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John Cena is back on SmackDown, but to feud with who?

Tuesday’s Rude Awakening looks at potential John Cena feuds, the top wrestlers of 2016, and Stephanie McMahon’s shot at CM Punk.


We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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John Cena hasn’t been around all that much since the brand split that made RAW and SmackDown into separate entities. He faced AJ Styles at SummerSlam, lost, disappeared until No Mercy, then lost (as did Dean Ambrose) to Styles in a triple threat WWE World Championship title match. He’ll be back on the blue brand as of Tuesday, December 27, a return that SmackDown has been advertising for a couple of weeks now, but it’s unclear just who it is that Big Match John is going to get his next big match against.

Styles is an option, given he’s running around calling himself the face that runs the place, and the triple threat from October didn’t exactly settle the beef that Cena and Styles had in place. A setup for a WWE World Championship match between the two at WrestleMania — which could very well be the title run that ties Cena with Ric Flair’s record — would be tremendous. However, it’s also not the only option: there have been a number of Cena and Undertaker rumors for WrestleMania 33, and there’s a reason. Undertaker won’t wrestle forever, Cena’s schedule is limited but he’s at the peak of his wrestling powers, and this would be a dream match-up even without those specifics. Taker vs. Cena at Mania is one of those matches that should happen just so it never ends up being a missed opportunity.

There is no wrong answer, and that’s kind of a great place to be in. Cena vs. Taker is a match with no obvious victor, and it’s rare we get that out of an Undertaker match at Mania. It’s also a historic meeting between two wrestlers who helped keep WWE going during transitional periods in the company’s history, two megastars meeting in a way they never have before. Styles vs. Cena is the preexisting feud and could very well have the WWE World Championship involved, but Cena doesn’t necessarily need to win number 16 right now in the way he might need to face Taker before it’s too late. That last bit just might be what puts Taker and Cena on the road to WrestleMania.

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