While WWE superstar John Cena is still trying to earn his way into a WrestleMania match, one NXT superstar is calling him out for a match that very weekend. Cena will step into the championship match at WWE’s Fastlane 2018, which will now be a Sixpack Challenge. He’ll be trying to win the WWE title for a 17th reign and head to WrestleMania 34 as the champion to defend against Royal Rumble 2018 winner Shinsuke Nakamura. However, he has now been officially called out by a superstar who has significantly boosted his resume since leaving WWE and returning to NXT.
On Tuesday, Ethan Carter III (aka “EC3”) sent out a tweet in which he called out Cena. Carter, who went by Derrick Bateman in his previous WWE days, told Cena he’ll give him a match at the NXT TakeOver: New Orleans pay-per-view. That tweet has now garnered over 4,500 Likes and many fan responses. However, John Cena is not yet among those responses. Cena has been active on Twitter since then, but it was to mention how great a day he had with Make-A-Wish. It’s possible that Cena either didn’t see the tweet or doesn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up just yet, including EC3’s. After all, Cena still has an opportunity to win the championship in just a few weeks at Fastlane.
— iii (@therealec3) February 8, 2018
Ethan Carter III was in WWE before, but never had a “high profile” match per se. Taking on John Cena during WrestleMania 34 weekend would certainly be a boost for him. However, WWE seems hesitant to take chances too early with their NXT stars, especially from TNA. That said, the creative team and powers that be could always have EC3 add more to this by showing up on SmackDown or even at Fastlane to challenge Cena there. It would be similar to when Kevin Owens showed up several years ago to call out Cena and eventually got a match with him, but at a WWE PPV event.
As one might expect, fans have been responding to EC3’s challenge issued to Cena. One fan actually made a great point for the former TNA Champion to consider. Kasper Lykke Larsen told EC3 to basically forget about Cena and focus on winning the NXT Championship at the event, which is always a possibility. He also included a GIF to which prompted EC3 to ask what movie it came from (The Fountain). Other fans replying to EC3’s tweet are asking Cena if he’s afraid to respond, and also saying it’s a match they’d even pay to see. That sounds like a bit of an endorsement from the WWE Universe that Triple H and others might consider.
Twitter user SakibArain added:
“Wow that would be amazing epic it would even better if was at
If John Cena vs The Undertaker isn’t happening at Wrestlemania, at this stage in his career I would love Cena to give a future NXT call-up a rub. I wouldn’t expect them to win, but wouldn’t facing Cena at Mania be a great way to (re)introduce future stars like EC3 or Galloway?
— mimimikuri (@mimimikuri) March 1, 2018
There are still persistent rumors that John Cena will end up in a match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 34. There have also been rumors of a Rey Mysterio bout involving Cena on “the grandest stage of them all.” So far, neither rumor has been given any more validity in terms of its potential to happen. As fans know, they’ll likely have to wait and see what happens at Fastlane 2018. Will Cena lose due to someone else not involved in the match costing him the match? Or will he lose, cut a promo on SmackDown Live a few nights later, and mention he is running out of options, only to have Rey Mysterio or The Undertaker show up?
Those are possibilities, but there really isn’t a lot of time left to promote a marquee matchup involving John Cena and one of those two superstars. One would think that WWE would want this sort of match promoted far in advance, just based on its magnitude. All that said, the good news is EC3 is giving Cena a potential solution, and who knows, maybe Cena will end up in matches on both nights. That seems to be a win-win for the fans and Derrick Bateman, who could really put himself over with a win over the main roster legend at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans.