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John Cena complicates things

Austin Theory’s Instagram

Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley

United States title match

Once again, WWE has booked themselves in a corner.

Tomorrow’s Money in the Bank premium live event’s United States title match pits Bobby Lashley against the champion Theory. And if the tea leaves are being read correctly, they’re going to have to protect Bobby Lashley while keeping the title on Theory for a bigger match later this month.

That match? A one on one match with John Cena.

At least that’s the word. That Big Match John will work SummerSlam against the young US champion with a rocket on his back. Theory and Cena been teasing a feud for awhile, culminating in a face to face confrontation backstage at Raw last Monday.

The argument could be made that Theory could lose the title and that match with John Cena doesn’t need it. But I wouldn’t buy it. Cena may have 16 world titles, but his run with the United States title and his open challenges was some of Cena at his best. (And you can argue that turned certain fans back to his side after booing him for years.) Plus, it was the first title Cena ever held. Now Theory holds it and is acting like a goober while doing so. That’s a ready made story.

Plus, Theory losing clean prior to a match with one of WWE’s biggest stars ever? That doesn’t track. Especially if there’s any thought of John putting him over. (Even if Cena isn’t the plan, I think it unlikely they’re taking the title of their golden boy this soon.)

At the same time, Bobby Lashley shouldn’t take a clean loss either. He’s very protected and keeping him that way puts him in position for a match with Roman Reigns if they ever need to call his number. I mean Roman can’t face Brock Lesnar every match. (Or maybe he can. They seem to be on the way to showing that.) If that’s the case, Lashley can’t lose clean. Nor should he lose unless the cheating is very egregious.

Theory has been impressive, but not to the point that I buy him beating Lashley clean. So they’re likely going to pull out some shenanigans to protect both guys. And unfortunately, that often means overbooked. It’s possible his cheating is egregious. It’s possible he wins by count out. Maybe they set up Lashley’s next feud by having someone cost him the match.

None of these options are too appealing. But if they want to keep Lashley strong while moving Theory to Cena, that is a price they have to pay.

We’ll see how they play it tomorrow.

Theory will defend his United States championship against Bobby Lashley at Money in the Bank, airing tomorrow at 8 ET on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.


Who will win this match?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Bobby Lashley
    (309 votes)
  • 61%
    (496 votes)
805 votes total Vote Now

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