We are now just three short weeks away from WrestleMania XXVII, and the card for the biggest pay-per-view of the year is finally starting to take shape.
Triple H will attempt to end The Undertaker's streak in a No Holds Barred match.
Michael Cole will face Jerry "The King" Lawler in a match that features Jack Swagger as Cole's manager, and Steve Austin as the special guest referee.
Randy Orton will face New Nexus leader CM Punk in a match that brings closure to an old grudge from two years back.
Edge will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio, with Christian and Brodus Clay possibly at ringside.
There will be a mixed tag-team match pitting John Morrison, Kelly Kelly, and Trish Stratus against Dolph Ziggler and LayCool.
Daniel Bryan seems set to defend the United States Championship against Sheamus, with Gail Kim and the Bella Twins in their respective corners.
Rey Mysterio and "Dashing" Cody Rhodes will clash as the result of a personal feud that has involved both men losing their pride and dignity.
And finally, in what has now been said to be the show's final match and main event, The Miz will defend the WWE Championship against John Cena.
After weeks of back-and-forth bickering with The Rock, John Cena has finally snapped back into reality and appears to have finally remembered something that took three separate attacks...on three separate occasions...three weeks in a row...to realize:
He's going to face The Miz for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXVII.
Indeed, it took winning the WWE Tag Team Championship, losing the WWE Tag Team Championship, three Skull Crushing Finales, two blows to the head with a world title, and one very entertaining Rock Bottom for Cena to even remember who his opponent is.
And what is even more surprising is that despite all of this, John Cena still isn't taking The Miz seriously.
This past week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown confirmed this conclusion, as Cena spoke of The Miz as if facing him wasn't even worth the time of day.
"Miz, congratulations! You got one by me. I'll admit it... But Miz just made the biggest mistake of his career... Maybe, just maybe, he'd have a chance at winning... Miz wants to be must-see? Miz wants to make a statement? The Miz is the new face of the WWE?... I have one new goal: to break the face of the WWE!"
The words above are from the promo John Cena cut last night, and you don't have to actually hear them to know that they are of a mocking tone.
As a matter of fact, if you didn't know it was John Cena that spoke these words, you would probably think this came from the mouth of a heel.
There is something very interesting about the type of opponent John Cena is facing this year, and it's not exactly who the opponent is, but rather what the opponent represents.
In the past, Cena's WrestleMania opponents have always been portrayed as a monumental challenge for Cena himself to overcome. JBL, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, Edge, The Big Show, and Batista all have one thing in common: they all were presented as established obstacles for Cena.
Every WrestleMania match in the past six years have always been storylines of John Cena overcoming the odds. Of course, Cena would almost always overcome the odds and give his fanbase a feel good moment.
But not this time.
The Miz himself is not an established opponent that can easily give John Cena a run for the money. The Miz is, instead, an unestablished newcomer attempting to prove himself to the WWE Universe as the next big Superstar.
While holding the WWE Championship is an incredible honor, The Miz isn't content with just being another main-eventer who is satisfied with John Cena being the top dog.
The Miz wants to be the top dog. He's not so much looking to beat Cena, but to replace him entirely.
And this isn't The Miz decided on recently either. Dethroning John Cena has been The Miz's long-term goal ever since he came to Monday Night Raw two years ago.
In the eyes of the WWE Universe, he wasn't ready to face Cena during the summer of 2009, but is far more prepared in the spring of 2011.
The thing is, despite all the titles The Miz has won and defended since their feud, and despite all the momentum and skill The Miz has gained, John Cena still views The Miz as that lower mid-carder he squashed two years ago.
At WrestleMania XXVII, despite being the contender, Cena is not the challenger, but the one being challenged. He's not the underdog, but the man to beat. He's not the face underestimated by the heel, but the face underestimating the heel.
And ironically, just like the heels that usually write off the face's chances of overcoming the odds in their overblown arrogance, Cena is underestimating The Miz to the point that he's says he's going to beat him.
And we all know the result of underestimating the underdog...don't we?
But here's the catch. Even if The Miz beats John Cena at WrestleMania, Cena can't turn heel that night. If you're asking why, I'll tell you. In order for Cena to turn heel, The Miz has to first be built up as a face.
So picture this scenerio:
The Miz beats John Cena at WrestleMania XXVII, and retains the WWE Championship. The following month at Extreme Rules, The Miz manages to beat Cena again.
After several more weeks of holding the title, The Miz finally drops the title at Fatal 4-Way to the one heel Superstar that draws more heat that himself: CM Punk.
What's the best way to turn a popular heel that gets mixed reactions into a popular babyface that gets pure pops? Have him feud with an even bigger heel that gets pure heat.
The Miz and CM Punk feud with each other for several months, and The Miz ends up turning into a babyface in the process. At some point before the end of 2011, a now-face Miz wins the WWE Championship for a second time, and manages to hold the title until WrestleMania XXVIII.
All the while, John Cena is still his usual babyface self, and still the poster child of the company, but has fallen from grace. His position is no longer as stable as it once was, and The Miz is growing more popular by the week.
With his mic skills and personality, Miz is competing for the fans' attention in a way that the much-darker Randy Orton never could.
Finally, Cena gets his chance at redemption at WrestleMania XXVIII against The Miz.
The bad news? John Cena beats The Miz for the WWE Championship.
The good news? John Cena turns heel in the process.
After seven years as the poster child of the company, Cena finally surrenders his position to The Miz, and becomes the company's top heel in the process. The End.
I'm not saying that's exactly how it's going to work, but you catch my drift. Cena can't just turn into the top heel overnight, because he still has too much support from the fans.
The same situation applies to The Miz becoming the face of the company overnight, because he is still a heel that many love to hate.
But if given a year of build-up, with Miz gradually turning good, and Cena slowly morphing into something bad, WrestleMania XXVIII would be the perfect setting for the double-turn to happen.
I hope you've enjoyed my "WWE's Poster Child" trilogy of articles as much as I've enjoyed writing them. The only thing left to do now is watch WrestleMania XXVII and see what happens.
I'm sure that some of my predictions will come true, while others won't. I am simply an observer to what's going on, and by reading in between the lines, these three articles have been the result.
I believe that WrestleMania XXVII is not the place for a major change in the careers of John Cena and The Miz, but rather the prologue that sets off a chain of events for the changes to take place.
WrestleMania XXVII isn't the first Mania we'll see John Cena as a heel.
WrestleMania XXVII is the last Mania we'll see John Cena as a face.
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