Seth Rollins defeated John Cena last month at SummerSlam 2015, and now he is faced with the more improbable task of defeating John Cena again at Night of Champions 2015.
John Cena was in this same situation one year ago. Brock Lesnar shockingly squashed Cena at SummerSlam 2014, only for Cena to get his win back (by disqualification) against Lesnar at Night of Champions 2014.
This begs the question, if the conqueror of Undertaker's streak wasn't even booked to go over Cena on two straight PPV events, then what chance does Rollins really have in the rematch? How often does John Cena get his win back after coming up empty-handed the first time?
Let's see how this has played out during John Cena's run as a main event attraction in WWE. This investigation will begin in 2005, because that is the year when Cena cemented himself as the top guy in WWE.
I have compiled a list of all the times that John Cena either lost or had a no-contest in a match with someone on PPV, and then faced that same person in a match on the very next PPV. Here are the results of how Cena fared in that second match after failing to win the previous month.
Here are the cases of CenaWinsLOL, in chronological order:
- Kurt Angle defeated Cena by DQ at Unforgiven 2005, and then Cena beat Angle and HBK in a triple threat match at Taboo Tuesday 2005.
- Edge cashed in MITB on Cena at New Year's Revolution 2006, and then Cena defeated him for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble 2006.
- Edge traded wins with Cena at SummerSlam 2006 and Unforgiven 2006.
- Edge won an Elimination Chamber match that included Cena at No Way Out 2009, only for Cena to win at WrestleMania 25 in a triple threat match that also included Big Show.
- Orton beat Cena at SummerSlam 2009, and then Cena beat Orton at Breaking Point 2009 in an I Quit match.
- Orton won against Cena at Hell In A Cell 2009, and then Cena beat him in an Iron Man match at Bragging Rights 2009.
- Batista defeated Cena at Elimination Chamber 2010 in a segment that was more reminiscent of a MITB cash-in angle than an actual match. Cena then got his win back at WrestleMania 26.
- Miz prevailed over Cena at WrestleMania 27, and then Cena defeated Miz and Morrison in a triple threat steel cage match at Extreme Rules 2011.
- Kane wrestled Cena to a draw at Royal Rumble 2012, and then Cena defeated him in an Ambulance match in the main event of Elimination Chamber 2012.
- Dolph Ziggler beat Cena at TLC 2012 after AJ Lee turned heel. Cena then won the Royal Rumble match at Royal Rumble 2013, which also included Ziggler as a participant.
- Ryback wrestled Cena to a no-contest at Extreme Rules 2013, only to succumb to SuperCena at Payback 2013 in a Three Stages Of Hell match.
- Bray Wyatt defeated Cena at Extreme Rules 2014 in a godawful steel cage match, and then Cena put him to rest at Payback 2014 in an excellent Last Man Standing match.
- Brock Lesnar took Cena to Suplex City at SummerSlam 2014, and then Cena earned a DQ win over The Beast Incarnate at Night of Champions 2014 when Seth Rollins interfered.
- Rusev forced Cena to pass out to The Accolade after a low blow at Fastlane 2015. Cena then got his win back at WrestleMania 31 and became the first man to pin Rusev.
- Kevin Owens beat Cena clean in his debut match at Elimination Chamber 2015. But CenaWinsLOL triumphed at Money In The Bank 2015.
Now here are the cases where Cena failed to win the second match, in chronological order:
- Orton defeated Triple H and Cena in a triple threat match at WrestleMania 24. Cena then came up short in a Fatal 4-Way match against Orton, Triple H, and JBL at Backlash 2008.
- Orton won a triple threat match against Cena and Triple H at Night of Champions 2009. Orton then defeated Cena again at SummerSlam 2009 after interference from Brett DiBiase.
- The Nexus helped Sheamus defeat Cena at both Fatal 4-Way 2010 and Money In The Bank 2010.
- CM Punk defeated John Cena at Money In The Bank 2011, and then Punk beat him again in the rematch at SummerSlam 2011 when special referee Triple H didn't see Cena's foot on the ropes.
- Del Rio pinned CM Punk in a triple threat match that also included Cena at Hell In A Cell 2011. Cena then also came up short against Del Rio in a Last Man Standing match at Vengeance 2011.
- CM Punk pinned Big Show in a triple threat match with Cena at SummerSlam 2012. Punk and Cena then wrestled to a draw at Night of Champions 2012.
- After wrestling Punk to a draw at Night of Champions 2012, Cena then lost in a triple threat match with Punk and Ryback at Survivor Series 2012 when The Shield debuted.
- Orton used handcuffs to beat Cena at TLC 2013, and then Orton defeated him again at Royal Rumble 2014 when Bray Wyatt interfered.
- After defeating Cena at Royal Rumble 2014, Orton then pinned Cena again at Elimination Chamber 2014 inside an Elimination Chamber match after more interference from Bray Wyatt.
It turns out that Cena has failed to win that second match several times, but notice that Randy Orton and CM Punk accounted for 7 of the 9 entries on that latter list. Sheamus and Del Rio were the only other men to ever hold Cena winless over the course of PPV rematches.
Notice that there are no entries on either list from 2007. That's because Cena went 10-1 on PPV that year, and that one loss did not feature a rematch where Cena could possibly get his win back. The latter list doesn't have any instances prior to 2008, largely because Cena's PPV record from 2005 through 2007 was 25-7.
The final entry on the latter list occurred in February 2014, which means that Cena has gone quite a long time now without losing that second match in a row to the same guy. In that time he has gotten his PPV win back against Wyatt, Lesnar, Rusev, and Owens. It's up to Seth Rollins to break that streak.
The most famous case of Cena getting his win back involves his matches with The Rock that main evented WrestleMania 28 and WrestleMania 29. That case did not make the lists above because I was only searching for consecutive PPV events.
So which list do you think Seth Rollins will end up on when he attempts to defend his US Championship against Cena at Night of Champions 2015? Will WWE hit the reset button and put the championship back on Cena, or is WWE going all-in on Rollins by having him escape Cena's wrath on two straight PPV events?