John Cena didn't compete at WrestleMania 35 this year, but the 16-time World Champion had another remarkable and memorable moment on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Cena interrupted Elias' concert and brought back his "Doctor of Thuganomics" gimmick from a decade and a half ago. Cena then proceeded to attack Elias, hitting him with the signature Five Knuckle Shuffle before putting the man away with the Attitude Adjustment.
Given his long-time status as the face of WWE, one might think that Cena would be disappointed with a non-wrestling role for WrestleMania. But in an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Cena explained why he actually loved and enjoyed his brief appearance at the big show in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
"This is the first time in a long time I haven’t had to focus on a main-event profile segment," Cena said. "There wasn’t that looming WrestleMania Sunday in the back of my mind saying, ‘I have to do this and this is what people pay to see.’ I had a lot of fun watching it from the crowd last year, because I knew that was going to be special, and this year gave me liberty to have even more fun."
Cena's confrontation with Elias received some of the loudest crowd noise of the evening, so his role was obviously a massive success - even if the future Hall of Famer didn't end up taking part in a match.
The 16-time World Champion has been shooting his latest film Playing With Fire in Vancouver for several weeks, so perhaps the lack of preparation time played a role in WWE's decision to not have Cena wrestle at the big show.
Cena has seen limited time in the ring over the past few years now, as he continues to find more and more work and success in Hollywood. His last match was on the Jan. 14 episode of Raw, where Cena lost a Fatal 4-way match to determine the No. 1 contender for Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship. Finn Balor won that match and unsuccessfully challenged Lesnar for the title.
It's anybody's guess when Cena will next wrestle with WWE. He will likely have to return to television and start building up for his next feud, but it's anybody's guess when that time will come around.
What This Means
Even though he saw little time at WrestleMania 35, Cena once again shined on the grandest of stages. It's moments like these that make him such a legend in the wrestling world. But now, we have to wait and see when Cena will make his next memorable appearance in WWE.