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WrestleMania 30 match preview: John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

There's as much potential for a great match as there is for a controversial outcome...will Cena help make Wyatt a star, or is WrestleMania too big a stage for WWE to have their most marketable star lose?

Legacy or Liar?

Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena

It's been a long time since WWE has booked a match that has fans excited and trepadatious as this one. John Cena came back from his elbow injury and was immediately placed in the main event and title scenes. But since dropping the World Heavyweight Championship, he has shown a willingness to help create new stars.

It's hard to believe that Bray Wyatt hasn't even been on the main roster for a whole year. Since debuting in July, he's established himself as new school performer rocking an old school character, and fans have eaten it up. His wrestling has caught up with his mic work over the past few months, and everyone expects him to remain a big deal for a long time to come.

But will it start tonight at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans?

The Road to WrestleMania 30

The leader of the Cenation was derailed from his championship pursuits by The Wyatt Family when a distraction by Bray and his followers Luke Harper and Erick Rowan lead to WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton's pinfall victory over John at Royal Rumble.

There was no immediate explanation for the action, and when inteference by The Eater of Worlds cost The Shield a match on Raw that would have sent the Hounds of Justice off to a title opportunity at Elimination Chamber, a feud between those two units developed that would keep Bray and company occupied until that pay-per-view (PPV).

But it was at the very same show that the twisted cult leader again cost Cena in a match for the top titles in WWE, as even the steel structure of the Elimation Chamber couldn't keep the hero of millions safe from an attack that lead to his being eliminated from the match eventually won by Orton.

That lead to an assault by The Wyatt Family the next night on Raw that left Cena hobbled:

But it was when he sought to embody his principles of hustle, loyalty and respect in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal that Cena was finally forced to address the Wyatt clan head on. While sharing a ring with WrestleMania host Hulk Hogan, Bray lead his charges down to the ring to harass both legends. "The Champ" could avoid the dangerous trio no longer, and issued a challenge for The Showcase of the Immortals. A challenge that Bray, eventually, accepted.

Since then, the man who's face adorns cereal boxes has admitted that he is scared of Bray Wyatt. He sat down with Michael Cole to explain as much, stating that the sadistic sermonizer's disregard for wins and losses is something he's unfamiliar in dealing with, and that he's afraid that Wyatt will turn him into something he's not, costing him his legacy.

The backwoods preacher has proclaimed similar sentiments, with his primary goal being to prove Cena a liar - someone who doesn't believe in the platitudes he spouts to the millions of fans who wear his merchandise. Through the course of a series of matches with Harper and Rowan, the Family wounded and humiliated Cena, including a memorable bout on the March 24th edition of Raw that ended with him strung in the ropes adorned with one of Erick's signature sheep masks.

On the last Monday night show before 'Mania, Cena seemed to find his groove, surprising the Wyatts in the ring after their match with R-Truth and cutting a promo where he vowed to become a monster if that was what it took to preserve his legacy.

What's at Stake?

About as much as there can be in a WrestleMania match that doesn't involve The Undertaker or one of the major titles.

Cena seems to be slowing down and showing a willingness to make younger stars look their best in their encounters with him. But that hasn't translated to a string of clean PPV losses, to new stars or old. Whether he or his employers want the man they just crowned as THE Superstar of the modern era with his victory over The Rock at WrestleMania 29 to lose at the following Show of Shows - or even if it's smart for him to - is a valid question that has been on fan's minds since this program was first rumored.

Is Wyatt hot enough to sustain a setback here, and take the rub of just having worked with THE top star in the company at the biggest show of the year? Bray seems different that past hot acts that hit the Cena ceiling and never recovered, so hopefully he has enough momentum to roll right into the next stage of his career with continued support, but you never know.

Can either man win without winning, if Creative tells the story well enough? Can Wyatt say he proved his point if Cena needs to resort to brutality to defeat him? Can "The Champ" share a moment with his ticket and merchandise buying fans (and Hulk Hogan, who at one point had promised to be in Cena's corner for the match) after he's taken a loss?

There is as much potential for controversy about the outcome as their is for a great match, and this is sure to be one that we're talking about for months and years to come.

Stick with Cageside Seats tonight and on through the week for the outcome, fallout and analysis of this one!

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