His Time Is Now: Is John Cena The Man To End Roman Reigns’ Title Run?
WWE turning Roman Reigns heel in 2020 and adding Paul Heyman as his manager created the best character for the promotion in years. Reigns has always been a tremendous talent from his time in The Shield, but the face run clearly lacked something. The desire from Roman himself to turn heel has made him the top name in the company right now finding his ideal role.
Fans are curious about who will be the one to end Reigns’ time as the Universal Championship. Names like Edge, Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens have come close in great false finishes, but fans will have a huge reaction to the person who eventually does it. Enter John Cena as the biggest realistic option to make history.
Roman Reigns’ Dominance
The booking of Reigns is unlike anyone else in recent WWE memory. Brock Lesnar was booked strong, but he wasn’t a full-time star on television every week. Smackdown has officially passed Raw as the “A-Show” in WWE for many reasons. Roman appearing every week as the top star may be the biggest reason when realizing he’s on another level from the rest of the roster.
The Universal Championship win of Roman saw him taking over as a heel from the start of his new character shift. Reigns enforcing his dominance in feuds with Jey Uso and Kevin Owens led to the title run starting off in impressive fashion.
WrestleMania 37 was the big payoff of WWE doubling down on this philosophy. Fans expected Daniel Bryan or Edge to have their redemption story in the triple threat, but Roman pinned them both at the same time for the biggest statement victory of his career. WWE set a precedent that the wrestler to dethrone Reigns will have it be a huge moment for their career.
Few Realistic Choices
The losses of Kevin Owens and Cesaro have put them outside of realistic contention to dethrone Roman. Daniel Bryan’s loss forcing him to leave Smackdown will see him no longer on the same brand as the Universal Champion if he does sign a new contract to return to WWE.
The absence of Edge can see him entering the picture again, especially since he never got a one-on-one match after winning the Royal Rumble match. However, Edge’s shift towards a tweener showing heel tendencies may harm the impact of a face ending the reign of a dominant heel.
Everyone has the dream match of The Rock coming back to face Reigns using the “head of the table” storyline of their real-life family bond. Rock wouldn’t be a realistic contender to end Roman’s title run with his acting schedule and age. The desire of Rock here would be to lose to Reigns and make him look stronger if that match happened.
The risk of moving Drew McIntyre to Smackdown or elevating Big E could backfire unless both storylines are bulletproof. WWE has struggled with long-term storytelling and those options became less ideal when looking at the flaws involved for a decision you can’t have back.
The Champ Is Here
John Cena’s acting career is likely to become even more successful with upcoming roles in blockbuster franchise films F9 and Suicide Squad. Unlike The Rock and Batista, Cena has been vocal about his desire to return to WWE at some point in the near future. Time will tell if it opens up, but Cena appearing for WrestleMania 38 season in 2022 would make the most sense for all involved.
WWE still has their biggest possible storyline in play with Cena looking to break the tie between him and Ric Flair for most world title reigns. Cena’s sixteenth title win over AJ Styles set his name in wrestling history next to Flair’s iconic accomplishment.
The acting career of Cena took off before WWE could realistically try to have him break the record, but they also wanted to hold off for the right timing. No heel will ever be as dominant of a world champion as Roman is now nor will the stage be better set for Cena to comeback.
The Biggest Money Match
Vince McMahon has likely already thought about the dream scenario of Cena attempting to make history against Reigns on the biggest stage. Both wrestlers have been overwhelmingly protected due to Vince’s booking of them above everyone else on the roster, aside from Brock Lesnar. The two future Hall of Famers showed chemistry a few years ago with their worked shoot promos setting up a face vs face match.
Roman’s drastic character change will make things completely different these days. The heel turn that never came for Cena is playing out with Reigns finding success on his own terms. Cena has accomplished everything he can in WWE, but Roman’s dominance is different from Cena’s time as the face of the company.
The contrasts in their natural personas will see them in their perfect character roles. Cena is the only face in WWE with the story to make Reigns’ lengthy title reign pay off in grand fashion. One negative is WWE having to end the title run quickly afterward with Cena’s schedule, but the moment alone would be worth it.
If WWE can hold off, WrestleMania 38 will need to sell over 100,000 seats to replicate the success of WrestleMania 32. No other attraction matches the story of Cena winning the only WWE World Championship he’s never won and being the one to overcome Roman’s untouchable title reign at the same time.