When John Cena steps into the ring on Jan. 27 at the Royal Rumble, he’ll need to do many things. But the one thing he won’t need to do is win.
With The Rock virtually guaranteed victory over CM Punk, Cena should not win the Rumble, because he doesn’t need the Rumble.
(Warning: This article contains a potential spoiler.)
It would be hard to argue that Cena is the face of the company right now. Title or not, he is the man who is captaining the ship. His intelligent and calm demeanor outside the ring has translated to movie and television roles, talk show appearances and endorsement deals.
The WWE won’t put a title like the WWE championship on just anybody. Cena is a proven draw, an entertaining character and able to handle the pressures of being champion.
Consider: The past year was not Cena’s greatest, but in the same breath it wasn’t his worst, either.
On the good side, Cena was very dominant in the ring. Between Jan. 2 and April 1, he only lost two matches. On the bad side, after Raw 1000, he lost every single title match he received, as well as his bout with Dolph Ziggler for the Money in the Bank contract.
But 2013 has already changed his fortunes.
In the first two weeks of the year he has defeated Ziggler twice, including this past week inside a steel cage.
But it gets even better for Cena, and it’s all thanks to The Rock and CM Punk. Leaked WrestleMania plans point to The Rock vs. Cena for the WWE title, which means at some point before that, Punk will lose the belt.
Rock-Cena II is too big a match for the WWE to resist. It’s got star power, drawing power and history. Plus, with The Rock leaving the WWE after WrestleMania, Cena has to win.
Cena should not win at the Rumble, because he’s going to get his title shot anyway.
So if not Cena, then who?
One man: Randy Orton.
Orton has vocally expressed his desire to turn heel. With the WWE keen on the idea of him facing Sheamus for the world title at WrestleMania, there’s no better time for an about-face than at the Rumble.
With tension already built-in, Orton could viciously turn on Sheamus at the Rumble, perhaps even eliminating him as well.
Cena’s lock on a WrestleMania title shot means the Rumble should be about the world title.
Cena’s been on top many times. He’s held 12 world titles. He’s already won the Rumble.
The WWE needs Cena with the title once The Rock leaves. But Cena doesn’t need the Rumble to get it.