John Cena retained his WWE Championship last night as the Last Man Standing match was called a no-contest after Ryback drove Cena through the stage lights.
Cena was put on a stretcher and was on his way to the hospital. During the post-show, however, Cena took off a neck brace and walked away on his own.
Although I wasn’t a fan of the finish, this was the best the WWE could do with these two. Cena wasn’t going to drop the title and Ryback couldn’t suffer another pay-per-view loss.
The finish makes Ryback look very strong in defeat, planting the seed that he’s willing to hurt himself in order to get the WWE title.
The question is: what is next for John Cena?
Because of last night’s finish, I expect a rematch next month at Payback. Unfortunately for Ryback, he won’t walk out as WWE champion.
After that, it’s all a blur.
WWE hasn’t built up any credible heels to be the next challenge for Cena. Even if there were, Cena would laugh in their face, brush them off and not take them seriously.
Big Show lost to Randy Orton, Mark Henry possibly injured himself during his match with Sheamus and Jack Swagger lost to Alberto Del Rio. CM Punk is currently on hiatus, with no timetable for his return. Brock Lesnar will probably take a break after his win over Triple H.
Could someone else step up and challenge Cena for the WWE title after Payback? It’s an idea, but who would be the challenger? Will Kane or Daniel Bryan turn heel for the next couple of months?
There was no doubt that Cena was going to win the title from The Rock. However, that looks to be a mistake now. The fact is, Cena has been champion so many times that he’s burned through the entire roster of opponents. Without pushing someone to the moon like they did with Ryback, WWE is in a tough position with Cena as champion.
The next couple of pay-per-views will be important for WWE. It could be a time to either put the WWE title on Ryback, and start some fresh feuds, or hotshot somebody else to the top.
Cena will be champion for the rest of the summer, regardless of who his opponent is. The only two contenders that will give Cena a run for his money as a threat to his title are Punk and Lesnar. Cena and Punk have great chemistry and put on some excellent matches. The previous feud last year between Lesnar and Cena lasted only one month and could begin again at SummerSlam with Lesnar looking to avenge his loss.
In the end, John Cena’s current title run will last many months and he will bury most of the heels in the process. The next thing for Cena to do is to drop the WWE title and take a backseat for a while.