When Roman Reigns goes toe-to-toe with John Cena on September 24 at the 2017 edition of WWE No Mercy, the 16-time champion needs to take a clean loss and help build Reigns’ credibility.
A good way to start to rally wrestling fans around him would be for Reigns to come away victorious in their battle. A clean victory over Cena would be a monumental moment in Reigns’ career. His victory over the Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 was a big deal, as it was only the Deadman’s second defeat in 25 trips to the big show. However, some, including Cena, are not entirely impressed by the win, seeing as how the Undertaker is passed his prime and has been battling all kinds of health issues the last several years.
Cena, on the other hand, is a different animal.
During the last two weeks, in building up the match, Cena has clearly gained the upper hand. While the two men have yet to come to blows, Cena has outshined Reigns in both promo battles during each of the last two editions of Monday Night Raw. During their encounter on August 28, Reigns appeared to get so annoyed with Cena that he told him to “shut-up” as Cena was mocking him for his inability to cut a promo. Even worse, during the sequence, Reigns appeared to get so rattled that he momentarily forgot his lines.
For what it’s worth, Reigns did better the second time around, but Cena still made his points clearer and more concise. This should come as no surprise to anyone who follows wrestling since Reigns is still developing his promo skills and Cena is one of the all-time greats.
One of the reasons Cena has been able to win the war of words with Reigns thus far is because he is using many of the complaints the WWE Universe has launched at the “Big Dog” and attacking him with the truth. From bringing up his inability to cut good promos to talking about Reigns not having had to work hard enough for his top position in the company, Cena is simply echoing what many fans have said for several years, so that makes it hard to go against Cena’s argument.
Reigns has been forced to take the verbal battering from Cena, but it will be crucial that he follows through with what he said and comes out of the pay-per-view event with a clean victory over the future Hall of Famer. By earning a clean victory over the man who has been the face of the company for over a decade, Roman Reigns will make a big statement to the WWE Universe.
Vanquishing John Cena would be a different kind of a statement, though. It would mean Reigns beat a WWE superstar who was still at the top of his game and is still capable of carrying the company.
Cena, himself, believes he is still capable of being the company’s No. 1 guy when addressing Reigns on the August 28 edition of Raw.
“When it comes to this yard, you probably haven’t learned it yet. There’s only one rule: Step up or step aside. And over the years there’s been a few to step up, but nobody to ever keep up. And then I finally hear about this one guy. The guy. The Roman Reigns. The one that can keep up — and now I look at you, and I listen to you. You should be ashamed I’m a part-timer, because I can do this part time better that you could ever do it full time.”
Reigns is eight years younger than Cena and is carrying the workload that Cena himself used to carry for WWE while Cena is working on career alternatives in the entertainment business. So, it makes sense for Cena to let Reigns go over, as it would be, in some ways, a bit of a payoff for all the hard work Reigns has put in leading up to this point.
Cena losing also helps him in a way, as it would put to rest a lot of the criticism he has received for supposedly being unwilling to put over young talent. A clean victory for Roman here will earn Cena a different level of appreciation from the fans as it will show he is willing to do what is best for business.
Cena doesn’t take many clean losses, but he must take the pin fall at No Mercy, as it would be beneficial for all involved on a number of different levels.
[Featured Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]