The Fiend defeated John Cena last Sunday (April 5) at WrestleMania 36. There wasn’t much of a match, and the real victory belonged to the man who counted 1 - 2 - 3... Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt lured Cena into his Firefly Fun House, then proceeded to take the 16 time WWE World champion on a journey through his career - as reflected through Bray’s unique prism, of course. Love it, hate it, or didn’t understand it (and if you’re in that last camp, or if you think you got it but want a really great breakdown of everything that happened & what it (probably) meant - read Wai Ting’s Deconstruction of the Firefly Fun House Match for Post Wrestling here)... it was clear that Wyatt won.
He showed Cena the sacrifices “of mind, body, and soul” he’d made to prove to Vince McMahon he had the “ruthless aggression” to be the face of WWE. That realization let The Fiend in, and allowed him to end “the most overhyped, overvalued, overprivileged WWE superstar in existence.”
So now what?
To make the Firefly Fun House Match something more than just an oddity, a bold attempt at something different WWE probably wouldn’t have allowed Wyatt & Cena to even attempt in any other year, it has to have meaning. It used the last 20+ years of wrestling history to tell a story, and that story should have repercussions for the future.
We should never see John Cena in WWE ever again.
Now obviously, a lifer like John isn’t going to walk away for good at 42, and WWE will put their last proven draw on any show he wants to appear on for the rest of his life. Cena will be back.
So I guess I should say, we should never see “John Cena” in WWE ever again.
Wyatt thoroughly tore down that character, and the man who created him took part in the destruction. If he comes back now to make fat jokes or throw bags of nuts at rivals, it not only makes a WrestleMania match less interesting in retrospect - it means Cena the person is even more full of it than we thought.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time John no sold a devastating ‘Mania defeat. But with speculation his blossoming movie career could mean there are no more matches in his future (even this trip to the Fun House might have happened because Hollywood didn’t want to risk another situation like Dwayne Johnson's at WrestleMania 29), this makes a lot of sense as an end point for “John Cena”.
It’s always tough to interpret his social media, but it seems like Cena could agree:
When given opportunity without direction, take initiative. Be bold. Win or lose, do all you can with the opportunity.— John Cena (@JohnCena) April 6, 2020
Have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish. Use the tools you have access to. Do your absolute best. Evaluate. Repeat.— John Cena (@JohnCena) April 7, 2020
All things end. When it’s time to leave, leave them guessing.— John Cena (@JohnCena) April 8, 2020
Uncertainty brings about many challenges. One of the toughest, most important challenges we face each day is to be our best selves. It’s a challenge certainly worth the effort.— John Cena (@JohnCena) April 9, 2020
Believe in yourself enough to honestly listen to the feedback of others.— John Cena (@JohnCena) April 10, 2020
The usual motivational messages from Cena’s Twitter? Or a statement on what we watched Sunday and what’s in his WWE future?
It may be a while before we find out. Or he could be on SmackDown tonight.
I hope it’s the first option. Not only would it be good for the Firefly Fun House Match’s legacy, and Wyatt’s future, but it could be the biggest babyface move of Cena’s wrestling career. When faced with his shortcomings, he was defeated by them. He took that loss, re-evaluated things, and will some day return as his “best self”.
Who wouldn’t let that Cena in?