Is Cena's return for the best?
Disclaimer: Original version of this article available at: SLTD Wrestling
Two weeks ago SmackDown Live finally overtook RAW in TV ratings, and a big reason for this was the return of a certain fifteen time World Champion. John Cena is without a doubt a future Hall of Famer, but since No Mercy SmackDown Live has been doing just fine without Cena in the picture. It makes you question, will his return make a difference?
Demanding a title shot
Upon his return to WWE TV programming, John Cena cut an impassioned promo, 'challenging' the winner of that nights main-even to a title match at the Royal Rumble. This caused quite a stir amongst the wrestling community and looks set to be the basis of a Baron Corbin push, as the two will be squaring off on the next episode of SmackDown Live. John Cena being able to demand a title shot, sets a precedent that 'part-timers' can get title shots upon request, whereas full-time talent need to scratch and claw for opportunities. This leaves a bad taste in the mouths of fans who, recognise Cena v. Styles will always result in a stellar clash, but want to see young talent receive the pushes they deserve.
Putting over young talent
John Cena has a reputation of burying young talent, the likes of Bray Wyatt, Umaga and Wade Barrett come to mind. However, his return gives him an opportunity to make amends for putting the breaks on so many superstar's careers. This already seems to be the case with Cena and Baron Corbin slated to go head to head on January 10th, a good match could launch Corbin into the main-event scene. SmackDown Live is littered with promising talent and a match against Vince's Goldenboy, could do wonders for their careers.
Big Money Matches
Although John Cena has been a polarising figure the past few years, he is without a doubt a big money maker for WWE. Anytime he shows up on TV, he's bound to draw a crowd, as shown by his appearance on SmackDown Live's Wildcard Finals. Not only does he draw big, but nine times out of ten Cena can put on a great match with almost anyone! Therefore from a business standpoint, it makes sense that the WWE would want to throw him into the main event. Especially with the rumours circulating that we may finally get Cena v. Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33. Although both men are wrestling infrequently, when they show up, they really show up!
He'll eventually leave again
John Cena is a very busy man these days, with one film scheduled to come out next year, and filming on another, it's inevitable he'll be taking another break from wrestling. On the one hand, it means we'll get fewer 'Let's go Cena, Cena Sucks' chants, but it also means WWE creative can only book Cena up until WrestleMania at the very least. This means any feud Cena is put in, will never be the calibre of a drawn out emotional feud, like that of Daniel Bryan and The Miz. Luckily WWE are used to their top guys leaving for long periods, Chris Jehrico comes to mind, and if booked properly Cena's next departure itself can be used to propel another superstar.
In conclusion, John Cena isn't perfect (don't tell Vince) but as a whole, his return, can result in great things. As long as he leaves his shovel at home and puts in the work, we'll see some top notch matches in the foreseeable future. Not only that, Vince can already smell the dollars pouring in from ticket and merch sales, and a happy Vince McMahon (usually) means some good things coming from WWE.