Up until three months ago, John Cena says he was not even sure he would be involved in WrestleMania 29.
In an interview with The Times-Picayune, Cena said he was really bummed out on his career after WrestleMania 28. At that pay-per-view last year in Miami, Cena lost the heavily hyped main-event match to The Rock.
That set off an unusual year for Cena that saw him lose several PPV events. He was humiliated by the likes of John Laurinaitis and Tensai and bloodied twice (legitimately) by Brock Lesnar.
It definitely was not the typical banner year for the face of WWE.
But a new year brought new promise for Cena. He won the 30-man elimination match at January’s Royal Rumble for the right to face The Rock again at WrestleMania 29 on April 7 in New Jersey.
This time, the WrestleMania match is for the WWE Championship. Cena has held that title 10 times in his career, but it has been a year-and-a-half since his last title run.
Cena says in the interview that he is pumped about the opportunity to face The Rock again. That is a feeling he was not sure he would ever have again:
[H]ad you asked me three months ago would I even be involved in WrestleMania, the answer was probably no. So I literally just had to stop being a boo-boo face, get off my horse of pouting and get back in the mix. That's just what I did. I feel good. And around this time of year, everyone gets excited. There is nobody more excited than me because very rarely do you get that first chance. You almost never get that second chance. So I’m very happy to be there.
Both Cena and The Rock were part of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view Sunday night in New Orleans. They stayed around Monday for the announcement that WrestleMania 30 would be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The appearance happened before the Raw show Monday night in Lafayette, La., where a new mini-storyline developed surrounding Cena’s battle with The Rock for the title. Following a war of words between Cena and CM Punk, Cena challenged Punk to a match with the stipulation that, if he lost the match, Cena would surrender his WrestleMania title shot to Punk.
Given the anticipated revenue that WWE would generate from a Rock-Cena rematch, the chance that Cena will lose his spot to Punk appears slim.
WrestleMania 30 is still more than one year away, but that isn't stopping the inevitable questions about the possible main-event match. Could it be Cena and The Rock for a third time?
The Rock—who already has committed to appearing at the New Orleans show—was non-committal to NOLA’s query about the main event possibility. Cena did not answer it, either, opting to focus instead on WrestleMania 29.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.