sport breaking news
Roman Reigns and John Cena are heading on a collision course for SummerSlam.
WWE are going to fill up the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on August 21 and it’s been reported that they’re going to treat this event like a WrestleMania as it’s their first full capacity stadium show since the Coronavirus pandemic began.
Reigns is dominating as the Universal champion right now and is the biggest star in the entire business. Cena returned at Money in the Bank to confront the Tribal Chief and set-up their showdown.
Despite the star power, they’ve only met once before. That was back at No Mercy in 2017, just a few short months after Reigns had defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
This is long before the arrival of the Tribal Chief in 2020. Reigns was still being pushed into the top role he now fills and WWE believed victories over Undertaker and Cena would get him there.
However, 16-time world champion Cena was in no mood to just open the door for Reigns and lie down. He gave the former Shield man a true lesson on the microphone during their contract signing on RAW.
With then-RAW general manager Kurt Angle presiding over proceedings, Cena’s opening salvo set the tone for the wrath Reigns was about to incur.
“Roman Reigns has been the blue-chip prospect that has been protected against anyone and everyone that steps in his path,” Cena said. “And then there’s me. And we’ve been through a whole heck of a lot together and you know me, I know you, and you know I got zero F’s to give and I’m the one dude there ain’t no protection from.
“And that is why I want to fight Roman Reigns because I know that Roman Reigns don’t want to fight me.”
Reigns’ rebuttal talked about how Cena isn’t as much of a big deal as he thinks he is. He referenced ‘retiring’ The Undertaker at WrestleMania – as we thought was the case back then – as a much bigger achievement.
“You are the Big Dog,” Cena responded. “Everybody back there knows it, everybody out here? Still kinda trying to figure it out. You see Roman, I’m what you would call a polarising figure.
“Every week there are people that cheer because they stand for what I believe in. And then there are people that boo because they don’t. And every single week you can audibly hear those people so desperately wanting me to change the content of my character, maybe a little heel turn.
“But with you it’s different. I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this – they go back and forth with you because when they look at you, they see what I see: A cheap-ass, corporately created John Cena bootleg.
“This chump right here, he ain’t the guy,” Cena continued. “Dude, you’re just a guy. A guy trying so desperately to fill shoes that you never will. Listen carefully young man… I’m not the Undertaker. I’m not a battered veteran at the end of his career with a bad hip.
“I am the fastest, strongest, and hungriest that I have ever been in my entire life. And the reason you won’t sign that is because you know if you do your Roman Empire… (You can’t see me taunt)”
Woah. Cena cooked Reigns in that exchange. Fans had gone back and forth on Reigns for the longest time and Cena found a very clever way to express exactly why that is without giving up the proverbial game.
He made it fit, but also made it very clear to anyone who knows anything about wrestling what was going on – WWE had been trying to make Reigns for years and it wasn’t working like they’d hoped.
Reigns set about explaining to Cena why the fans booed him after so many years of Hustle, Loyalty and Respect when he forgot his lines. Cena decided to be cruel to be kind.
“It’s called a promo kid and if you want to be ‘The Big Dog’ then you’re gonna have to learn how to do it so go ahead. See ya fourth wall.”
Eventually, Reigns did get out what he wanted to say. He explained that for one, Cena sucked and two, Cena was now everything he once said he hated about part-timers. He now swans back in if the paycheck is big enough and tries to suppress ‘young talent’ that might surpass him – but he can’t do that with Roman.
That’s when Cena really turned it on.
“You done? You done? You see because Roman Reigns is a fool. Roman Reigns is a damn fool. There’s an old saying that its better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you’re stupid than to open it and prove them right.
“You of all people, you waltz down here and use the same pathetic excuse that every other single person before you has done. You, with all your gifts and all your opportunity, you have the gall to blame me. That’s fine, that’s fine big dog. Congratulations, it took you five years to cut a halfway decent promo but now I’m about to shrink you down to size.
“So everybody back there thinks I have this mystical, golden shovel. That I got these magical powers that I can control everything and keep everybody’s fate. Dude, I can’t tell if you’re blind or stupid.
“Look and listen: they (the fans) hold the keys. They always have, they always will. But you got to blame me. That’s fine I have been hearing that racket for ten years and I ain’t tired yet. I’m strong enough, I’ve been called a lot worse by a lot tougher.
“But you actually believe that I’m a shark. That I hold everybody down. That I swim to the top and keep them underwater at any and all costs. I’mma level with you homie, I haven’t main evented WrestleMania in five years. I was the opening match at SummerSlam.
“I was honored and privileged to earn the United States Title at this stage of my career and use it as a beacon of opportunity to introduce new superstars to the WWE like Kevin Owens and AJ Styles just to name a few. You took the US Title as a demotion.
“And you stand there and blame me. Fine. I blame you. I’m still here because you can’t do your job. When it comes to this yard, you probably haven’t learned it yet. There’s only one rule: Step up or step aside. And over the years there’s been a few to step up but nobody to ever keep up.
“And then I finally hear about this one guy. The guy. The Roman Reigns. The one that can keep up. And now I look at you, listen to you. You should be ashamed I’m a part-timer because I can do this part-time better than you can ever do it full time.”
The ‘I’m still here because you can’t do your job’ line was so cutting on so many levels. Once again, for those fans privy, Cena is there to help get Reigns over because that’s what WWE needs and it hadn’t worked thus far. Everything Cena said was true and as the old saying goes, the truth hurts.
The whole promo battle was a lesson for Reigns. It was an exercise with one of the best to ever do it on the microphone. A man many believe bested The Rock in the same way during their feud.
Of course, Reigns went on to win the match. He was always going to. But he grew as a performer from that rivalry and now we may revisit it with Reigns in a totally different stratosphere.