When John Cena first made his return to the WWE in December, the WWE Universe had already gotten a head start on speculating about his plans for WrestleMania. Initial plans did call for Cena to face the Undertaker, but they were scrapped by Vince McMahon when word got out too early, coupled with the fact that Vince felt that type of match wouldn’t benefit the future of the WWE.
WWE officials, of course, changed direction, putting the Deadman on WWE RAW with designs on eventually pairing him with Roman Reigns for April 2. Cena, meanwhile, would go on to win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, if only because he wanted to be the one to drop it to Bray Wyatt two weeks later rather than celebrate his historic 16th championship reign.
When WWE fans first got a glimpse of the WrestleMania card just as we were turning the page on 2016. At the time, three matches were supposedly locked in place for the WWE’s Showcase of the Immortals. Interestingly enough, two of the three that were set in stone first are now in jeopardy. The match between Big Show and Shaquille O’Neal has been on-again, off-again while the long-awaited showdown between Triple H and Seth Rollins is on life support because of Rollins’ knee.
The lone match from those first three that continues to move forward as planned is the WWE Universal Championship bout between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. The rest of the card continued to leak out over the next few weeks with no signs of John Cena’s name. Until the final day of January. It was on that day that it was revealed that Cena’s new WrestleMania opponent had been set by WWE officials, but that fans wouldn’t be celebrating the idea.
As the WWE Universe would soon find out, his opponent, or opponents rather, would wind up being The Miz and Maryse. Cena would recruit the services of real-life girlfriend, Nikki Bella, to set the stage for a mixed tag match at WrestleMania. As expected, fans were against the idea initially, but ironically, the past two SmackDown tapings have provided some of the more compelling segments on WWE tv over the last two weeks as plans move forward.
Last week, Cena took The Miz to the proverbial woodshed with another epic and fiery promo. He acknowledged the previous Undertaker rumors yet again, suggesting that he’d rather be in the ring with The Phenom instead of “a dude, dressed up as a dude playing another dude.” John had the WWE Universe hanging on his every word as he pulled back the WWE curtain just a bit to keep them invested.
This week, it was The Miz and Maryse’s turn. First, during WWE Smackdown, and later on Talking Smack, The Miz and Maryse suggested that the relationship between John Cena and Nikki Bella was only for the cameras to make them more marketable. And according to an ensuing report, their promo material was based on actual gossip that has gone on for quite some time backstage in the WWE.
The villains in this rivalry to determine WWE’s most powerful couple dropped not-so-subtle hints that Nikki was a minor character on WWE television before she started dating John Cena. Once their relationship (which The Miz pointed out was not to be mentioned on air) began, it was only then that Nikki started to receive a push. So apparently, wrestlers or WWE officials have brought up that dynamic on more than one occasion in the past.
Part of the reason for the WWE moving forward with the mixed tag match is that Nikki is expected to take an extended hiatus after WrestleMania, with some rumors suggesting it could be her final match in WWE because of her neck issues. Cena is also scheduled for another long break which is why they wanted to keep him out of a more important storyline. We haven’t heard anything recently, but there were rumors back in the beginning of February that Cena would be proposing to Nikki after their match at WrestleMania which would garner much more mainstream press than any other regular singles match he’d be in.
[Featured Image by WWE]