It is said that your true self is the person you are when no one is watching. Well, there were a lot of people watching WWE Survivor Series, and the big news of the night was that the special referee, John Cena, called the WWE Title match right down the middle (well, almost down the middle).
This meant that Randy Orton would leave as the WWE Champion, Wade Barrett would leave with nothing but his Nexus buddies, and John Cena would just simply leave. The stipulations prior to the match stated that John Cena, as a member of the Nexus, would have to award the match to Wade Barrett or be fired from WWE.
The buildup to this moment was unforgettable as Wade Barrett played a brilliant psychological game with Cena. The former champ was forced to take part in underhanded activities, was humiliated and also made to lose contact with his fan base (he was not allowed to use Twitter to communicate with his fans, yes, I know it’s not "real" but they take this seriously).
All this was geared towards breaking Cena’s spirit so that the thought of freedom would make him go against his personal values.
In other words, it was to get him to cheat to allow Barrett to win. It went as far as Barrett reminding Cena (and all of us at the same time) about all the great times he had in WrestleMania and assured him that he would never have those again if he did not comply.
Additionally, there was the opportunity for Cena to take the easy way out, which was preached by R-Truth. There was also the WWE’s Apex Predator breathing down Cena’s neck in anticipation that John Cena would cheat to allow Barrett to win.
All of these things were taking a toll and although he said that he would do the right thing, everyone was wondering if he would be able to when the time came.
During the match, he was as fair as could be expected of him. Barrett put up a good fight without the help of the remainder of the Nexus and was not allowed to take advantage of Randy Orton. Similarly, Orton was forced to comply with the rules.
These rules were enforced a bit heavily on the part of Cena.
For example, he did not utilize the five-count when either of the opponents were using the corner to their advantage, but instead physically moved them out of it. But with emotions running high for all the men involved, he probably felt that this was the best way to maintain some kind of order.
All of the events came to a crescendo when a frustrated Barrett pushed Cena after failing to get a three-count on Orton. With a look of disgust Cena pushed back and the always-ready Viper struck with an RKO, debilitating Barrett.
It was the moment of truth.
The referee went down and counted one...two...he paused a little and then hit the mat for the final time. Orton and Cena shot up in celebrations, but immediately both men became subdued as the realization hit them.
After minor interference from Nexus, both Cena and Orton remained in the ring. Orton seemed surprised that Cena had remained true to his values and dare I say even a little thankful. He even gave Cena a little hug, which is not something you often see from him. The Viper celebrated, but in a way that was respectful to Cena, and left so that Cena could say goodbye to his fans. During this time there was no commentary to create a feeling of shock and awe.
And speaking of awe, there was no Miz, which was not surprising because WWE would not want to overshadow this momentous event.
Cena left his armbands in the middle of the circle and saluted the fans, the ones who love him and the ones who hate him, and walked through the crowd saying goodbye. It was well sold and he seemed to be a man who had thought out the consequences of his actions and was at peace with it.
As the show came to a close, the question remained: what now?
There should be a formal goodbye from John Cena on RAW. After this he should be getting some time off. He certainly deserves it. He is one of the hardest workers in WWE. He spends a lot of time marketing the company and giving back to others, for example, Make-a-Wish and Tribute to the Troops, etc.
In the meantime, a lot of folks will tune into RAW to see how the story unfolds.
T-shirts, armbands, the movie Legendary and DVD The John Cena Experience will continue to sell (especially for the poor kiddies who think it’s all real), and all in all, WWE will make some money off of it. I am sure Cena also has plans about how to best speed up this time.
There is the question of how long he would be gone for and how should he make a comeback. I don’t think it will be a long holiday, maybe he’ll be back in time for the Royal Rumble. The legal aspects of getting him back to WWE I will leave up to creative; it will be interesting to see how they plan to reinstate him.
When he returns I think there should be some kind of change in him. I am a pessimist when it comes to the heel turn that some people expect. I have no doubt that it would be a great change, but am not sure that it will happen. If it ever were to happen, now is the perfect time.
As a man who has given up his job to maintain the integrity of the company, he could return as a very sour person who feels that he has not been treated in a way that truly mirrors all he has done for the company and fans. It’s just a thought.
Otherwise, he will return as the same reliable John Cena, perhaps with a new entrance song and t-shirt. The fans who have been starved of the character will be happy to have it back, especially the children who do not yet understand that professional wrestling involves scripting. It will be the classic good triumphing over evil (as with John Morrison and Sheamus).
It is also interesting to see how Orton will react to his return. The two have been bitter rivals in the past and this changes things a great deal between them. Of course Orton could just say that it was all John’s fault anyway and had nothing to do with him and continue being the lone Viper, which is not a bad conclusion either (Or heel Cena can come back and say that Orton owes him, and re-kindle that old rivalry).
There is no doubt that tonight’s edition of RAW will be extremely interesting. I hope it does not turn out that Cena is immediately reinstated. This is a possibility, but I think that it will cancel out all the hard work that has gone into this story so far.
At the end of the day, Cena will be respected for doing the right thing in the face of all adversity.
The children who idolize him have learned an important lesson, those who do not like him are happy that they do not have to see him for at least a little while, and wrestling fans on the whole will be intrigued to see where the road on the John Cena experience will take us to next.
The only thing that is certain at this point is that the experience is not over.