Fans who were tired of John Cena constantly holding the WWE Championship got their wish, as the leader of the Cenation hasn't held the top title since October 2011. The drought will come to an end at WrestleMania, though, when he returns to the top spot by defeating The Rock.
Those clamoring for change atop the card received more than 17 months without Cena as champion. It was a stretch mostly dominated by CM Punk, who will battle Undertaker in an equally intriguing match, but also featured Alberto Del Rio and The Rock, the current champ.
While the people who despise Cena wish that streak would last 17 years instead of months, it's impossible to deny the passion he gets from a crowd, both positive and negative. That's not something that can be overlooked.
Del Rio, the World Heavyweight champion who will defend his title against Jack Swagger at WrestleMania, has struggled mightily throughout his career in terms of getting the crowd involved. He has the look and in-ring skills, but the inability to ignite emotion stops him from becoming the top guy.
Punk was obviously far better at it during his reign and illustrated why in the closing segment of Raw. He's willing to push the envelope to get the fans involved, such as using the late Paul Bearer in the storyline with Undertaker.
Yet, there were even stretches during Punk's 434 days as champion where things seemed to stall out. It usually didn't last more than a week or two, but it showed how difficult it is to get the type of reaction Cena does every single show he does.
It also makes it easier to understand why Cena has held the WWE Championship 10 times, more than any other superstar in history. He's a sure bet. He's the safe choice.
Who will win at WrestleMania?
The Rock is on the same level. Some people love him for coming back, while others wish he would have never returned from Hollywood, mostly because he isn't around on a weekly basis. That hectic schedule is also why his title reign will likely end on Sunday night.
It didn't matter during the Road to WrestleMania because of all the other star power. If he was gone to promote a movie, other part-time superstars like Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Triple H and Chris Jericho were there to pick up the slack.
But after the biggest event of the year, as the 'Mania hype fades away and the weekly grind returns, the presence of the WWE champion will become more important—another reason Cena is destined to return to the top.
He's still the face of the WWE. Punk challenged him for the throne during those 17 months where Cena was strapless, and ending the Undertaker's streak would strengthen his case immensely. But that's highly unlikely, whereas Cena's victory over The Rock has almost reached the foregone conclusion stage.
Fans hoping the probable title change will come with a heel turn shouldn't hold their breath. Cena has reached the pinnacle of wrestling without the WWE giving into repeated calls for a gimmick change. It would be a shock if that changed now.
The Rock accomplished exactly what the company was hoping for when it handed him the title. He brought it into the mainstream conversation while making his promotional rounds, but now it's time for a return to normalcy.
And when you think of normalcy and the WWE, John Cena as the top champion is the first thing that comes to mind.