs. Nakamura because I thought that was a big deal at the time. I can’t comment on the propaganda aspect because I avoided it.

Triple H Saudi Arabia Greatest Royal Rumble

I get the capitalistic part of it, and recognize that there isn’t a wrestling promoter that ever existed that would turn down the money that WWE got paid to run events in the country. If anything ever fit my podcast catchphrase “It is what it is”, this would be it. WWE can run events there. Nobody’s forcing people to watch them, at least not here anyway. I don’t know if this is like the North Korean wrestling shows where people were forced to attend or not.

What better time to run shows in an unpopular country here than a time of the year when we’re not paying attention? Makes sense to me!

There’s been some word around the campfire that Shawn Michaels will make his big in-ring comeback in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have even implied that Hulk Hogan will be on this show, which given their social record would make sense. I can see the argument against both of these returns happening on this show, but I can also see the returns building the hype for something more, like an eventual HBK match at WrestleMania. I think of it as an experiment. If Michaels can’t go anymore, a match on this show isn’t a big enough stage to kill his legacy. If it works out and he wants to do more, his eventual return on American soil will draw more money.

WWE Evolution

Then we got Evolution sandwiched in the middle of the Australia & Saudi Arabia events. #GiveDivasAChance has come a long way, no doubt about it. How many times have we commented about the NXT women stealing the show, or the Horsewomen getting the strongest reactions, or Alexa Bliss & Carmella being the best heel champions on the whole roster? The women getting their own show to themselves is long overdue, even if the reverse sexism people want to try and make hay out of it. Tough luck, guys. Go find some male vs. male customs to watch instead.

If you’re going to try a new PPV concept, why not iron it out this time of year? Nobody expects WWE to get this right the first time around. We’ll have some awkward dream matches. There will be Bellas involved. I’ll love it for that, most online people won’t. Some key performers like Alexa Bliss & Sasha Banks are currently injured and hopefully that won’t mess things up too much.

If it does…hey, it’s in October! Nobody’s watching anyway. If the show bombs we can blame it on the competition from everything else in the world. Football, baseball, TV, the upcoming mid-term election, whatever.

This is the perfect time of the year for experimentation. I applaud WWE for taking advantage of it, even if I won’t fully pay attention.


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Opinion

WWE Hypocrisy With Women’s Wrestling

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WWE Nikki Bella Divas Division

WWE has a rocky history with their involvement with Women’s wrestling. For a long time, women in WWE were looked only looked like eye candy for the male audience of the WWE programming and in a lot of ways women are still looked like eye candy for some WWE higher ups of the promotion run by Vince McMahon.

The look of a wrestler has always mattered in WWE no matter the gender, but women in WWE have always in a way had it harder than  men in a lot of ways. Vince McMahon has always preferred blonde female wrestlers with big breasts with lacking wrestling ability. Let’s remember the case of AJ Lee, a higher up in WWE told her that she was not attractive despite the fact is that Lee is a beautiful woman but she did not have the WWE look and instead The Bellas who have the WWE female look they want were pushed over her.

WWE likes to give credit to The Bellas as the starters of the ‘’women’s revolution’’ with Stephanie McMahon as the mastermind but this is far from the truth. All the credit to this women’s revolution should be thanked to Triple H and the 4 Horsewomen of WWE, whom with outstanding performances let the way to the current state of women’s wrestling in WWE and bring hope to the future to women’s wrestling in WWE.

Despite all the progress WWE has made in terms of women’s wrestling there are still some things that haven’t change. For example, Vince McMahon likes blonde wrestlers in a big way or the fact some female wrestlers have to make a breast augmentation surgery, so they could be pushed is still in WWE. The last match that not included a Blonde wrestler in a WWE women’s title match was October of 2014 in a match between Paige and AJ Lee. Making clear Vince McMahon and WWE creative have a type.

WWE accepting doing the Saudi Arabia show is throwing to the garbage all the progress made in women’s wrestling since 2015. The fact WWE is going to make shows in a country were women are not allowed to performed is bad already but the worst offence is the fact they do propaganda saying Saudi Arabia is this progressive country when in reality women are still treated as second class citizen and some of the progress they are making is still being tried to reverse back to some of the laws and rules against women they had.

The biggest mistake WWE could do in their history is promoting the Saudi Arabia show Crown Jewel in the first ever female PPV Evolution and the fact this is most likely to happen makes Evolution become from a celebration of women’s wrestling to a mediocre apology to the women in WWE.

WWE calling themselves moral compasses is just wrong when we can still see in the current state of the promotion that there is a lot to work to be done to improve women’s wrestling in WWE instead when WWE Is making the right steps it makes 10 steps backwards with Crown Jewel for the sake of money when they like to tell the fans they are doing this for social and cultural change which is far from the truth. Maybe with Triple H in charge we will see more change for the positive in all divisions of WWE specially for the women.


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Fake Sport, Real Numbers: WWE Wins & Losses

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Ruby Riott WWE

Samoa Joe has a worse record than Sarah Logan? Five tag teams have the same winning percentage as Curt Hawkins? Dean Ambrose is just a guy already? Silly wins and losses! If you only mattered in WWE!

Note: All records mentioned below pertain to the period since WrestleMania 34.

What do you know, these win/loss records aren’t completely detached from reality! For example, now that Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey has dispatched with Alexa Bliss, it appears she’s the target of Ruby Riott, who happens to be, by record (11-4), the rightful number one contender. Indeed, Riott and her whole Squad have some of the more respectable records on Raw. We can assume those will suffer as all three women will likely be fed to Rousey one-by-one in the coming weeks, but if they can step up their extracurricular chaos-making, they’ll pose believable threats to the champ. After Riott, the standings don’t offer many challengers to Rousey. Perhaps Nia Jax will demand some reciprocity for the title shot she offered Rousey earlier this year. Sasha Banks and Bayley have the popularity to cut in line and make Rousey back up her claim of being a fighting champion, and fans would probably ignore the fact that they are a combined 13-24.

The records below spark plenty more questions about the state of WWE a week after its Hell in a Cell event. . . .

ODD MAN OUT

Roman Reigns is the Universal Champion, poised to carry the belt over one shoulder and WWE’s flagship show on both. Seth Rollins is a weekly highlight with the workhorse title, the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Meanwhile, fellow Shield member Dean Ambrose is newly returned from nearly a year on the DL, and at 2-2 hasn’t exactly enjoyed any comeback momentum. Even if he does manage to pick up some wins soon, is he likely to set his sights on his brothers’ championships? A better use of the Lunatic Fringe might be matching him up against Braun Strowman once The Monster Among Men and Reigns take a break from the dance they’re destined to do forever.

If WWE’s recent attempt to make a villain of Becky Lynch has only fortified her fanbase, its similar shot at making Braun a bad guy has left the WWE Universe confused. Somehow the company’s biggest brute has produced the heel turn equivalent of a limp handshake. Months of Ambrose absorbing Strowman’s superhuman beatdowns could be just the thing to turn the fans against him. His various attempts to murder Reigns over the last year and a half only made the crowd fall in love with him because they generally wouldn’t mind seeing Reigns crushed in an ambulance. But they mostly like Ambrose.

SOLITARY

The Usos are 1-6 in the WWE tag team division, but 6-2 outside of it. Time for an amicable break-up to pursue singles glory? Or for Jimmy Uso to sharpen his announcing, and pencil, skills?

FALL FROM GRACE

Sixteen active current or former world champions are sitting at .500 or better, but 12 have sub-.500 success. Of course, pointing out that statistic risks burying the lede; on a roster of about ninety active competitors, 28 can say they’ve been a world champ. That’s just world titles. And most of those reigns occurred this decade. And, obviously, that number doesn’t include former roster members, and former champions, like CM Punk or AJ Lee or Alberto Del Rio or the returning Rey Mysterio, who have also captured world championship gold in recent years before leaving WWE. What’s worse, that so many people have been tested out in the top spot over the years, or that so many are portrayed as losers now?

NO WINS SITUATION

Five active tag teams have yet to win a two-on-two tag match since WrestleMania. Toss in the Good Brothers and the Usos, and that number rises to . . . two. If we’ve been paying attention, the takeaway is this: If you’re a singles wrestler, there’s a decent chance you’ll climb to the mountaintop; if you’re in the tag team division, there’s a decent chance you’ll be stabbed to death by your sherpa over a poker dispute before you ever get to the mountain.

KO-MIZ-ERATING

Former WWE world champions Kevin Owens and The Miz are a combined 10-28. You’re literally better off picking Lana to win a match.

Finally, Would You Believe . . . ?

. . . New Day are downright dominant as a tag team (6-1), but no better than .500 in matches outside the tag division?

. . . Rollins and Finn Balor have combined for fifty matches on WWE television since WrestleMania? And Owens has been part of 22 (and, yes, has only won five)?

. . . Jinder Mahal has the same record as Liv Morgan?

. . . Sheamus has just one more win than R-Truth, including singles and tag team matches? And even though he’s wrestled in five more matches? What’s up with that, fella?

THE FULL LIST!

RAW W L % SMACKDOWN LIVE W L %
Ronda Rousey 5 0 1.000 Kane 1 0 1.000
Nikki Bella 2 0 1.000 Jimmy Uso 5 1 .833
Roman Reigns 16 5 .761 Zelina Vega 4 1 .800
Braun Strowman 17 6 .739 AJ Styles 11 4 .733
Bobby Lashley 11 4 .733 Becky Lynch 10 4 .714
Ruby Riott 11 4 .733 Asuka 7 3 .700
Seth Rollins 17 8 .680 Charlotte Flair 11 5 .687
Apollo Crews 2 1 .666 Andrade Almas 10 5 .666
Nia Jax 6 4 .600 Brie Bella 2 1 .666
Sarah Logan 7 5 .583 Cesaro 2 1 .666
Ember Moon 11 8 .578 Shinsuke Nakamura 8 5 .615
Natalya 9 8 .529 Daniel Bryan 11 7 .611
Rezar 1 1 .500 Jeff Hardy 12 8 .600
Curtis Axel 3 3 .500 Eric Young 4 3 .571
Brock Lesnar 1 1 .500 Randy Orton 4 3 .571
Dean Ambrose 2 2 .500 Naomi 5 4 .555
Mojo Rawley 4 4 .500 Rowan 2 2 .500
Dash Wilder 2 2 .500 Luke Harper 3 3 .500
Scott Dawson 2 2 .500 Xavier Woods 5 5 .500
Finn Balor 12 13 .480 Maryse 1 1 .500
Elias 5 6 .454 Jey Uso 1 1 .500
Bobby Roode 6 10 .444 Big E 4 5 .444
Baron Corbin 7 9 .437 Rusev 7 9 .437
Drew McIntyre 3 4 .428 Samoa Joe 5 7 .416
Liv Morgan 6 8 .428 Carmella 4 6 .400
Jinder Mahal 6 8 .428 Alexander Wolfe 2 3 .400
Bo Dallas 2 3 .400 Lana 3 5 .375
Dolph Ziggler 4 6 .400 Killian Dain 2 4 .333
Alicia Fox 2 3 .400 The Miz 5 11 .312
Alexa Bliss 7 11 .388 Aiden English 1 3 .250
No Way Jose 3 5 .375 R-Truth 1 3 .250
Bayley 6 11 .352 Peyton Royce 2 6 .250
Sasha Banks 7 13 .350 Karl Anderson 1 3 .250
Titus O’Neil 1 2 .333 Kofi Kingston 2 7 .222
Chad Gable 2 5 .285 Mandy Rose 2 7 .222
Kevin Owens 5 17 .227 Billie Kay 2 8 .200
Mickie James 2 9 .181 Shelton Benjamin 1 5 .166
Dana Brooke 1 5 .166 Sheamus 0 2 .000
Akam 0 2 .000 Luke Gallows 0 3 .000
Matt Hardy 0 3 .000 Big Cass 0 4 .000
Fandango 0 1 .000 James Ellsworth 0 1 .000
Tyler Breeze 0 4 .000 Primo Colon 0 1 .000
Curt Hawkins 0 5 .000 Shane McMahon 0 1 .000
Goldust 0 1 .000 Sin Cara 0 5 .000
Heath Slater 0 1 .000 Sonya Deville 0 7 .000
Konnor 0 1 .000 Tye Dillinger 0 3 .000
Kurt Angle 0 1 .000
Rhyno 0 1 .000
Sami Zayn 0 6 .000
Sunil Singh 0 1 .000
Viktor 0 2 .000
AoP 10 0 1.000 New Day 6 1 .857
Roode & Gable 2 0 1.000 Bludgeon Brothers 5 2 .714
Ziggler & McIntyre 8 3 .727 Rusev Day 2 2 .500
Deleters of Worlds 8 4 .666 Team Hell No 1 1 .500
B-Team 6 5 .545 Bar 2 5 .285
Revival 4 7 .363 Good Brothers 1 4 .200
Fashion Police 1 4 .200 Usos 1 5 .166
Slater & Rhyno 0 6 .000 Colons 0 1 .000
Titus Worldwide 0 6 .000 Sanity 0 1 .000
Ascension 0 7 .000

You can find more of Sam’s work at https://thesamethingwrestling.blogspot.com!


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


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