John Cena's match against CM Punk at Money in the Bank 2011 will not be his last five-star match.
His age, position in the company and his underrated wrestling skills will have him produce at least one more five-star match before he retires.
John Cena has occupied a very unique place in WWE. He has been both the most popular star of his era and the scapegoat for everything wrong with the company.
The anti-Cena contingent despises him for various reasons, but a chief one is that he "can't wrestle."
As annoying as his overly smiley, goody-goody act is, the fact remains that Cena has been a part of numerous classic matches. The Punk battle was not a fluke.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter has awarded 15 John Cena matches four stars or higher.
In 2007 alone, he had six matches that rated that highly.
His bloody clash with Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules 2012 earned four-and-a-half stars as did the Fatal 4-Way he had at Backlash 2007 and his Last Man Standing match against Edge at Backlash 2009.
That's three times that he came a half-star away from the coveted five.
A few less rest holds here and a slightly more crazed crowd there, and Cena might have had four five-star matches on his resume at this point.
Cena has thrown up some duds for sure, but when there is a compelling buildup and a worthy opponent involved, when the lights are brightest, he has often come through with a classic.
John Cena is only 35 years old. Barring injury or sudden big-time Hollywood status, that means he should be competing at a high level for at least another five years, maybe seven or eight.
That means more than a handful more WrestleManias against big-name opponents.
Every rising star is going to have to go through Cena. A feud with Dolph Ziggler or Cody Rhodes in a few years could certainly yield a match that has Meltzer handing out the elusive five-star rating.
Cena may even be around long enough for a new genius gimmick match to be created.
Who will John Cena's opponent be for his next five-star match?
Two of his Elimination Chamber matches were awarded four-and-a-quarter stars and four stars. If WWE creates the next TLC, War Games or Elimination Chamber-level idea, Cena will certainly be a part of it.
Opportunity Born From Position
Cena will not only get main-event slot after main-event slot because he has several years left of his career, but because he is thought of so highly by the WWE brain trust.
When Brock Lesnar returned from his stint with UFC, Cena was the first choice to face him. The same went for The Rock.
Cena is going to get the best storylines WWE has to offer and often the best wrestlers on the roster.
As Wrestlezone.com reported, WWE is already considering going back to the CM Punk vs. John Cena well come SummerSlam.
Cena is such a big star now that there is an electric air before a match even begins.
The way that Hulk Hogan and The Rock didn't even have to do a single wrestling move to have the crowd in fits back in 2002, Cena’s star power puts a match on an elevated level before it even begins.
Unlike the Rock, who was a major movie star waiting to happen, Cena is not going to have the success in the movie world that he has in the wrestling one.
He is here to stay and that will mean match after match that could have all the right elements to be his second five-star match.