After trading wins at WrestleMania XXX and Extreme Rules, John Cena and Bray Wyatt engaged in a rubber match Sunday night at Payback. Ultimately, it was Cena who came out on top in a Last Man Standing match.
Rowan and Harper interfered, but Cena was still able to overcome the odds with the help of the Usos. Mike Killam of WrestleZone.com described how Cena finished the job:
Trapping your opponent in a coffin of production equipment for a ten-count. BETTER THAN DUCT TAPE! #WWEPayback— Mike Killam (@MikeKillam) June 2, 2014
Multiple superstars quickly took to Twitter to relay their thoughts on the wild match:
Despite the loss, the WrestleZone.com Twitter account and Bleacher Report's Justin LaBar are still high on Wyatt:
I preach this every time I go on a show. Just bc someone loses, doesnt mean they are buried. Wyatt only going up from here. #Wrestlezone— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) June 2, 2014
Overall it was a highly entertaining match that brought back memories of years past, at least that's how Killam felt:
Attitude Era levels of chaos going on in this match. #WWEPayback— Mike Killam (@MikeKillam) June 2, 2014
The Cena vs. Wyatt rivalry has been among WWE's top storylines ever since Royal Rumble. While the angle itself has experienced plenty of ups and downs, there is no question that it has put Wyatt in the spotlight.
Wyatt has certainly thrived at times and he has gained quite a fan following in the process. As seen in this video courtesy of WWE's Instagram account, even the Wyatt Family's entrance has become a huge deal to the WWE Universe:
He has also captivated the audience with his eerie, cryptic promos, as evidenced by this tweet from Wyatt's official Twitter account:
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream pic.twitter.com/GzCkv5d2ke— Bray Wyatt (@WWEBrayWyatt) May 26, 2014
As good as Wyatt's gimmick and overall presence are, though, it will be interesting to see how he responds to the result at Payback. Most seemingly expected and wanted Wyatt to win this feud against Cena, but he is currently very much on the losing side.
Wyatt has gotten the upper hand on Cena several times, including the win at Extreme Rules. He has also gotten into Cena's head at various points, such as when he used the children's choir to serenade the leader of the Cenation.
With that said, Cena has looked far stronger. Not only has he won two pay-per-view matches over Wyatt, but he has also beaten Luke Harper and Erick Rowan on multiple occasions. He even beat all three Wyatt Family members in a three-on-one handicap match several weeks ago.
In addition to that, it can be argued that Wyatt's win at Extreme Rules was essentially inconsequential. Cena was prevented from winning by Harper and Rowan on numerous occasions in that steel cage match and it took interference from a possessed child for Wyatt to go over.
Cena once again overcame the odds at Payback as he so often has in the past, so this feud now has a familiar look to it. Whether it is Cena's fault or not, the perception is that he has halted the progress of up-and-coming stars on several occasions.
After Wyatt's loss at Payback, it is entirely possible that he will join that long list. Wyatt is talented enough to rebound, but he has lost a great deal of credibility since he hasn't really been made to look like Cena's equal at any point since the buildup to WrestleMania.
There doesn't seem to be a viable endgame for this feud that will satisfy everyone aside from a Cena heel turn, but that simply isn't a realistic possibility at this point. If this angle continues, then it is tough to predict where they go from here.
The pay-per-view calendar itself may be WWE's best friend since it could allow the writers to slowly but surely end the feud without actually reaching a proper conclusion. Since Money in the Bank is a few weeks away, both Cena and Wyatt could be placed in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
How much longer should the Cena vs. Wyatt feud continue?
That would allow them to continue feuding to some degree in the coming weeks, but the focus would inevitably shift toward earning a guaranteed shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Even though Wyatt hasn't been booked particularly well throughout his feud with Cena, much of that could be forgotten if he wins Money in the Bank. Wyatt is definitely among the top contenders to do so, and that could be extremely helpful in terms of transitioning Wyatt to his next angle.
Cena has feuded with almost everyone on the roster at this point, so finding something new and fresh for him to do is a bit more challenging. His feud with Wyatt has gone from exciting to stale, though, so it is time to move on in the near future.
Although Cena didn't need to win at Payback, the victory figures to give him some momentum as he prepares for the next chapter in his career.
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