On June 29 at Money in the Bank, John Cena took his place back atop the proverbial mountain when he captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in an eight-man Ladder match. With the leader of the Cenation embarking upon his 15th heavyweight championship reign, focus turns to the potential feuds awaiting him.
As the face of World Wrestling Entertainment for the last decade, Cena has competed against every major star in the industry. While that certainly bolsters his already impressive resume, it also limits the number of fresh and exciting programs he can partake in.
That many of the feuds would feature matchups fans have been exposed to several times in the past is sure to draw more criticism from those already unhappy with the decision to put the championship back on Cena.
While his latest title reign is not ideal for critics, Cena helps fill the void left by Daniel Bryan following his neck injury. At the same time, it allows WWE to take its time building the likes of Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and Cesaro rather than fast-tracking them and exposing them as unready to be full-time main event stars.
With the top star in the industry carrying the titles that only enhance that status, and a Fatal 4-Way title bout featuring Kane, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns booked for the Battleground pay-per-view on July 20, it looks like Cena has enough to keep him busy for the next month.
But what about the weeks and months beyond that show? What lies ahead for the champion, should he escape Tampa, Florida with his title?
Take a look at a few of the potential feuds he could find himself involved in.
With Bryan Alvarez of F4WOnline.com reporting that John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar is still on the books for SummerSlam in August, what better way to gear up for that match than by having a television feud between the WWE World Heavyweight champion and Paul Heyman's other client, Cesaro?
Back in February, Cena and Cesaro tore the house down with a legitimate Match of the Year candidate, won by Cena. Now, with Cesaro more aggressive and confident than he was four months ago, he could provide a very real challenge to the champ while he prepares for a monumental rematch against Lesnar.
It would increase Cesaro's visibility and give him something meaningful to do, rather than wrestling Sheamus and Rob Van Dam in a never-ending series of matches with no real endgame.
The reaction the fans in Pittsburgh gave Cena and Randy Orton's WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at this past January's Royal Rumble indicates that another championship clash betwen them may not be so warmly received.
Still, given the conclusion of the Money in the Bank match this past Sunday, it would certainly make sense to go in that direction.
Orton was moments away from capturing the title he held earlier this year when Cena pulled him off the ladder and delivered the Attitude Adjustment. After fighting through a head injury that left him donning the crimson mask, coming so close only to have it taken away by Cena must hurt more than any laceration ever could.
What better way to avenge that loss than by taking Cena's title?
The biggest rival Cena has to his top spot in WWE is a surging young star clearly being groomed for a main event push.
A second-generation performer with wrestling in his blood, Reigns learned from two years of working alongside Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and has crafted a move set of explosive, crowd-pleasing maneuvers that fit well with WWE's main event style.
More importantly, he has been booked so strongly that fans perceive him to be Cena's equal. He has left so many top stars lying at this point that, were he to capture the WWE World Heavyweight title tomorrow, the people would buy it.
We have seen Cena make stars out of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, both of whom were tapped to be the next big babyface star for the company. He did so effectively and professionally, putting them over cleanly as if to tell the audience that they had his blessing.
Why not take that same approach with Reigns?
Beating Cena means more than beating Triple H at this point. The fact that Reigns is the darker, silent, more edgy babyface compared to Cena's loud, over-the-top goody two-shoes would make for a great story and a unique atmosphere.
A major pay-per-view main event in the waiting.