World Wrestling Entertainment
Top 5 potential matches for John Cena during the 'Summer of Cena'
World Wrestling Entertainment

Top 5 potential matches for John Cena during the 'Summer of Cena'

Updated Jul. 29, 2021 9:26 p.m. ET

By Ryan Satin
FOX Sports WWE Analyst 

In honor of the Summer of Cena kicking off tonight on SmackDown, here's a list of five matches I’d like to see him in (no pun intended).

OK, maybe the pun was slightly intended, but I digress … 


Cena is set to regularly appear on SmackDown over the next few weeks, as well as a couple episodes of Raw, thus giving WWE a few opportunities to put the former face of the company in matches against the stars of today.

Looking at the current roster, though, it’s hard to choose which would be best. There are former enemies, new villains, rising stars, top talent and even Superstars in NXT who’d benefit from the opportunity. 

Lucky for you, it’s my job to take bold stances. So this week, I put my thinking jorts on and came up with the five best options.

5. Sami Zayn 

In order for Cena to still come across as a credible threat to Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, he’s likely going to need a few wins before WWE’s biggest event of the summer. Sami Zayn is a perfect opponent to help with that.

"The Great Liberator" has been on fire throughout the pandemic, and pairing him against Cena for an in-ring segment beforehand would be gold. I can already hear Sami accusing WWE’s golden child of being part of the conspiracy."

A loss to Cena wouldn’t hurt Zayn’s character in the slightest bit, either. It would probably just drive him further to the brink of insanity.

I also like how this would call back to Sami Zayn’s main roster debut when he answered an open challenge for the United States Championship while still competing in NXT.

Kevin Owens would work in this spot, too, but a loss such as that would hurt KO’s character more, in my opinion.

4. Drew McIntyre 

McIntyre was the face of Raw throughout the pandemic, so it would make the most sense for his character to challenge Cena during an appearance on the red brand.

Cena accepting the challenge would be feasible, too, since he’ll be tuning up for Roman Reigns at SummerSlam.

Drew taking "The Champ" to the limit would be beneficial to both parties and doesn’t have to end with a clean finish.

For this one, a no-contest ending due to interference from, say, Jinder Mahal & Co. would suffice. Then, Drew and John could join forces to beat them down together and send the crowd home happy. Win/win.

3. John Cena & Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy & Apollo Crews 

This one might be out of left field, but I think you’ll be on board once I finish. 

The Street Profits have been off TV since Otis took them out one-by-one on SmackDown. Who better to bring them back than John Cena?!

Picture this: Cena tries to cut a promo at the top of the show, but it’s interrupted by Apollo Crews wanting a match against the WWE icon to prove his worth as Intercontinental champion.

Before Cena can answer, Alpha Academy’s music hits, and Chad Gable makes a similar challenge for Otis as they walk to the ring.

Without hesitation, Cena lets them know he accepts, but not in a singles match. He wants Gable there, too. The bad guys then, in cliché fashion, point out the numbers advantage they now have, but the former Doctor of Thuganomics lets them know he didn’t come alone.

The Street Profits’ music hits. Red cups shoot in the air. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins make a triumphant return as the WWE Universe leap to their feet.

Street Profits could then get their revenge on Otis with help from Super Cena and celebrate in the crowd like old times for a nice, feel-good moment.

Told you I’d make a valid case.

2. Riddle 

This match is the most obvious choice. 

"The Original Bro" has been one of the most entertaining parts of Raw these past few months, and getting some ring time with Cena would go a long way in helping him rise to the next level in WWE – even without a win. 

This would also be the perfect opportunity for Randy Orton to make his return after being absent for a few weeks. 

Any younger fans who might not know why can watch this video:

Another segment between Riddle and Cena that ends with Orton returning unhappy over their newfound friendship would be a great way to play off their history and add to the RKBro story. Yes, I want to see another stare-down between two Superstars who defined an era. Deal with it.

Then, in order to prove where his loyalties lie, Riddle challenges Cena to a match that ends with the 16-time champ getting a win after a hard-fought battle. 

We’ve seen in the past that Cena can keep up with fast-paced talent when the time calls for it, and I have a feeling Riddle is one of the people he’d like to test his limits against in 2021.

1. John Cena and Edge vs. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins 

Think of the history in that ring if this were to happen.

John Cena and Edge, a rivalry between two Superstars that will go down in history as one of the all-time best. 

Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, former members of The Shield who’ve had their battles against each while growing to become two of the top stars in WWE.

Now picture Cena and Edge ON A TEAM taking on 2/3 of The Hounds of Justice in their new forms. If the thought of that doesn’t get you hyped, then you and I probably wouldn’t be good wrestle-friends.

The way Money in the Bank ended makes me think this match might happen, too. If it does, that would be a SmackDown main event for the ages. 

Do you agree with my picks? Got different matches in mind?

Hit me up on Twitter @RyanSatin, and let me know. 

Ryan Satin is a WWE analyst for FOX Sports. Satin previously appeared on FS1's "WWE Backstage" and founded Pro Wrestling Sheet, where he broke countless news stories as editor-in-chief. 


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