John Cena is poised for the obvious comeback to WWE–assuming it happens, exactly how do you book his journey?
When you paint the Mount Rushmore of Pro Wrestling, it’s easy to include John Cena. His run at the top of WWE is second only to that of Hulk Hogan, spanning a solid decade before he took a step back. Cena is synonymous with WWE, kicking off the Ruthless Aggression Era, and becoming a bankable star that people loved–or loved to hate.
Earning the respect of nearly every fan by the end of his run, John Cena has seen his sports entertainment career become a launch pad into Hollywood, appearing in major movies including this summer’s Fast And Furious 9 alongside Vin Diesel (the star for whom John Cena plays the younger brother to) and the usual crew (minus The Rock and Jason Statham).
A favorite past-time of many a wrestling writer, including myself, is booking. Be it a card, or one individual’s span of time, we love to take the pencil out of the hands of those doing it for a living and publish our own ideas. Well that’s what I am doing now, as I book John Cena from WWE SummerSlam 2021 to WrestleMania 38.
SummerSlam 2021: vs. Roman Reigns
Yes, it’s happened before, but never like this. Roman Reigns is in the “John Cena” position, as “the Head Of The Table” isn’t just a gimmick–that’s the role he plays in the entire WWE. He has taken on all comers, and done so on his own terms. Since his return, he has triumphed over Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt’s The Fiend, Drew McIntyre, Jey Uso (getting Jey higher on the card than ever before), Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Cesaro, and most recently Rey Mysterio. He shows no signs of slowing down, with many expecting him to be Universal Champion going into WrestleMania 38, and possibly even WrestleMania 39.
I honestly think the better match for Cena is Bobby Lashley–and we can get there–but given the importance of the relationship between FOX and WWE, it makes more sense for John Cena’s return to happen on Smackdown. And if you are going to return on Smackdown, the most obvious opponent is also the best option, and that’s Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
For Roman Reigns to go down as one of the true greats, a win over John Cena within the current landscape is exactly what needs to happen in the main event in Las Vegas.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Survivor Series: vs. Bobby Lashley
With Cena making his return on WWE Smackdown, the inevitable WWE Draft could be a place to send him back to the red brand, WWE Monday Night Raw. Cena doesn’t “deserve” a shot against Bobby Lashley pre se, but the Almighty WWE Champion is sure to want to add Cena to his trophy case, one that isn’t as impressive as Roman Reigns’, but is starting to grow.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
WWE NXT Takeover: vs. Tommaso Ciampa
John Cena doesn’t need to go to WWE NXT, but could I see him wanting to? I sure as hell could. By this time NXT is back on the road for a Takeover, and John Cena is in the house. To me the obvious choice is Karrion Kross, but I firmly believe Kross will be on Raw or Smackdown by this time. At least he should be.
There are many stalwarts of NXT that Cena could stand against, including Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole. And as much as I would love a match with either (or Walter), the flag bearer for WWE vs. the flag bearer for NXT is the match-up we all need to see, in John Cena vs. Tommaso Ciampa.
Cena vs. Ciampa would have one hell of a build, as both men have a way of “getting real,” and pushing their opponents to the limit outside the ring. In the ring, this could easily entertain, as Cena would sell for Ciampa and Ciampa would get every ounce of sympathy out of a John Cena match.
Winner: John Cena
(I mean, I have to let Cena win at some point, right? Personally, I want Ciampa to win.)
Royal Rumble: vs. Drew McIntyre
It should be obvious by now that this is turning into a farewell tour for John Cena. I have no idea if he can truly do all of this, but it’s my fantasy booking so I am sticking with it! Drew McIntyre joins Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley as the stars WWE is centered around these days, and McIntyre would treat this match-up with a certain level of respect that the other two can’t–for storyline and character reasons.
Cena vs. McIntyre is also a little fresher than the other two, and further cements McIntyre as one of the top stars in WWE regardless of championships (he’s already there).
Winner: Drew McIntyre
WWE NXT UK: vs. Walter
Yep, it’s time to go crazy and send John Cena to the most passionate fan base in al of WWE–the English! The UK crowd deserves another shot at John Cena, and John Cena deserves one more appearance in front of the UK crowd. While NXT UK has multiple potential opponents for John Cena, the only real choice is Walter. He can kick Cena’s ass all over the place, he can also sell for Cena. But in the end, Cena can pass the “LOLCENAWINS’ torch to the man who already has it.
WrestleMania 38: vs. Edge
While Edge and John Cena had plenty of one-on-one encounters, they never got a WrestleMania singles showdown. In Dallas, we can fix that.
Bill this as John Cena’s final WrestleMania, not quite his retirement, and you have a renewal of arguably the greatest rivalry either man has had. The build would be fun, half nostalgia but half current as Edge is two years into his WWE return run and has been involved in major storylines.
Because Cena always seemed to have Edge’s number in the end, Edge gets the final win on the grandest stage.
WWE RawAfterMania: vs. Randy Orton
While it’s not currently announced as such, if WrestleMania 38 is a two-night affair, you can have Cena vs. Edge on Night 1, and on night 2 promote that John Cena will be on Raw to announce his retirement. It’ll pop a huge rating, and it’ll also bring out one last surprise…
With Edge’s (initial) career being cut short due to injury, John Cena and Randy Orton shared the ring approximately 389,472 times during their run(s) at the top of WWE. It seems fitting that Cena’s actual last match is against the man who he is most linked to in his WWE tenure in Orton.
Winner: Randy Orton
Those Who Didn’t Make The Cut
There are plenty of matches I want to see for John Cena, but we can’t have him against everyone, now can we. Here is a list of those I would selfishly love to see, in no particular order:
- Seth Rollins
- Adam Cole
- Johnny Gargano
- Karrion Kross
- Joe Coffey
- Matt Riddle
- AJ Styles
What do you think of the potential for one more run in WWE for John Cena? Anyone I left out? Anyone that jumps out at you? Hit me up on social media @ChairshotGreg and let me know!
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy
As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI. Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.
Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.
I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”
Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match
Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!
Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect
On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.
Swanton Bomb From The Heavens
When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.
Hardy Wins The WWE Championship
In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.
Straight Edge Problems For Hardy
The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.
The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE
Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.
Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut
From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.
This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.
As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.
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