Since being drafted to WWE Raw in 2005, John Cena has been the undisputed poster boy for WWE. There have been more all-round popular guys, other world champions and arguably more talented performers, yet Cena has undoubtedly been the one the company has favoured as their No. 1 guy.
Yet I noticed after last Monday's edition of Raw SuperShow, John Cena has yet to be booked into a rivalry for the upcoming Tables, Ladders and Chairs PPV. Whilst it is not uncommon for one of his matches to be announced only a week or so before a major event, it is unusual that with less than three weeks to go, Cena is not at odds with anyone.
Last week seemingly put an end to his rivalry with Awesome Truth and last Monday began to further a storyline that plays on the increasing animosity of the WWE audience. Admittedly, this is an interesting story but does not put him in a position to feud with anyone. Besides, who is there left for Cena to feud with?
CM Punk, The Miz and Alberto Del Rio are the only currently active members of the Raw roster who could realistically enter a rivalry with Cena in a short space of time. Problem is that it looks like WWE is going to go with Punk vs. Miz and Cena vs. Del Rio has pretty much been taken as far as it can go.
SmackDown's talent could also provide some feuds, but once again, all the main event talent is booked up in their own fights. If Cena is going to have a match at the upcoming PPV, he may well be putting on a show with a mid-carder like Dolph Zigger or Cody Rhodes.
It is also highly likely that he could be given a promo segment at the PPV that could relate to something important. This once happened to Shawn Michaels back at Armageddon 2008 when he addressed the rumours of working for JBL.
Cena, in his case, could finally get his feelings about the haters off his chest. Whether this leads to a heel turn or just allows him to carry on his regular course is not my concern for this article. What is important is how Cena is going to be used in the next few months.
As we all know, at WrestleMania XXVIII John Cena vs.The Rock will be the main event of the year's biggest PPV. When it has all been said and done, there will be nothing left for Cena in his current babyface role to do.
Sure, he could win more titles and fight more injustices, but how much longer can WWE draw out an already stagnant gimmick? WWE have been able in the past to fall back on the merchandise card and the fact that there is no one who is as media-friendly as the former WWE Champion.
If anything, the past couple of years has proven that there are alternates. CM Punk has been a major hit with his Best in the World t-shirts (although I would wait to see if the follow-ups sell just as well), while The Miz has a great track record with the media. No one said the jobs Cena currently does have to be accomplished by one man.
Just because I think Cena is possibly nearing the end in his role as top face in the company does not mean I think his career is coming to an end. Cena is only 34 years old and has plenty to offer beyond being the top player. As a matter of fact, I think he will be instrumental in putting across several big stars for the future.
Maybe I'm wrong, and in the next few weeks we'll see Cena in another good vs. evil clash for the souls of the WWE Universe, but the next couple of months will be telling. After all, he won't likely enter the Royal Rumble because of his match against The Rock taking up his WrestleMania schedule. He might get a bit part as a participant in an Elimination Chamber match come February, but I wouldn't expect him to win.
All I'm saying is watch this possibility as times goes on.