It’s been rumored for weeks that John Cena’s WrestleMania 33 plans involve a mixed tag team match, where he and girlfriend Nikki Bella will be tangling with The Miz and Maryse. Those plans were teased briefly at Elimination Chamber 2017, but last night’s episode of SmackDown Live saw the subtlety removed from those teases when both Maryse and Miz cost Bella and Cena their respective matches with their interference. Could WWE finally be building up to one of the matches potentially lined up for this year’s edition of ‘Mania?
The plans were once very different for John Cena. With WrestleMania 33 still several months away, there were a lot of whispers that he would be wrestling The Undertaker at ‘Mania, a match that made lots of sense on paper as neither man had ever had a marquee singles match against each other in the course of their long WWE careers. But in January, the Inquisitr wrote that those plans had been shelved, as WWE apparently had the bigger picture in mind, envisioning a younger Superstar as the man who may serve as ‘Taker’s last-ever opponent before he retires.
According to Wrestling Inc, that younger superstar may likely be Roman Reigns, and a possible WrestleMania match against The Undertaker may symbolize two things for the “Big Dog” — a “passing of the torch” moment, as well as a full-fledged heel turn for the massively polarizing Reigns. But where does that leave John Cena? What WrestleMania 33 plans does WWE have for him? As we learned a few weeks ago, those plans may involve a battle of real-life “power couples,” with Cena and Nikki Bella competing against The Miz and Maryse.
It may sound like a disservice to a future WWE Hall of Famer like Cena to have him compete in a mixed tag team match at the “grandest stage of them all,” instead of having him fight in a higher-profile singles match or giving him a chance to break Ric Flair’s record and become a 17-time WWE Champion. But last night’s SmackDown Live does seem to hint at Cena/Nikki vs. Miz/Maryse at WrestleMania 33, thanks to what we saw on two separate matches.
As Nikki Bella and Natalya sought to end their feud in a Falls Count Anywhere match, Natalya had thrown Nikki into Maryse, who wasn’t clearly shown at first as she crashed into a curtain. Later on, Maryse would interfere in the Nikki vs. Nattie match, attacking Nikki with a pipe as she had Natalya in the STF. This allowed Natalya to win the match, but that wasn’t the only clue pointing to John Cena’s WrestleMania 33 plans that we saw on SmackDown Live this week.
The evening’s main event was a ten-man number one contender battle royal for the right to face WWE Champion Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 33, and that match ended as a draw between AJ Styles and Luke Harper, who eliminated each other and hit the floor at almost the same time. But there were more interesting goings-on earlier in the battle royal, as Cena eliminated The Miz, only to get eliminated himself. This happened when Miz sneaked back into the ring and tossed the Cenation leader out while the referees were distracted trying to break up a brawl between Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin.
With the women and men in the rumored WrestleMania 33 mixed tag team match setting things up separately, ProWrestling.net believes that this match is almost as good as booked, same with a potential Intercontinental Championship match between defending champion Ambrose and Corbin.
“Corbin vs. Ambrose and Cena/Nikki vs. Miz/Maryse seem to be locks at this point.”
As previously reported, the main reason behind such a match is the possibility Nikki Bella will be announcing her retirement after WrestleMania 33 due to nagging neck issues. There has also been talk that Cena may propose to Bella at the event, which does tie into Nikki’s storyline rivalry with Natalya — Nattie had been taunting Nikki about “dying alone” because John might not want to marry her.
It’s still not sure if those two things may indeed be happening, but last night’s SmackDown Live did make John Cena’s WrestleMania 33 outlook a lot clearer.
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