WWE Rumors on John Cena vs. Cody Rhodes, WrestleMania Plans; Rousey Calls Out Critics

Adam WellsJanuary 3, 2023

Professional Wrestling: WWE SummerSlam: John Cena during match at Barclays Center. 
Brooklyn, NY 8/20/2017
CREDIT: Chad Matthew Carlson (Photo by Chad Matthew Carlson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X161332 TK1 )
Set Number: X161332 TK1

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

John Cena vs. Cody Rhodes Considered for WrestleMania

As WWE immerses itself in the build for WrestleMania 39, a number of top matches on the show remain undecided.

Per Fightful Select (h/t Sunil Joseph of Ringside News), all of the original plans for the show from when Vince McMahon was in charge have been changed.

John Cena is not yet confirmed for WrestleMania, but there had "been pitches" from creative for him to go one on one with Cody Rhodes.

According to the report, a Cena-Rhodes bout hasn't been discussed since Triple H took over as head of the creative team in late July.

It's felt like WWE has been building to a Cena-Austin Theory match on the show from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. There was even speculation about those two squaring off at SummerSlam on July 30.

When Cena returned to Raw for his 20th anniversary celebration on June 27, there was a brief moment of tension backstage when he met Theory.

Theory cut a promo on Cena after he won the men's Money in the Bank match.

WrestlingINC.com @WrestlingInc

After <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MITB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MITB</a> Theory cut a promo celebrating his big win and blasted <a href="https://twitter.com/JohnCena?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JohnCena</a> saying his time is now<a href="https://twitter.com/Nick_Hausman?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Nick_Hausman</a> <a href="https://t.co/1a50U1t8RQ">pic.twitter.com/1a50U1t8RQ</a>

During a promo segment with Seth Rollins on the Dec. 19 episode of Raw hyping up their United States Championship match, Theory used Cena's "the champ is here" catchphrase.

It would seem likely that Theory is the odds-on-favorite to wrestle Cena on the biggest show of the year, but until Cena is confirmed for the show, everything will remain up in the air.

Updates on WrestleMania Plans

Aside from the uncertainty around Cena being at WrestleMania, Fightful Select also noted a lot of plans are still being worked out.

A Becky Lynch-Ronda Rousey match that was in the plans when McMahon was in charge appears to be off the card, though Lynch "did not seem bothered" by the change.

It's also unclear who Rousey will challenge on the show, but one top talent within the company told Fightful Select she's "expected to have a big match at WrestleMania."

The former UFC champion will likely battle Charlotte Flair for the time being after Flair returned on SmackDown and won the women's title. But dragging out that feud for three months, especially since they just did a one-on-one bout at WrestleMania 38, doesn't seem like it would qualify as a big match.

According to Fightful Select, people in creative are assuming Rhodes will end up wrestling for the WWE championship, but they haven't outright been told that is the case.

If Rhodes is wrestling Roman Reigns, it would seem to indicate that The Rock won't have a match. It doesn't mean the Great One won't appear at all, but perhaps he doesn't want to risk an injury after tearing his abdominal and abductor muscles against Cena at WrestleMania 29.

WWE still wants The Rock and Logan Paul for 'Mania, though neither one has been confirmed.

The big plans for WrestleMania will almost certainly come into focus after the Royal Rumble on Jan. 28.

Rousey Fires Back at Critics

Having fully embraced her heel persona, Rousey fired back at her critics and detractors on social media.

"None of my critics can do half the s--t I can," she wrote on Instagram.

The caption included a picture from Friday Night SmackDown when Rousey was standing on the top rope and had Raquel Rodriguez in an armbar. She would go on to defeat Rodriguez via tapout.

Rousey was going to cut a promo after her victory when Flair made her long-awaited return. The Queen challenged her rival to a match and immediately scored a pin to win the championship for the 14th time.


WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!<a href="https://twitter.com/MsCharlotteWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MsCharlotteWWE</a> IS BACK AND JUST WON THE <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SMACKDOWN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SMACKDOWN</a> WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP!!!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/Rl3nSKyiZb">pic.twitter.com/Rl3nSKyiZb</a>

Rousey's second run with WWE has been very divisive. Her matches haven't been on par with what she did during his first stint and the fans turned on her quickly, essentially forcing her to turn heel.

Having Rousey lose the title in such a fluky manner after she went through a long match does open the door for another extended feud with Flair. It was also probably necessary to have someone beat her for the title because there were no other credible challengers on the SmackDown women's roster.

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