John Cena Makes WWE Return, Will Face Rusev In Flag Match On Smackdown’s ‘Battleground’

John Cena finally made his debut back to the WWE scene after taking some months off to film the second season of his reality competition show American Grit, with the wrestling superstar himself making the announcement on the latest episode of Smackdown. It was then and there that Rusev decided to instigate some kayfabe drama by interrupting the festivities, with a flag match now set for Battleground.

John Cena’s live return was captured online by the WWE and shared on its official Twitter account, with the series of posts collated by Bleacher Report. The Doctor of Thuganomics decided to lead off his return by expressing his intent to welcome all those who want a shot at him, with his status as a free agent is allegedly in order to be able to take on all challengers from both RAW and Smackdown promotions.

The Prototype derided all naysayers, like the people who accuse him of being little more than a part-time mascot considering his status as a free agent as well as one of the primary faces of the WWE. John Cena deflected the accusations, clarifying that he was an all-time wrestler although he apparently did not deny the mascot part.

John Cena in WWE Wrestlemania
[Image by George Napolitano/AP Images]

The 13-time WWE World Champion’s return was on Smackdown‘s Independence Day broadcast, which was touched on his announcement with Cena exclaiming that there was no better time for the return of the champ. Unfortunately, that was exactly when Rusev decided to interrupt and make his own entrance in response to an earlier challenging insult from Cena.

The Bulgarian took to the ring entrance to answer the American’s accusation that he did not work hard, responding that he was busy getting hurt in the same ring the former was now standing in after taking time off for his Hollywood projects. It was that exchange that set the ground for a major clash of both titans and nations, with a challenge from issued by The Prototype and accepted by The Bulgarian Brute.

Rusev in WWE Germany Live
[Image by Joachim Sielski/Getty Images]

A match between the two has since been confirmed, with Smackdown general manager taking to Twitter to make his official confirmation. Cena and Rusev will face each other in a flag match, which is simply a professional wrestling variant of the time-tested capture the flag, with the match happening on the Battleground event.

Other fights happening at the event are a Punjabi Prison match for the WWE title between Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal, and The New Day facing The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Title. Catch them all when Battleground happens on Sunday, July 23.

[Featured Image by JP Yim/Getty Images]