When WWE decided to return the brand split of Raw and SmackDown, General Managers Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan battled for brand supremacy of providing fans the best product. Eventually, Kurt Angle would become GM of Raw in replacement of Foley, and the intensity of the brand war significantly increased. Soon, Raw started to invade SmackDown Live, and vice versa, which led to a battle between the two brands at Survivor Series, and Angle and Commissioner Shane McMahon filled the roles of team captains.
For Raw, names such as The Miz, Braun Strowman, and Elias all benefited from having a better opportunity to be showcased. On the other side, the blue brand was able to showcase names such as Baron Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Sami Zayn. While these names have experienced an increase in stock as a result of the split, plenty of other names, unfortunately, cannot say the same.
Last summer, John Cena made his WWE return after being absent from a number of weeks. Instead of returning to a particular brand, WWE now promoted Cena to be a free agent, as he made a comeback to the blue brand. Cena would commence a feud with Rusev, before moving on to Baron Corbin. Cena then moved to Raw, starting a feud with Roman Reigns which led to a match at No Mercy. He returned to the SmackDown Live brand for Survivor Series and went back to Raw following the event. Now, he has an opportunity to become the No. 1 contender for the Universal Championship.
Who will emerge victorious from the 7-MAN Elimination Chamber match TONIGHT at #WWEChamber and go on to challenge @BrockLesnar for the #UniversalChampionship at @WrestleMania? https://t.co/95OqwkhjXT pic.twitter.com/eNmVvMXQSg— WWE (@WWE) February 25, 2018
For several months, the speculation has been Cena facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. There has also been a video of Undertaker working out, which raised more belief that he will be coming back for at least one more match. However, with recent news breaking of him not being featured on the Blu-Ray cover, The Deadman may have quietly decided to make his loss against Roman Reigns his final match.
This feeling is further increased by Cena being advertised to appear at the SmackDown Live-exclusive Fastlane pay-per-view in Columbus, Ohio. In addition, according to Mirror, Cena could be added to the match – which already includes Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Baron Corbin – and make it a six-way.
The Mirror also reports that since Jinder Mahal is also on the poster, this could be leading into a match with John Cena at WrestleMania instead of the expected Cena vs. Undertaker clash. This would certainly be a dream come true for Mahal, as he has stated before that he desires to face Cena at WrestleMania.