John Cena claimed that his legacy was on the line prior to locking horns with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania XXX. The leader of the Cenation was successful in protecting that legacy on Sunday night as he reigned supreme in New Orleans.
WrestleZone provides how Cena won and a quick take on the match:
Wyatt goes for Sister Abigail, Cena counters into the AA and wins. That was rather good. #WrestleZone— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) April 7, 2014
Not sure why people are disappointed in the result. LIke people facing Taker, Wyatt was made sharing the ring with Cena. That was enough— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) April 7, 2014
Jim Ross had high praise for both sides:
1. Cesaro is "moving on up" 2. Loved straight forward drama w/ Cena vs Wyatt 3. #WrestleMania validated that Wyatt has truly arrived. Duh— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) April 7, 2014
Chris Jericho provided high praise for both parties:
Justin Henry of the camelclutchblog provides some interesting numbers on Cena's career at WrestleMania:
John Cena is the sixth man to reach 8 wins at WrestleMania, joining Hogan, Bret, HHH, Kane (all 8 apiece) and Undertaker (21) #wrestlemania— Justin Henry (@JRHWriting) April 7, 2014
Cena's rivalry with Wyatt and his family began at Royal Rumble when Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan interfered in Cena's match. That interference led to Cena losing his WWE World Heavyweight Championship bout against Randy Orton, but that was far from the last time Cena would hear from Wyatt.
Cena once again seemed to be on the verge of becoming WWE's top champion at Elimination Chamber; however, the Wyatts caused him to be eliminated in the latter stages.
After that, Cena could no longer ignore Wyatt's advances. He challenged the eccentric Superstar to a match at WrestleMania, and Wyatt accepted in the name of exposing Cena as a phony.
Although Cena initially used a joking tone to address Wyatt, he quickly changed his tune. Wyatt proved himself to be a worthy adversary, which led to Cena admitting to fearing Wyatt and his followers.
Despite that admission, Cena seemed determined to overcome it on wrestling's biggest stage:
The greatest thing about fear, is the moment you realize you have the courage to face it.— John Cena (@JohnCena) April 1, 2014
It is fair to say that Wyatt managed to get into Cena's head, as he used a number of mind games to exert his dominance over Cena leading up to WrestleMania.
Perhaps the biggest sign of disrespect was when Wyatt placed Rowan's sheep mask on Cena's face. As evidenced by this tweet, Wyatt was quite proud of that particular stunt:
Cena has always been viewed as a leader and as someone who represents the virtues of hustle, loyalty and respect. For Wyatt to suggest that he is nothing more than a sheep is the equivalent to slapping Cena in the face.
Wyatt did everything he possibly could to downplay Cena's accomplishments prior to WrestleMania. As a 14-time world champion and one of the biggest Superstars in WWE history, Cena is firmly entrenched as one of the all-time greats.
Even so, he felt the need to defend himself against Wyatt's verbal barbs:
Hatred of someone else's accomplishment is glaring sign of insecurity. Respect success and do your best to achieve even more than your rival— John Cena (@JohnCena) March 28, 2014
Wyatt seemed to have all the momentum with WrestleMania approaching, but Cena flipped the script on the go-home edition of Raw. Following Wyatt's match, he emerged behind the Wyatt Family while wearing a sheep mask and orchestrated a sneak attack.
It was a major coup for Cena due to the fact that he beat Wyatt at his own game by outsmarting him with psychological tactics.
That didn't cause Wyatt's confidence to waver just days prior to WrestleMania XXX, though:
Louisiana is my Home Nobody takes from me in my Home Sharpen your sticks Or................ #RUN— Bray Wyatt (@WWEBrayWyatt) April 3, 2014
The odds were heavily stacked against Cena, as he had to worry about Wyatt, Harper and Rowan, but he managed to overcome the disadvantage just as he has on so many previous occasions. Cena's legacy wouldn't have been impacted regardless of the result, but it was certainly cemented on Sunday.
Was having Cena win this match the right move by WWE?
Now that Cena has defeated another up-and-coming star, there figures to be a great deal of backlash. Cena admittedly didn't need the win, while Wyatt would have benefited greatly from beating one of the biggest stars in wrestling history on the WrestleMania stage.
It wouldn't be fair to say that Wyatt has been buried since he was made to look like Cena's equal leading up to the match and during it, but he does need some big victories moving forward in order to rebound.
All signs point to this feud continuing, since one bout shouldn't be enough to settle the personal nature of it. Some type of specialty match would make a lot of sense at Extreme Rules, and one can only assume that Wyatt will come out on top in that one.
If he doesn't, then his fans will most definitely have a reason to gripe. Even if Wyatt does win at Extreme Rules, though, he missed out on his WrestleMania moment.
Wyatt is talented enough to bounce back from this defeat, but WWE definitely made a risky move by having Cena go over.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.