John Cena Is the Perfect Opponent for WWE MVP Seth RollinsJune 8, 2022
Monday's announcement that John Cena will return to our screens on June 27 to celebrate 20 years with WWE could not have come at a better time for a company still reeling from the news that Cody Rhodes will be out of action for up to six months.
BREAKING NEWS: <a href="https://twitter.com/JohnCena?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JohnCena</a> returns to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWERaw?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWERaw</a> on Monday, June 27 to celebrate his 20 Year Anniversary with <a href="https://twitter.com/WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWE</a>. <a href="https://t.co/l8yurlx2wX">pic.twitter.com/l8yurlx2wX</a>
Cena is the hero Raw needs right now. He is the greatest and most recognizable babyface the company has seen since the peak of Hulkamania.
And with Rhodes unable to continue his journey to the WWE Championship for now, The Leader of the Cenation should pick up where he left off, right down to the feud with Seth Rollins.
The MVP of WWE for the better part of the last year, Rollins reached peak heel territory Monday when he suckered the former All Elite Wrestling executive into a false sign of respect, only to attack him and further injure his damaged pectoral muscle.
It was a great segment and showed the depths to which The Visionary will sink to get the last laugh on an opponent.
With no other babyface on the roster popular enough to hang with Rollins' extraordinary heel persona at this point, Cena is the perfect opponent, not only because their characters mesh but also because of the history that exists between them.
The History of Cena vs. Rollins
Cena and Rollins have history dating back to 2013, when they wrestled their first match during the latter's run with The Shield.
From there, Cena captained a team against Rollins in the 2014 Survivor Series main event before embarking on a number of singles matches that were key to the young heel's development into a legitimate WWE main-eventer.
In 2015, they shared the ring with Brock Lesnar in an early Match of the Year candidate at the Royal Rumble before breaking off into a series of singles matches that primed The Architect for the WWE title run he would go on post-WrestleMania 31.
Over the course of their lengthy run as opponents, Cena and Rollins rarely had a bad match. In fact, their chemistry was so strong that many an episode of Raw or a high-profile pay-per-view was stolen by their contests.
Look no further than SummerSlam in 2015, when they tore up the Barclays Center with a stunning contest, stealing the show out from underneath a hotly anticipated Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar main event.
Cena essentially made Rollins during their rivalry, with his efforts in those fights telling the fans to believe in the young star as much as he did. His influence on Rollins being accepted at that level is undeniable and should play into the resumption of their feud.
The Next Chapter
The absence of Rhodes will leave WWE hunting for a top-tier babyface.
Bobby Lashley is certainly over, and Edge will be returning to that side of the roster following his dismissal from The Judgment Day, but neither feel like characters strong enough to spar with Rollins right now.
The Visionary is on a whole new level, both as a character and in the ring. He has become the main event attraction he and WWE have strived for his entire career.
Rollins has carried the red brand through 2022. He has earned a high-profile feud entering Money in the Bank and SummerSlam, and there are few bigger programs available than another showdown with Cena.
Rollins interrupting Cena's return and 20-year celebration by reminding him that the monster he has become was created by the 16-time world champion all those years ago would be fantastic. The veteran vowing to end The Visionary's reign of terror is an easy story to tell and one fans would buy into immediately.
And WWE could use its vast video library to tell the story of a past rivalry reengaging.
There would be some concerns about ring rust on the part of Cena and his ability to shake it off to match Rollins' unrivaled talent between the ropes at this point in his career.
The 36-year-old is approaching the level of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, by consistently delivering every time he sets foot inside the squared circle. Those contributions have helped earn him the status of WWE MVP.
Whether Cena can match Rollins at this point in his career would be the biggest question mark entering the proposed match.
Then again, Cena was once labeled "Big Match John" for his ability to rise to the occasion and save his best for the greatest spotlights in professional wrestling. He may not be the performer he was, but there's no reason to believe he can't prove himself one more time.
There is also an argument that the 45-year-old's star power should not be wasted on Rollins, who has already achieved everything WWE can offer, and he should be utilized to help elevate young talent instead, like Theory.
There is credence in that, but Rhodes' injury has changed everything. And the fact that Rollins has come out of three straight losses to The American Nightmare somehow stronger as a heel only adds a greater sense of urgency to act on it.
It should not let him cool down.
The best way to do that is by utilizing a beloved babyface such as Cena to enhance what is already a red-hot character.