The worst-kept secret in the WWE is that this era's pride and joy is in the embryonic stages of a debilitating slump.
After being on the losing end of the biggest WrestleMania main event of all time, Cena suffered a rare TV loss to Lord Tensai just a few short weeks later. With Brock Lesnar's first match in eight years coming against Cena, things should only continue to fall apart for the John Cena character.
Cena's Super Cena days seem to be way behind him at the moment. And is it any coincidence that the artist formerly known as Super Cena is now opting to don a green color scheme, which is conducive to kryptonite?
John Cena's darkest days of his career may be ahead of him. As much as the anti-Cena contingent should be salivating at the thought of his demise, judging by his reception at RAW's contract signing, there seems to be a growing feeling of sympathy for a superstar known for being frustratingly invincible.
Cena has been carrying the WWE on his back for the better part of the last decade. With the Hogan-esque territory of being the face of the WWE, Cena had to win significantly more than he lost in order for the machine to operate as smoothly as possible.
As entertaining and lucrative as Cena's polarizing nature is, it could also serve as evidence of the WWE's plan to make John Cena the consummate hero backfiring.
What was once a vocal pocket of fans who were sick of what they felt was Cena's cookie-cutter babyface act has now ballooned into a legion of Cena detractors who chant "Cena Sucks!" with just as much force and volume as "Let's Go Cena!" Not to mention much more vitriol.
Brock Lesnar's long-awaited WWE return finally comes to fruition this Sunday at Extreme Rules. Given Lesnar's limited dates, and the importance of his winning right out of the gate so that the WWE gets the bang out of their Brock Lesnar bucks—all five million of them—the possibility of Lesnar losing is implausible.
In fact, it would make the most sense for Lesnar to squash Cena at Extreme Rules. This way, Lesnar is kept hot as the company's luxury draw while Cena's downward spiral reaches unprecedented, and intriguing, levels.
There is a measurable amount of fan interest in the storyline of John Cena as a big, fat loser. The last time Cena was this vulnerable, the rating popped significantly when he was forced to align himself with the Nexus after losing to Wade Barrett at WWE Hell in a Cell.
Things would quickly return to the status quo, with Cena finding his way out of the Nexus stable. Unfortunately, the ratings returned to status quo as well.
If the WWE gets serious and focuses on the possibility of Cena's incomprehensible downfall, they could kill a whole flock of birds with one stone.
Young stars can benefit from the ongoing funk by going over Cena. This could be the main storyline in the WWE, with Brock Lesnar receiving the evil Superman treatment by terrorizing the rest of the roster until Cena finally returns to form and seeks vengeance.
The key to this particular storyline getting over will be WWE's commitment to booking Cena as a weak top star who has lost his way, much like they have done with Randy Orton on accident.
Cena showing up to the contract signing with a chain and without a promo was a nice touch, and will be just one of a handful of uncharacteristic nuances his character will have to adopt in order to really sell this slump.
Commitment has never been the WWE's strong suit, but hopefully they'll be able to realize the potential payoff this storyline has down the road, and book Cena into the ground accordingly.