Like him or not, John Cena is one of the most popular Superstars in wrestling history, and his eventual return to WWE programming will be treated as a monumental moment for the company.
The last time the WWE Universe watched Cena make an appearance was during his match against Triple H in Saudi Araba at the Greatest Royal Rumble. After over a month away, fans are left wondering when he will return.
With the company building heavily to the June Money in the Bank pay-per-view, there is no need to rush Cena back right now. Add in the fact that there will also be an Extreme Rules PPV in July, and WWE management should hold off Cena’s return until the build to the 2018 edition of SummerSlam begins in the second half of July.
SummerSlam is the company’s second-largest event of the year, and adding a bona fide draw like Cena to the card would ensure WWE sells an ample number of tickets and draws in new viewers to the WWE Network.
It's a no-brainer, but the question naturally arises about which brand he should represent. While as a free agent he can wrestle for either show, the Raw brand desperately needs another top Superstar.
The three-hour flagship show has been hard to watch since the Superstar shakeup in April, and introducing Cena as a member of the red brand would be the shot in the arm Raw has needed for well over a month.
Once on Raw again, Cena will need a marquee challenger who brings out the best of the 16-time champion in the ring and on the mic. Instead of facing one challenger, though, the duo of Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre would make for ideal opponents.
On the mic, Ziggler can stand toe-to-toe with Cena and push him to his limit like few others. Add in the fact that Ziggler had a previous relationship with Nikki Bella and the two men can play off Cena’s recent relationship troubles in their promos.
As if the verbal battle between Cena and Ziggler wouldn’t be enough, McIntyre standing up against Cena in the ring would likely result in stellar matches that mix brutally stiff shots and elite in-ring psychology.
With Cena coming and going over the last several months due to his busy mainstream television and movie schedule, his next stop in WWE will likely be for only a short period of time. What better way to maximize his visit to WWE programming than by having him put over Ziggler and McIntyre before he leaves again?
By beating a living legend like Cena in a marquee feud leading to a SummerSlam match, Ziggler and McIntyre would cement their spot as two of the top heels in the company, something the Raw brand desperately needs.
At this point of his career, Cena should be using his limited time in the ring to put over current talent and sell out buildings. Since he wrestles far fewer dates than in previous years, using Cena as an attraction to sell PPVs is the best usage of his drawing power.
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