WWE TLC 2012 Results: What's Next for John Cena After Loss to Dolph Ziggler?

Michael PrunkaCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

AJ knocked Cena off the ladder and Ziggler followed up with a Superkick to knock his opponent out. Photo: WWE.com.
AJ knocked Cena off the ladder and Ziggler followed up with a Superkick to knock his opponent out. Photo: WWE.com.

John Cena was closing in on capturing Dolph Ziggler’s Money in the Bank briefcase in the main event of WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs. Since AJ Lee tipped over the ladder and cost Cena the match, what’s next?

First off, Cena won’t be getting a shot at Big Show’s World Heavyweight Championship anytime soon. Throwing Cena in that title picture would have been a long shot that could have been accomplished with the Money in the Bank title shot.

It might also mean Cena won’t be getting a match with CM Punk for the WWE Championship in the near future, either.

Had Cena won at TLC, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see the WWE work its way around the fact that Ziggler’s Money in the Bank contract was for a match for the World Heavyweight Championship.

It would have been tough for the WWE to logically use Money in the Bank to throw Cena in the mix with Punk and The Rock at the Royal Rumble, so now it’ll be virtually impossible for it to do so.

By eliminating possible feuds for Cena leading into the Royal Rumble, it’s easier to look at remaining possibilities to predict what he’ll do moving forward.

AJ turning heel on Cena should lay the groundwork for how their romance angle will play out from now on.

Whether or not AJ becomes aligned with Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero, her love story with Cena will likely come to an end sooner rather than later. With the Road to WrestleMania quickly approaching, Cena’s focus will probably shift towards The Rock and the Royal Rumble.

In the immediate future, Cena has to address what happened at TLC. He has unfinished business with both Ziggler and AJ.

The WWE is slated to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Monday Night Raw on Jan. 14. That said, it could choose to build up a rematch between Ziggler and Cena for the Jan. 7 edition.

Doing that would give the WWE plenty of time to end their feud and then build towards whatever it's planning for Cena at the Royal Rumble.

The situation with AJ is a little more complicated. Given her background with the two, it’d be hard to align her with Ziggler and Guerrero right off the bat. It’s more probable that she’d end up playing a heel on her own.

If that’s the case, AJ could be a massive thorn in Cena’s side between now and WrestleMania. Expect Cena’s program with AJ to be much more drawn out than his with Ziggler.

Cena’s loss clearly takes a few options off the table. Even so, it’s almost a lock that he’ll get a rematch with Ziggler on Raw, which he’ll probably win.

TLC gave us a relatively clear idea of the possibilities and what’s off the table for Cena’s immediate future, but his Road to WrestleMania is still very much unpredictable.


Michael Prunka is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Stay up to date with him by liking his Facebook page and following him on Twitter.