In lieu of a complete recap of last night's episode of Friday Night SmackDown from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I'm going to focus instead on John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and one incredibly compelling story WWE is in the midst of telling.
This past Wednesday, WWE released an interview with John Cena that, in hindsight, is utterly amazing considering the implications of what he revealed within it.
The quick hits:
1. He had Brock Lesnar beat and Seth Rollins ruined it.
2. Seth Rollins is the stupidest man on Earth because he collapsed the entire WWE Universe when he ruined it.
3. He is the only man in WWE who can beat Brock Lesnar and now he has to destroy Seth Rollins because he was so stupid stopping him from beating Lesnar and, in turn, ruining the WWE Universe.
That is literally what he said. "I'm the only one who can beat Brock, Rollins stopped me, and now I'm going to wring that dumb bastard's neck".
What's more, he pointed out time and time again that he badly wants to ruin Rollins not just because Rollins cost him the match but because of the stupidity within it. That "stupidity", boiled down, is that Rollins was not, in fact, acknowledging in that moment that Cena is the only guy on Earth who can win a wrestling match against Lesnar.
HOW AMAZING IS THAT?
But wait ... there's more!
Cena also quite literally goes on to say that he is of the belief that he should be the one to get his hands on Rollins before Dean Ambrose because, ah, hell with it, here's the transcription:
"I can't blame Dean for that, Seth Rollins tried to end the guy's career. This is what I do, this is what I love, it's some guy trying to end my career. I would spend every waking minute trying to get in to pay that back. So I understand, but if you ask Dean he's going to tell you 'well, John Cena's issue isn't big enough. This guy tried to end my career.' Dean needs to look at it from my shoes: I got kicked in the butt at SummerSlam. I had everybody from kids to Hall of Famers to announcers to professionals backstage telling me that I'm washed up, that I don't have it anymore, that I need to throw in the towel; essentially, that my career is over. Why? Because of one match, one match with Brock Lesnar. Then I go to Night of Champions. I get a rematch and I ask for it right away, no downtime, and I actually compete and hang in there with a monster. I feel as if I had Brock Lesnar beat and out comes Seth Rollins. So, essentially, yes, he physically tried to take Dean Ambrose's career away but I got everybody telling me I've lost a step and I'm washed up but I finally have a pinnacle victory, a paramount win over Brock Lesnar, to make history by the way, to be a 16-time champion, and that's taken away from me. So you're telling me Seth Rollins didn't take away my career, take away my accolade, and I don't owe him that payback as well?"
That is a verbatim quote, everybody. That is something John Cena actually said. "Rollins tried to end Ambrose's life but he cost me a match -- one that would have made clear I'm the greatest ever, too, no big deal -- and that might as well be the same, right?"
The arrogance is dripping off the page. The personal vendetta, at the cost of all else, even basic logic and reasoning, is just as obvious.
Days later, we get the airing of SmackDown last night on SyFy. And while the language was somewhat different, the message was still the same only this time Cena told Ambrose straight to his face that his issue with Rollins is more important. Cena literally gets his hard face on and tells Ambrose that he doesn't know what it's like to wrestle Brock Lesnar but Cena does and he almost had him beat and Rollins ruined that. Ambrose rightly points out that while Cena lost one night, he damn near lost his entire career. Let us not forget that Seth had already destroyed Ambrose emotionally when he turned on him to break up The Shield. Then he destroyed him physically.
STILL, the best Cena can come up with is "hey, let's call a truce and just race to him. Whoever gets there first gets to take his head off".
The most interesting thing about this is that Cena is forgoing what's most important in favor of seeking personal revenge. He is no longer actively working towards the good of the collective and is, in fact, out only for himself. His original premise, that he believes himself to be the only man who can defeat Brock Lesnar and Rollins costing him the match was an extinction level event, is sound. It's still arrogant as all get out, but it at least works in theory. Now if that is indeed the case, and he is still under this belief, he is willingly forgoing any further attempt at course correcting in favor of destroying the guy who prevented him from correcting the course to begin with.
It's even worse because he kind of, sort of did prove that he could beat Lesnar. He now knows, at least in his own mind, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he can win the title back. So why isn't he simply reupping and doing everything he can to earn another title match? Why isn't he taking the necessary steps to continue fighting for the greater good? Why isn't he fighting for all of us anymore? What's more, why is he actively standing in the way of a good man (Ambrose) working out his issues?
When the Seattle Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Holmgren, the team's head coach, blamed the game's referees. And even though everyone watching the game knew full well he was probably right and the referees called a garbage game that may very well have cost the Seahawks a chance to win their first championship in franchise history, he was still universally reviled for his remarks.
Because when you're the good guy, you take responsibility. That's what makes you the hero, that you're willing to take the fall despite the fact that it's not necessarily your fault. If Cena was the hero he so often proclaims himself to be, he would have been apologizing to the WWE Universe he claimed to be fighting for and promising not to give up despite the tremendous setback. And while the future would be bleak for a time, what with Lesnar still champion and riding off into the sunset with the title that makes the WWE Universe spin, he would do everything in his power, work as hard as he needs to, to bring it back home. Maybe that means scratching and clawing the next three months just to earn entry into the Royal Rumble to earn another shot at WrestleMania 31.
Instead, he's made it his personal mission to destroy Rollins, even if it means stepping all over Ambrose and completely ignorning the greater good.
Through it all, I dare say that Cena is more interesting now than he has been in a number of years. What's the end game? What if he does get his revenge ahead of Ambrose? Think about what that would mean.
Maybe Rollins costing Cena that match was the best thing after all.
Story grade so far: A-
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on this John Cena story, plus however you felt about last night's episode of SmackDown.