Short of their annual WrestleMania efforts, the WWE never invests as much into one show as they are investing into the 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw. If all goes as planned, it will be one of the highest rated shows in WWE history and could go down as one of the most memorable of all time as well.
So it should come as no surprise that Cena promised to cash in his WWE Championship match contract at this milestone of an event. But was that really necessary? I'm not sure that a Cena/Punk match will draw in any viewers that weren't already tuning in to see a show with appearances by DX, Brock Lesnar, The Rock, Bret Hart, Charlie Sheen, and who-knows-how-many other surprises.
The biggest name in the company, who is holding onto such a coveted prize, could have been played out for a long time and kept Cena relevant without being involved in the WWE Championship picture. And with the alternative storyline I have in mind, it could have led to one of the most anticipated WrestleMania matches of all time.
My alternative storyline begins at last week's Raw, which can still start with CM Punk addressing the crowd. After talking for a minute about his match with Daniel Bryan (failing to mention John Cena's victory), he is interrupted by The Big Show, just as he was in reality, and the same main event can be set for the evening.
The Big Show makes the same threat about the result of his match with Punk: Cena will come out to cash in the briefcase. Cena, in my fantasy world, did not send out a "tout" saying he'd make an announcement about the briefcase.
Punk defeats The Big Show, and after the match, The Big Show lands a punch that knocks Punk out. Cena's music starts. He sprints to the ring, briefcase in hand. He clobbers Show with the briefcase and then walks over to Punk.
As Punk starts to open his eyes, Cena gives him the "you can't see me" hand and leaves the ring without saying a word. The show goes off the air without any further explanation.
Over the course of the next couple of months, Cena continues these kinds of charades, regardless of whether or not Punk holds onto the championship. At Raw, at SummerSlam and perhaps a time or two on SmackDown, Cena runs out when the champion is down, but he walks away without taking advantage of the opportunity before him.
Cena refuses any interviews asking him to explain his actions. After almost two months of this, while he feuds with a heel that could use a Cena rub for a month or two, he says he'll let us all in on his plans at the Night of Champions.
After Cena defeats his opponent at the Night of Champions (or perhaps he gets the cheap win over Cena; it's not important), he gets on the stick. He says that his plan isn't original; he's not the first person to make this claim, but in fact, the third.
Mr. Kennedy made this announcement when he had a briefcase, but then he lost his briefcase to Edge before his plan could come to fruition. Daniel Bryan made this announcement, but he failed to follow through.
Cena has been to the top of the mountain before, and he knows there's only one place to really be on top: WrestleMania. He is claiming a spot at WrestleMania 29 against whoever is holding the WWE Championship title at that time.
For months, speculation will build as to who will compete in WrestleMania 29. Will we see a Cena/Rock rematch? CM Punk? Brock Lesnar? Daniel Bryan? Randy Orton?
December rolls around, and it's time for the TLC pay-per-view. The main event is a WWE Championship match. The winner of this match only has to retain his title for two more PPVs before WrestleMania, so a lot of people assume the winner of this match will be Cena's WrestleMania opponent.
It doesn't matter who the competitors are in this match. When the match is over, the Undertaker makes an unexpected appearance. The druids lead the Dead-Man to the ring. He gets face-to-face with the champion. Chokeslam. The champion is left on the floor as TLC ends.
The next night on Raw, it is announced that the Undertaker will face the WWE Champion at the Royal Rumble. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Starting in December, people will begin to realize the possible WrestleMania implications: The Streak vs. The Streak. The Irresistible Force meets The Immovable Object. After 20 consecutive WrestleMania victories, can the Undertaker defeat John Cena and a Money in the Bank contract?
At the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker wins the WWE Championship. This sets up the potential for Undertaker/Cena.
The winner of the Royal Rumble match (again, for the purposes of this fantasy, the specific wrestler is not important) teases that he may want to join in the Taker/Cena match, but he makes it clear at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view that he'll be fighting for the World Heavyweight Championship come WrestleMania 29.
The Undertaker wins his Elimination Chamber match, and it's official: At WrestleMania 29, one of two impossible scenarios happens. Either the Undertaker's streak comes to an end at the hands of one of the few legitimate superstars he never faced at WrestleMania, or John Cena becomes the first person to fail at cashing in his Money in the Bank contract.
Whether that win would go to the Undertaker or Cena, I still think it's a better use of Cena's MITB contract than him cashing it in a week after he won it on the 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw.
What do you think?