When Brock Lesnar versus Braun Strowman was announced for No Mercy, not many thought that an even bigger match would be announced for the event. Yet here we are a month later, moments away from not only that marquee match taking place but also it being joined on the card by John Cena versus Roman Reigns. It's a match we certainly did not expect to see so soon, and especially on anything other than the hallowed ground of WrestleMania. While the two will not physically touch until they meet at No Mercy on Sunday, the verbal battles have been can't miss.
Cena is one of the greatest Superstars to ever pick up a microphone and he has pulled no punches when it has come to dressing down The Big Dog. This week on Raw, though, Reigns had the luxury of getting to talk without Cena there to chop him down. Roman unsurprisingly focused in on the hypocrite angle, showing clips of what Cena said about The Rock a few years ago. On the surface it does look like Big Match John is being extremely hypocritical, but when you delve a little deeper you realize that he really isn't.
Both The Rock and John Cena are two of the top stars WWE has ever produced, there is no questioning that. Both men have a number of World Championships to their names, have headlined multiple WrestleManias, and also helped carry the company on their backs for periods of time. Due to the sheer amount of action that was packed in to professional wrestling at the time The Rock was on top however people forget how short a stay he had with WWE, especially when compared to John Cena.
The People's Champion was only really on top of WWE for six years, and that's probably exaggerating it a little. In the grand scheme of things that isn't a long time. Compare that to John Cena. You could argue that Cena really began breaking into the mainstream somewhere between WrestleMania XX and 21. By my count that's 13 years on top for the Franchise Player and he's still not done. Twice as long as The Rock so if anyone deserves to start taking it easy and segueing out of the business, it's Cena.
When The Rock finally did cut ties with WWE and make a go of it in Hollywood without wrestling to fall back on, he did exactly that. Once the wrestling business had gained Rocky enough notoriety it felt like he didn't want anything to do with it any longer and he tried to distance himself from it as much as possible. He even went through a period of trying to drop The Rock moniker, the name that had made him famous and one the world knew him by, and instead go by his actual name, Dwayne Johnson.
For seven years the WWE Universe were left wondering whether their hero would ever come back while he continued to act like the world that made him famous didn't exist at all. You can rest assured that Cena will not act in that way. If anything it feels like Cena is branching out into television and movies because his age necessitates that. John is 40 now and knows that he can't wrestle forever. FYI Rock was in his early 30s when he decided to hang up his trunks in favor of a movie career.
The last point as to why Roman Reigns was wrong to focus in on Cena's alleged hypocrisy is perhaps the one he will get picked apart for the most. The Big Dog stood in the ring with his signature smirk on his face as he and the WWE Universe watched the Cena promo slating an absent Rock in 2012. Once it was done Reigns proceeded to bad mouth John, informing us that he wasn't on Raw just like The Rock wasn't back when the screened promo occurred.
Trouble is Cena was not away filming or doing something non-WWE related like Rock was in 2012. No, Cena was not on Raw because he was in China performing for WWE and furthering a lot of their projects. John has been a major proponent of WWE's foray into China, even learning some Mandarin so that he can communicate with Chinese fans. It hardly paints Roman Reigns as the hero or even an observant foe of John Cena when he questions why someone isn't on Raw when they're traveling the world to help further the WWE brand.
PREVIOUSLY: THE REAL REASON CENA VS STROWMAN HAPPENED ON RAW
On first appearance it really may have seemed that Roman benefited from Cena not being on Raw, but with all the facts presented it seems like he may have done himself even more harm. In fact Reigns is extremely lucky that John wasn't on Raw this week as if he had been, he would have torn apart The Big Dog's hypocrisy angle even more astutely than has been done in this article.