A week after losing his chance to win a 17th world championship, John Cena has found his SummerSlam opponent.
SmackDown Live general manager Daniel Bryan announced Cena would take on Baron Corbin at the upcoming pay-per-view on Tuesday:
Much like the Rusev-Randy Orton booking of a week ago, this match comes virtually out of nowhere and feels like a transitional feud for both guys. Corbin is the Money in the Bank briefcase holder, and the SummerSlam stage seems like a ripe time for a cash in—especially if the WWE isn't quite ready to put the belt on Shinsuke Nakamura yet.
Keeping Corbin off the card altogether would have essentially put a neon "he's cashing in" sign over the WWE championship match between Nakamura and Jinder Mahal. Going up against Cena—likely in a 15-minute affair—will at least throw people off the scent of a cash in.
Cena is Cena and needed a SummerSlam opponent. He put Nakamura over clean last week on SmackDown, seemingly setting the stage for the "free agent" to join Raw. Instead, he'll feud with Corbin in a feud unlikely to carry on past SummerSlam and then likely take another vacation before WWE needs to sound the Cena horn again.
Unless this somehow winds up with Corbin putting the briefcase on the line, there's not much storyline noise to be made here aside from a fresh matchup on the card.