With Summerslam happening in two months the rumor mill has already kicked into full gear. At the top of that right now is John Cena returning to face none other than Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. Now depending on where you’re sitting this might be a great idea or a not so great one. I’ve been on the fence about it so I figured I’d try to hash things out here and come to some kind of conclusion. So let’s do that – examine some pros, and then some cons, and see where we end up.
Well for one, it’s a big time match. From a pure business standpoint yes you run that instead of Roman vs pretty much anyone else on the roster. There’s enough story with the returning franchise player looking to set things right and end the Tribal Chief’s reign of terror and avenge his loss from No Mercy 2017. Cena has the clout to walk right in and drop the challenge, and in a world where Roman has mowed so many people down and the next wave is still getting ready going with a big name for the second most important show of the year makes sense. If your intent is to male the biggest match possible then that’s it right there.
But that’s not it. Their match in 2017 was….fine, but not much more. Both guys had better matches with other people just that year and I don’t think it’s in either guys top 10. The buildup to it wasn’t anything worthy of the names involved either; the most memorable thing was the promo segment where Cena got the better of Roman and the whole exercise felt to me like they were trying to make sure they got the match in because John was going part time. So a do over with a proper build and a more confident Reigns on the mic and a likely better match given the stage and where both guys are doesn’t sound like a bad idea on paper at all.
Roman against another part timer? After Edge, Shane McMahon, The Undertaker, HHH, and almost one with Goldberg? After four times with Brock Lesnar (although he isn’t in the same category as those other guys)? Reigns is past the point of needing a win or a great performance opposite a legend to make himself, and now he’s a guy they’d all like to go with to have a big match because of what he can do in there. And that’s all well and good but you never know when one of these is guys is gonna from ‘he’s still got it’ to ‘yeah, he’s too old’. Do we really want to risk another WrestleMania 33 situation?
The next question is…..who wins? Cena coming in for what will be another temporary run and beating Reigns doesn’t make much sense. This run he’s been on could potentially crown the next top tier player so wasting a loss on Cena doesn’t really add up. If you want to take the belt off of Roman for a quick change up, a one on one loss to Cena where he gets it back a month later……does anyone want that? No, if you want to do that then for my money the best thing to do is some kind of multiman match where someone else can get pinned.
At the same time Cena is very much on the road to whatever his final match will be. He hasn’t been in the ring for a match since December 2018 on Smackdown I believe, and his last pay per view match was earlier that year at the Super Showdown. The last time we saw him was the Firefly Funhouse Match at WrestleMania 36 where he lost and literally vanished into thin air. Outside of Reigns fans does anyone want him to come back just to take an L? We don’t know how many more times we’re gonna get him and that final loss when it comes should give somebody a rub and not be a meaningless victory for whoever gets it.
In a vacuum I think it’s a good idea. It’s a big match between two big names for a big card. Both men have an incentive to put on their best performance possible and a win over Cena would still be a big deal for Reigns. Where I have some trepidation is fitting it into the continuity of what’s going next. Assuming Roman wins it looks like there aren’t many people to put against him for the rest of the year. And if the miracle does happen and Cena wins how long exactly is he going to stick around?
But you can worry about that later. I try to be a fan first and wannabe analyst second nowadays, so from my viewpoint go for it. It’s not my job to book the show, I just watch it and root for my favorite people to win. And besides Roman Reigns is one of my favorites so getting a win over another legend is right up my alley. Bring on the next victim and let’s go. Summerslam Cena goes down, and then he can start looking towards landing THE big prize: