Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Cena Says Wrestling Career Isn't Over
John Cena is primarily focused on his burgeoning acting career in Hollywood, but the 16-time world champion isn't done with WWE yet.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday, Cena discussed why he came out with a children's book called Elbow Grease: Fast Friends and also addressed his wrestling future: "I have a very young audience in WWE, a lot of kids and families. And as my in-ring career with WWE is not as active, although not over, I wanted to continue to send messaging to those younger viewers."
Cena has not appeared on WWE programming since WrestleMania 36 in April. Cena faced Bray Wyatt in the much-talked-about Firefly Funhouse match, which was more of a cinematic experience than an actual match.
That bout took place with no fans in attendance because to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning it has now been nearly two years since Cena last wrestled in front of fans.
Cena has long made it clear that WWE is his home and always will be, so it wasn't particularly surprising for him to say that he isn't yet retired from in-ring competition.
Although Cena could easily retire now at the age of 43 given all he has accomplished, he also likely has plenty left in the tank, especially if he picks and chooses when, where and who to wrestle in the coming years.
Many have wrestled well into their 50s, including The Undertaker, so Cena should have plenty of matches left in him for as long as he wants to keep going.
WrestleMania 33 was Cena's last WrestleMania as a full-time wrestler, but he still faced The Undertaker the next year, took part in a major segment at WrestleMania 35 and then faced Wyatt this year. That suggests Cena is willing to make himself available for the biggest show of the year, much like Taker always has.
Given his star power and status as one of the most popular and decorated WWE Superstars of all time, having Cena at arm's length is a good thing for WWE.
Reigns Reveals His Wrestling Mt. Rushmore
One of the toughest debates in wrestling is choosing four wrestlers who stand out above the rest as part of a proverbial Mount Rushmore, but universal champion Roman Reigns tried his had at it this week.
During an appearance on Complex's Load Management podcast (h/t WrestlingInc's Austin Lee), Reigns threw his wrestling Mount Rushmore nominations into the fray:
"I'm just going to start with 'Taker—that's the easy one in my mind, especially when it comes to overall. I think especially when it comes to the way he's continued to do it, it's The Rock. Now we're getting into a really tough zone, because you have to add Stone Cold Steve Austin because of what he stood for and transitioning the game.
"I almost put these two dudes in the same category—Hulk Hogan and John Cena. They are really similar with the kind of characters they were and the audience they drew."
Reigns skirted the system to some degree by mentioning five wrestlers instead of four, but it is difficult to argue with his picks. The Rock, Austin, Hogan and Cena are arguably the four biggest stars in wrestling history, especially in terms of crossover appeal.
The Undertaker is in a different category since he never attempted to make the move to Hollywood, but essentially everyone inside the wrestling business and every fan respects what he has been able to accomplish for the past three decades.
Reigns is a big star in his own right, and now that he has turned heel and aligned himself with Paul Heyman, he has a chance to go on the best run of his career.
It is difficult to say if Reigns will ever put himself in position to be considered Mount Rushmore-worthy, but it is difficult to argue with the notion that he is the biggest full-time WWE star of the past decade or so.
Wrestling Mount Rushmore opinions vary from person to person, but given Reigns' status as a locker room leader and someone who grew up in a wrestling family, his opinion carries plenty of weight.
Cardona Discusses AEW Status
Matt Cardona has not been seen on All Elite Wrestling programming in recent weeks, and he explained why this week.
During an appearance on the Pro Wrestling Junkies Podcast (h/t WrestlingInc's Sai Mohan), Cardona divulged that he signed a short-term contract with AEW that expired after All Out on Sept. 5. Cardona added: "That's the place to be right now. To be there even for a month, and do a couple of matches, was a lot of fun. It was great to just be out there and be myself again. Hopefully, we'll do it again soon."
Cardona also expressed his desire to become a full-time member of the AEW roster at some point.
Most wrestling fans know Cardona for his WWE run as Zack Ryder. Under the Ryder name, Cardona was part of WWE's main roster from 2007 until his release in April.
Cardona held the United States, Intercontinental and Tag Team Championships, but he was used as an enhancement talent for most of his time with the company.
He initially made a big impact in AEW by saving his real-life friend, Cody, from an attack at the hands of Dark Order.
Cardona then teamed with Dustin Rhodes, Scorpio Sky and Q.T. Marshall in a winning effort against Dark Order at All Out.
There is plenty of value in having a veteran like Cardona on the roster, especially since he has name recognition from his time in WWE and because of his Major Wrestling Figure Podcast.
Given those factors, it seems likely that AEW will find a more permanent spot for him on the roster in the near future.
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