Pro Wrestling always outshines and shocks itself. Following the International success of Hulkamania, no one thought anything like that would ever happen again. Low and behold, in comes a tough SOB from Texas known as Stone Cold Steve Austin. He lead the way as the WWE broke all kinds of television records during the late '90s.
A few years later, when the wrestling business was beginning to slow down following its' largest boom ever, a ripped up rapper named John Cena started making us laugh with his charismatic personality that shined through each and every persona he endured. His rapping was great and pushed him to the top where he has since remained, 18 years later.
From guest roles in hilarious comedies like Trainwreck to his multiple philanthropic endeavors, John Cena has used his popularity to become bigger than himself. He has built a name that is recognized by all and it has lifted him to becoming the highest paid wrestler in the business today.
Sadly, John Cena tore up his shoulder so badly last January that he had to have surgery on it and was forced to miss a few months of action. He then made his shocking return at WrestleMania 32, to help The Rock battle The Wyatt's followed by his first real return to the ring in May where he began a feud with A.J. Styles. After Styles ended up winning the WWE World Championship, John Cena wound up leaving the company for a few months to film a movie, leaving us all in suspense about when he would return. Then, he made an unannounced appearance on SmackDown Live! where his feud with AJ Styles picked right back up from where it left off in October.
This all led to his WWE World Championship match at the 2017 Royal Rumble, against A.J. Styles, in which he won for the 16th time in his prestigious career, tying the pro wrestling record, held by Ric Flair, for most World title reigns. That win has put a target on his back that he is taking with him to WWE's Elimination Chamber 2017, later this month. He is set to wrestle AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, and The Miz for the WWE World Championship belt.
What is next for the Superstar? Let's take a look at what his next 15 moves will be and predict what we think is about to happen in the WWE.
15 Elimination Chamber
After his incredible comeback to win the WWE World Championship at the Royal Rumble last month, John Cena has been put into a very tough spot by having to defend the title belt against, not one, or two, or three, or four, but five other men in the Elimination Chamber, which is giant steel cage that has inner chambers where each wrestler remains inside until it is unlocked. Each chamber is opened every five minutes and the last man remaining is the winner. That means that John Cena could lose the WWE World Championship belt this Sunday even if he is the first one eliminated.
John Cena needs to lose the belt if he is going to win it back eventually and break Ric Flair's longstanding World Championship record. So expect John Cena to put up another terrific PPV match while losing the belt in the process. He might hang on to make it to the final two or three guys but do not expect a win. The most logical move for the WWE would be giving the belt to Bray Wyatt to head into WrestleMania 33 to face Randy Orton, an interesting storyline to say the least.
14 The Beginning Of A Samoa Joe Feud
When you become the highest paid wrestler, you also become the most hated in the business. But it is common practice for a wrestler to have heat on him simply because he wins more titles and is constantly showcased in main event after main event. Jealousy sparks outrage among pro wrestlers which simply means that John Cena either has friends or enemies.
This is great news for Samoa Joe, who is great friends with John Cena, dating back to when they were both still learning the business and wrestled with the UPW. In fact, John Cena has given much thanks to Samoa Joe for helping him come up with the "Thuganomics" gimmick that John Cena used to climb through the ranks of the WWE in the early 2000s. It was the gimmick that propelled him to where he is today and it is all thanks to Samoa Joe.
After Cena loses the belt at Elimination Chamber, and Samoa Joe gains more exposure on television, the two will start to clash in a feud that should carry over into the companies largest pay-per-view, WrestleMania.
13 WrestleMania XXXIII: Samoa Joe Faces John Cena
As we mentioned before, the fact that Samoa Joe and John Cena are good friends only helps to solidify this idea that these two men will eventually start to battle it out every week on television much like the days of John Cena vs. Randy Orton, who are also great friends in real life.
We are going to be bold and say that during this Sunday's Elimination Chamber PPV, Samoa Joe will show up and disrupt the main event match, effectively causing John Cena to lose because of it. That will be the spark plug to their feud which will culminate in a great match at WrestleMania 33 in April. Win or lose, John Cena's going to help get Samoa Joe over, and that will make Joe the star the WWE wants him to become this time around.
12 Hollywood Hiatus
Late last year, John Cena was casted to be a major character in a comedy scheduled to be released on April 20th, 2018 called The Pact. The film is a story about three parents, played by Leslie Mann, John Cena, and Ike Barinholtz, who find out about their daughters pact to all lose their virginity on their prom night and the things they do to try and stop them from following through with it. The movie's director is the wonderful mind that penned the screenplay for the widely successful Pitch Perfect films, Kay Cannon. It is her directorial debut but the idea already sounds like it is going to be hilarious.
Although the scheduled filming dates are not available yet, one can assume that they are planning on filming this in 2017 when John Cena has a few weeks of availability, in order to get the best work out of him as possible. So, even without anything becoming official, we can all predict that John Cena will help get Samoa Joe over at WrestleMania so that he can take time off for the filming while the rest of the roster takes over for a few months.
11 Welcome Back, Triple Threat Style!
Just when the fans start to discuss the possibility of John Cena possibly retiring, or maybe leaving wrestling until 2018, he shocks everyone with a surprise appearance on SmackDown Live in May.
The idea here is that, following WrestleMania, there is going to be another Roman Reigns push that will result in a feud between him, Bray Wyatt, and maybe even Randy Orton. As the weekly shows progress the feud between Roman and Bray, Randy will be making run-in appearances, practically forcing himself into the feud just to get himself a title shot, there will come a week where both Raw and SmackDown Live will start to carryover into one another and a Four-Way non-title match will be scheduled between these three men, with a special guest wrestler in the fourth slot that does not get announced until the moment the music plays and he walks to the ring.
That man, of course, will be John Cena. No one will expect it and all it does it turn this match into a giant ratings booster for the brand as they prepare for their May pay-per-view, Extreme Rules.
10 Second Person to Ever Win Money in the Bank, Twice!
John Cena has a schedule in 2017 that might anger most of his fans while also leading to a ratings boost because, let's face it, he puts butts in the seats and eyes on the television sets. So as he continues to bounce back and forth between television, pay-per-views, and Hollywood, fans start to lose track of when and where he is going to show up next. If the WWE does this right, they can move him around just long enough to make fans miss him but not too long that the fans stop caring about his shocking appearances.
This brings us to Money in the Bank, scheduled for June 18th at the Scottrade Center in St.Louis, Missouri. After giving the fans more than they paid for in May with a surprise main event match on SmackDown Live!, John Cena will remain around, leading up to his appearance in the Money in the Bank main event Ladder match. With all signs pointing towards Bray Wyatt holding the WWE World Championship for good while, this match will end up featuring some big name stars and maybe even a few veterans. If things go according to our plan, this will end up being between Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, A.J. Styles, The Undertaker, and John Cena, with Cena becoming only the second two-time Money in the Bank winner behind CM Punk.
9 Braun Strowman, Finally Gets a Real Shot To Get Over
Now that we have settled into the idea that John Cena is going to stick around for a few months, we can start enjoying his impressive abilities to get over just about anyone he decides to help. Or, in this case, help push someone that is over but still not considered one of the WWE's elite stars.
Braun Strowman is a massive beast of a man, standing 6'8" and holding countless American, and World, Strongman Championships. Strongman, for those of you who have no idea what that is, is a battle of extreme strength that truly proves who is the strongest man alive. For perspective, Braun has won seven different Strongman titles.
Knowing all that, his wrestling has improved as of late and he has really started to come on strong with a late push in December of 2016. However, he needs to start beating the guys that the fans see as the best in the business. But since John Cena is on SmackDown, if this feud is going to work, it will have to happen in July, right after the WWE Draft.
8 The 2017 WWE Draft Sends John Cena Back To Raw
No one has confirmed that the WWE will even be doing a draft again this year but since we are creating this story, we are going to go ahead and say that it will happen and it will probably be in July, one of the slowest months for the WWE. This would not be the first time John Cena moved to Raw but it will be surprising in how it goes down during the draft.
Let's set the stage for this draft for you. Daniel Bryan, accompanied by his boss Shane McMahon, will come out and talk to the crowd, and probably address The Miz or a few other current feuds within SmackDown Live Then walks out Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon, together, with the largest grins on their faces. They pause under the Titantron and Stephanie tells them that the first overall pick of the draft will be determined by a 12-man royal rumble, six men from each brand, which will be the main event on Raw that evening. Shane McMahon agrees but only if the winner gets to choose which brand to go with. So not only will the winning brand get the first pick, if the winner chooses the same brand, they will technically get the first two picks. However, the shocking moment occurs when John Cena wins the match and chooses to go to Raw.
7 Roman Who? Oh Yeah, Reigns
Just when you thought Roman Reigns was finished getting a push, the WWE grabs a bigger shovel and digs an even deeper hole for him to climb out of by putting him in a feud with John Cena. Why is this a bad move for Roman? Well, that is simple, because everyone hates him and he has become an easy target for fans to root against. There is little to gain from a feud with John Cena but it is part of a bigger picture and a future plan for Cena that culminates in that magical Money in the Bank briefcase being cashed in, but that is later on.
By our calculations, and by calculations we mean throwing darts at a list of wrestlers and naming one of them World Champion, we expect Roman Reigns to finally win that Universal Championship belt and hold onto it for a good while, especially throughout his entire feud with John Cena. This is leading to a SummerSlam main event title match, right?
6 Trade Of The Century, Thanks Shane!
Wrong! After Shane McMahon works out a deal with Stephanie McMahon and to trade John Cena back to SmackDown in exchange for Chris Jericho, who has annoyed the life out of Shane since being selected, against his will, to SmackDown.
Imagine the storyline for a second. Chris Jericho is possibly one of the greatest heels in wrestling and has an incredible talent for whining and throwing tantrums like a child. So when he gets drafted to SmackDown, and Kevin Owens ends up remaining with Raw, he starts to become an annoying pest that follows around Shane everywhere he goes, constantly complaining about everything, like an annoying girlfriend, or a nagging wife. The backstage promos can be some of the funniest since the New Day made Seth Rollins dance.
So once Shane gets fed up with it, he makes a deal to trade him for John Cena but Stephanie wants more than that so he also gives up Daniel Bryan. Boom! Now we are making television ratings, right?
5 SummerSlam '17: Cashing in the Briefcase
Don't forget that the main reason we are even talking about this stuff is John Cena, who still owns that briefcase with the Money in the Bank contract that allows him to cash it in at any time for a Championship match.
But John Cena is not one of those guys that drops the briefcase when a man is already badly beaten, or against someone who just fought. He would rather fight the man and win the belt, straight up, like a man. However, things start to go South for him when he gets traded to SmackDown and Shane begins to blame John Cena for causing him to lose his GM, he even resents him, forcing the two men to get into several heated exchanges. So Shane buries him by forcing him to wrestle in lopsided matches that favor his opponents and even, keeps him out of any SummerSlam matches. This forces John Cena into a corner and makes him do something he did not plan on doing, using the briefcase during the main event title match between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.
Braun wins the belt but then we hear the John Cena theme song and the crowd erupts as he charges the ring and starts to beat him down even further, leading to a pin count of 1...2..whack! Roman nails John Cena with a chair, knocking him out and then placing Braun on top of him for the pin.
4 Marvel's Newest Superhero, Superior
Mark Millar is a legend in the comic book world. He has been around since the '80s, working for DC Comics and Marvel. His best work came from his work with the series, Superman Adventures, The Authority, and Ultimate X-Men. He has also written issues of Judge Dredd, Sonic the Hedgehog, Swamp Thing, The Flash, Justice League of America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. He has even created his own stories which have been adapted into major motion pictures. Wanted, Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Fantastic Four, Captain America: Civil War, Logan, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and, a film yet to be created, Superior.
Superior is the story of a 12-year old boy suffering from multiple sclerosis which has forced him to need a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He idolizes a superhero named Superior and actually gets a visit from an alien who grants him the ability to become Superior in his real life.
Naturally, John Cena would be perfect for this role and after seeing his hilarious performance in the movie Trainwreck, Mark Millar immediately contacted him for the part via Twitter. So expect him to miss time eventually because Superior should be a television series, meaning we could see a much longer hiatus for this one.
3 Royal Rumble 2018: Surprise, Surprise!!!
SummerSlam will be on August 20th of this year and should be the last time we see John Cena in 2017 as he will leave the WWE for a few months to film his latest film and/or television series. He might also get married towards the end of the year to Nikki Bella, which could lead to more time off from the business to spend with his new wife.
That means that we will start to forget about John Cena to the point where we will not even consider him showing up in the 2018 Royal Rumble. So many other things will be going down around the WWE at this time that the last thing anyone will think of is that John Cena is going to make an epic return to the ring as the 30th contestant of the Royal Rumble next year. Yes, we know he has already shocked fans at the Royal Rumble a few years ago leading to one of the biggest pops in wrestling history. But it does not matter because it works on our storyline.
He will win the Royal Rumble and that can mean only one thing...
2 The Undertaker Returns, One More Time
But before we talk about John Cena's record breaking 17th World Championship reign in 2018, we need to talk about The Undertaker winning the belt at the Royal Rumble first. Surprisingly, The Undertaker has only three title reigns throughout his illustrious career and is supposedly set to retire this year. But we know that means nothing in this business. He will win the WWE World Championship at Royal Rumble in one of the most dramatic finishes in his career.
The match will be back and forth, with both sides getting in some good moments, until about the 16 minute mark when The Undertaker's opponent will have someone distract the referee in order to viciously assault The Undertaker with the title belt. Just when we think we can predict the outcome, the lights go out and a few seconds later a huge explosion happens with fire coming out of the ring posts. The lights come back on and Kane is standing there and grabs The Undertaker's opponent, Chokeslamming him from the ring to the floor, over the ropes, in one of the scariest choke slams ever. He then climbs out, picks him up and places him back in the ring for The Undertaker to get the win. Yes, we know John Cena was not a part of this one but we had to explain this to setup the final part of the plan...WrestleMania 34
1 The 17th World Championship Reign, WrestleMania 34
Not long ago, the WWE announced that WrestleMania 34 would be in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, setting up the stage for a crowd of nearly 80,000 people, all there to witness The Undertaker taking on John Cena in the final match of The Undertaker's career. Win or lose, he plans on retiring the next day. If he wins the match, he will vacate the title, but if he loses, then John Cena will claim his 17th World Championship belt, a world record, beating Ric Flair's longstanding run dating back to the '70s.
The fans are used to seeing a title around John Cena's waist but since he does not appear to be heading to WrestleMania 33 this year to battle for the biggest belt of them all, the only way to honor such a record would be to wait until the following year, at WrestleMania 34. The build up to the event and everything else we discussed would lead to a very happy fan base. However, ratings and money always seems to dictate where the company is going and how they make their decisions so if things start to go South this year for the WWE, he might end up winning it at SummerSlam. If not, this is the perfect route for John Cena to complete his record-breaking journey.
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