Let it never be said that the WWE does not take chances.
By announcing that the world title match in the upcoming Royal Rumble would feature the champion Randy Orton against resident savior John Cena, McMahon gave fans exactly the match that they were expecting, and one that we have all seen countless times before.
And in doing this, the company is risking a lot by heavily featuring a match that has now become par for the course. And Cena, who seems to factor into every major storyline the company has produced in the last decade or so, is the weak link in the contest.
Seemingly always banged up, Cena needs some time to get himself back to 100 percent, rather than constantly being placed into matches that few are interested in seeing any longer. It seems as if we have seen these two men going toe-to-toe for ages, and it is simply time for one of them to step aside and give others a chance to shine.
And since Orton is the current champion, it will not be him. That leaves Cena to fade away for a little while, allowing younger and more talented superstars to climb the ranks.
This is not to say that Cena should go away forever. However, over the next few months, the company could permit him to work a lighter schedule, heal up some existing injuries and come back stronger than ever at WrestleMania in April.
And that is the perfect time for Cena to return to prominence, as it is the biggest pay-per-view of the year, and all eyes will be fixed squarely on WWE.
Until that time though...
When Cena left the company briefly to have triceps surgery in August, it left Bryan to be the top face in the company. For nearly two months, the responsibility of fighting off evil was placed on Bryan’s shoulders, and he performed incredibly well. Of course, once Cena returned in October, Bryan’s push was immediately halted, and he was again playing second fiddle to an inferior in-ring performer, albeit one that is immensely popular with children and casual wrestling fans.
Now, Bryan is a secondary thought in a strange storyline with the Wyatt Family, one that led to him finally joining the group on Raw. And this is the man who was the main character in a world title picture only a few months ago?
How quickly the mighty have fallen.
Of course, Cena was absent from Raw, as he headlined another show the company was simultaneously having in Canada. However, far be it for the company to omit any reference to the 14-time world champion, as it was announced that Cena would square off against Randy Orton for the world title at the Royal Rumble.
This is obviously being done for the handful of wrestling fans that have not seen Cena and Orton wage war against each other countless other times.
Granted, Cena and Orton are two of the bigger names in the business, but how can anyone else hope to establish their names if they are constantly being held down by the constant pushing of over-the-hill and bland superstars that have been playing the same character for way too long.
Sure, Hulk Hogan did a similar thing in the 1980s and 1990s, but the world was a different place. He was the rock solid American during the United States' skirmishes with the Soviet Union and Iraq. He represented a sense of wellbeing in a time period where people needed a hero.
Fans are far more skeptical about their so-called heroes these days, and the constant “do-gooder” persona that Cena portrays is outdated and boring in today’s society.
But instead of pushing younger and more talented talent, the company continues to stick with Cena as their savior. And with each passing week, that fact becomes more frustrating for the WWE Universe, which thrives on excitement, not consistency.
By keeping Cena out of the main event picture until WrestleMania, it allows the company to build up other superstars and generate more interest in the event itself.
Other than the famous streak of the Undertaker, and the normal world championship match (or matches in past years), the card offers several other encounters, but normally not ones that have been severely developed over time.
With the event still several months away, WWE can still easily remedy that.
But Cena does not require a build up for his matches. The company waited until very shortly before his return at Hell in a Cell to begin to promote his match with Alberto Del Rio. And of course, he was victorious.
The thing with Cena is, no matter the odds, every fan knows that he always has a shot at winning any encounter he is put into.
And that is the problem with Cena.
It is all well and good for fans to want their hero to win. They can even think he will win. But when it is almost assured that he will win, it takes a lot of the guesswork that makes professional wrestling so intriguing out of the equation.
Frankly, Cena is fairly bulletproof no matter the circumstances. Because no matter who he faces, even if they are able to defeat him once, or even twice, he will always come back and beat them soundly to end the rivalry.
Orton beat Cena at Night of Champions, but now that the two are facing off at the Royal Rumble, who knows what could happen.
Should he lose to Orton, it is even possible that Cena could enter the Rumble, win it and face the champion again.
John Cena is the ultimate trump card that the company currently has. He is many things, but at age 36, and his body becoming increasingly unstable, his days of being a viable hero are beginning to wane.
Maybe it’s time that the company begins to look for a new hero.
With a roster full of young and hungry up-and-comers, and a developmental system overflowing with wannabe superstars, there are certainly many people to choose from.