COMMENTARY: The mark of a good leader, is knowing when to take the spotlight off himself and put it on a deserving teammate. The recent loss by John Cena in the Elimination Chamber match and the subsequent loss last Tuesday proves the 16-time world champion knows when to hold them and when to fold them.
Several media outlets have reported that it was Cena’s idea to drop the title to Wyatt at the pay-per-view earlier this month. While we are speculated that Wyatt, who had never held a singles title since his arrival with the company, would walk out with the WWE world championship, the reality was no one truly knew who would win that match. The notion of Cena and Randy Orton main-eventing Wrestlemania 33 in Orlando didn’t get anybody excited. A match between Wyatt and whoever is chosen, through a number one contenders match after the botched No. 1 contender’s match this past week is the better option. And for anyone reading my comments from earlier this week, you all know where I stand on this.
Orton and Cena have written chapter and verse over their careers, paralleling each other. Twenty-eight world championships and numerous other singles and tag titles between them, they are two of the most decorated superstars in wrestling history. But now the company has a chance to write a new story, and a chapter that belongs to one of the best characters WWE has on its roster.
By doing so, the blue brand is once again proving it is better at creating a story line than its big brother, the red team. The idea of both brands walking into Wrestlemania in April with two mega heel champions bodes well for the success of the promotion moving forward.
Cena probably isn’t done garnering gold in WWE. I suspect I’ll be at 17th, 18th, 19th and so on championships. And before it’s over he might have 21 titles to his credit. Regardless that he has cut back his schedule over the years, taking on other endeavors, Cena still remains WWE’s biggest marketing success. AJ Styles, Orton, Samoa Joe, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg – they don’t come close. The only superstars who parallel his success outside the ring are Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and Steve Austin.
While Cena has been money for WWE, asking him to continually carry the companies banner has hurt the success of other wrestlers. Hopefully, he sees that it’s time to watch a little bit while others take the flag and run with it.
The notion he will participate in a mixed-tag match with his girlfriend Nikki Bella against The Miz and Maryse also shows WWE’s willingness to make other wrestlers the focal point of the company’s biggest event.
The fact John Cena dropped the title only two weeks after a historic win speaks volume about his future.
We have not heard the last of John Cena. But we may have heard the last of him carrying the WWE title for a while. He may not be done carrying the company banner, but it may be a while before he does it again.