The Rock-John Cena Rumor; Moxley Wants Christian in AEW; Booker T on Sting Bump

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2021

FILE - This Dec. 9, 2018 file photo shows John Cena at the premiere of
Richard Shotwell/Associated Press

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


Chioda Says Cena Wasn't Happy Losing to The Rock

Longtime WWE referee Mike Chioda officiated the first match between John Cena and The Rock at WrestleMania 28, and this week he provided his thoughts regarding Cena's mindset at the time.

During an appearance on the Monday Mailbag podcast (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Sai Mohan), Chioda said he felt Cena wasn't exactly over the moon about losing to The Rock: "I think Cena had a little bit of a problem doing the job because here's Cena carrying the torch for the last 10 years at that time. He was busting his ass, day in and day out. Here comes The Rock back after so many years of being in Hollywood and he's got to job out to the Rock?"

At the time, The Rock had not had a match in more than seven years, while Cena was well on his way to tying Ric Flair's all-time record of 16 world title reigns.

The Rock's return to WWE in 2011 after such a long layoff was a huge deal, though, and given WWE's desire to get multiple matches out of him, it ultimately made sense for him to beat Cena.

Rock would go on to beat CM Punk for the WWE Championship the following year, and then he put it on the line against Cena at WrestleMania 29.

It was there that Cena got his win back over The Rock and became WWE champion. The Rock also proverbially passed the torch after that match by shaking Cena's hand and raising his arm.

While The Rock did strike the first blow in his rivalry with Cena, the program was really designed for Cena to become even more firmly established as the face of WWE.

Simply beating The Rock at both WrestleMania 28 and 29 wouldn't necessarily have accomplished that, but after facing adversity with a loss, the WrestleMania 29 win meant that much more.


Moxley Talks Wanting Christian in AEW

AEW star Jon Moxley made a pitch Tuesday for a veteran talent to eschew a return to WWE in favor of AEW.

In an interview with Gary Cassidy of Inside The Ropes, Mox talked up Christian, who made his in-ring return at the Royal Rumble last month: 

"I'll tell you, a guy I'd like to see here is Christian. I don't know if that was a one-off for him in the Royal Rumble, but he looked frigging good to me, looked like he was in great shape, he looked sharp, man.

"I tell you, he's one of the guys that's—the wrestlers know it more so than anybody—Christian is so good. Like, his brain and his execution, and his mind for wrestling is just like next-level."

The 47-year-old Christian had not wrestled a true match since 2014 after essentially getting forced into retirement by injury, but he looked like he hadn't missed a beat when he entered the 2021 Rumble and was among the final few competitors remaining.

It remains unclear if there are more matches on deck for Christian in WWE, but if there aren't, Mox made a compelling argument for why AEW would be a good fit:

"The things that he could do with the wrestlers in AEW and all the creative freedom, but, you know, taking things but there's no hindrance on anything creatively here, obviously, we're having a frigging Exploding Deathmatch, so the things Christian could do at AEW, I would be extremely excited to see that. That would be my No. 1 dream guy."

While it doesn't seem like Christian's wrestling future is set in stone, it stands to reason that anything he does as an active competitor will happen in WWE since that is where his emotional return occurred.

Also, his longtime best friend is Edge, who will be challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 37.

Christian could help Edge out in that rivalry, or he could have a great feud and match for WrestleMania in his own right against someone like AJ Styles or intercontinental champion Big E.

Landing Christian would be a major coup for any company, including AEW, but given how good he looked in the Rumble, the odds of WWE letting him walk seem slim.


Booker Discusses Sting's Powerbomb Bump

WWE Hall of Famer gave his thoughts this week on 61-year-old fellow Hall of Famer Sting taking a big bump on AEW Dynamite last week.

On his Hall of Fame podcast (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marco Rovere), Booker expressed his opinion on why Sting felt the need to take a powerbomb from Brian Cage:

"You want to be a team player, you don't want to be a guy sitting on the sidelines, sitting on the bench. You want to get in the game. I know that's Sting's mentality, he's not going to want to go there and just get a paycheck. Don't treat me like I'm one of the old guys, he wants to feel like one of the boys. One of the ways to ingratiate yourself with the boys is to go out and take a big bump, go out there and do something crazy, jump off something.

"That's what Sting did, went out and took the biggest bump you could possibly take, which was the powerbomb by Brian Cage. It was a hard bump, definitely one of those bumps after coming off the deal with Seth Rollins he said I want to test myself. Let me test myself, go out here and see if I can still take it at 61 years old."

Booker made reference to Sting's last match, which was against Seth Rollins at WWE Night of Champions 2015.

That match marked the end of Sting's in-ring tenure in WWE, and for quite a while it looked like he would never wrestle again. Sting suffered a scary neck injury in the match, after which WWE shut him down, inducting him into the Hall of Fame and primarily using him as an ambassador.

Sting apparently wanted more than that, and he made his AEW debut in December. Recently, AEW announced that Sting will team with TNT champion Darby Allin to face Cage and Ricky Starks in a street fight at March 7's Revolution pay-per-view.

While Sting may have proven something to himself by taking the powerbomb, Booker said that he, at 55 years of age, wouldn't have done the same thing:

"I know taking a bump like that for me, I'll be 56 in a couple weeks and I know I'd be in a straight jacket. I can only wonder how he feels today after taking a powerbomb like that. Was it something that was warranted was my question. My answer is no. Beat me down, all you gotta do is beat me down, I will sell it like a car ran over me. We would've got what we needed out of this deal, but for him to actually go and take a powerbomb cold? Because you can't warm up to take a powerbomb if you haven't had a match, there ain't enough stretching in the world."

Sting deserves a lot of credit for being willing to put his body on the line given his age and injury history, but Booker's point seems to be in reference to working smarter rather than harder, especially at this stage.

If Sting wants to have some level of longevity in terms of being able to work some matches in AEW, avoiding big bumps like the powerbomb may be in his best interest moving forward.


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