John Cena Is the Right Guy to Elevate WWE Champion Bobby Lashley to a New Level

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2021

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 31: John Cena attends
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

The recent rumors surrounding the return of John Cena to WWE as the company returns to fan-filled arenas on July 16, sparked by Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com, has prompted fans to imagine what a dream match between the 16-time world champ and universal champion Roman Reigns may look like.

While there is no denying the magnitude of that match and what it would mean for a SummerSlam pay-per-view that will rank among the most significant in recent memory just because of the return of a live audience, Cena can be better used to help elevate a different champion and enhance an entire brand at the same time.


Making Raw Great Again

Monotony and repetition have bred indifference on WWE Raw, a sentence that seems incredibly weird to type.

The red brand is the flagship of the company, its most historically significant and storied television property. It has been home to the most unforgettable moments in its long and illustrious history and was, at least in previous years, destination programming for fans.

Even if you didn't watch anything else pro wrestling-related, you tuned in to see what was happening on Raw.

That is not the case any longer. Despite tremendous efforts from Drew McIntyre as the new face of the brand, and an immensely talented supporting cast, the show is a shell of its former self. It needs a spark desperately and there is no better way to get fans to sit up and take notice than by bringing Cena back into the fold on Monday nights.

Instantly, what has felt very much like a missable show in recent months will carry some significance. 

Once one of the most polarizing stars in WWE, there is no denying the fact that Cena brought emotion and energy to whichever show he appeared on. He was the biggest star on the program and almost certainly would be again.

His interactions with McIntyre, Randy Orton, Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, The New Day and even Riddle would do a great deal to boost the relevancy of a brand very quickly being left in the dust by SmackDown, which is in the middle of its hottest streak in decades.

It is one interaction in particular that will not only elevate Raw but elevate the man at the top of it, leaving the show in better shape than it was prior to Cena's return. 


Making The All Mighty

Bobby Lashley is the WWE champion and has held up his end of the deal in that role. He is turning in some of the best performances of his entire career and has rediscovered his confidence as a performer after a rocky few years back with the company.

Imagine what working with Cena would do for his credibility, though. Picture what it would mean to Lashley as world champion to work with a pop culture phenomenon and Hollywood star; now, think about what it would mean for The All Mighty to beat him.

Lashley has gained momentum by defeating McIntyre and Strowman in recent title defenses, but it would be an entirely different boost to his legitimacy if he could see off Cena. Considering Raw needs someone besides McIntyre and Orton with some cred among longtime fans, that feels like the best option for the brand at this point.

And there is precedence for the match to happen.

In 2007, Cena defended the same title against Lashley at The Great American Bash. The loss at that event paved the way for The All Mighty's exit from the company for 11 years and could easily serve as the last demon the current champion has to exorcise.

We have seen on SmackDown what happens when there is a credible heel champion. Reigns has been extraordinary and is helping to elevate talent around him as a result. WWE needs to get Lashley to that level, and working with Cena—and beating him to extend his reign—is the best way to make that happen.

SmackDown is already rich creatively and talent-wise, and Raw desperately needs the spark Cena provides to match that ahead of fans returning to arenas this summer.