Rumours are abound in the wrestling community that John Cena is pencilled in to be the latest opponent for Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Granted, the landscape can change in WWE at any given moment, but stay with me here and let’s pretend that the powers that be in WWE do make this match and that it takes place on the grandest stage of them all. Now, I ask you, does it need a title to add extra spice? This humble writer says no and I want to suggest reasons as to why.
Cena v Taker at Mania is a big match, it really is. It’s a headliner and regardless of your feelings towards either guy, it’ll put butts on seats. It’s safe to say Taker is one of the elder statesmen of the wrestling business. A bona-fide legend that transcends generations of fans. Cena is in the autumnal stage of his career, and that’s not a slight towards him. He has solid veteran status in the company. Their long history in the business, multiple championship reigns (although Taker criminally never had many) and instant recognisability amongst millions of fans gives them the credence to get a fight at the big event.
Those reasons alone should be enough to build the match. It doesn’t need a belt on the line. If it did, there’d have to be several questions to answer when building for mania:
Who takes the WWE Championship from AJ Styles?
Taker may be the Phenom, but a dose of reality is needed here and his record of holding belts isn’t great. It makes little sense for Styles to drop the belt to Taker (who would then become a transitional champion, because let’s face it; Cena would be winning the gold) which would leave AJ in the uncompromising position of having little to fight for and nothing to defend. One of Styles’ best qualities is that his persona believes he’s the top guy. The main man. The face that runs the place. To have him lose to Taker would put the brakes on what’s been a great title run thus far.
If Cena ties Ric Flair’s record, is he seriously going to be on TV all that often?
John Cena is the epitome of a workhorse. He has done so much to promote WWE across the world, be there for fans and work tirelessly for other causes. That’s not to say other guys don’t bust their ass, but Cena is the poster boy, he’s the one who gets more airtime. Many have grumbled about absent champions on WWE TV (myself included), but I get the impression Cena has outside interests on his mind now that he’s getting older. I don’t blame the guy, but to have him win a belt then be away presenting a TV show or something similar goes against his character. Remember not so long ago how he would berate the Rock for his absences on Raw?
Would it hurt the card at mania?
For the biggest show of the year, it’s expected that every belt should be on the line. We should have the opportunity to see the chance of new champions being crowned. Plus we get those extra special matches where icons face icons and big grudge matches are settled. To have a belt in a Cena/Taker match would rob us on one of those matches. It amalgamates the icon match with a title match. Yes it sounds bigger, but overall, would the fans not be losing something also?
Does either man need a title run?
Both men are established as legends in WWE. Giving one or the other another title run won’t add much to their already decorated careers. It’ll only be a footnote on their bios. I was happy when Shawn Michaels won his last world title in an Elimination Chamber match, but it’s not what I’ll remember him for most. It was a nice moment and something Shawn even touched on in his autobiography. However, when reading it, he was at that stage in his career where he didn’t mind if he won it or not. He didn’t need it. Is it fair to say the same for Cena and Undertaker?
Why aim for Flair’s record?
It seems apt at this time to bring up records in regards to titles. New Day have just broken the tag title record and it meant something. True it waned a little at times, but the last Raw showcased them on a different level and they proved they deserved that record and that it meant something. Not just to them, but to the fans. Would John Cena tying the record with Flair prove anything? Here’s the thing I don’t get with multiple title runs; if you’ve won a belt ten or fifteen times, then you’ve lost it just as many times. The mark of a good champion in my eyes is longevity. Something New Day has and I think it means more, both to the wrestlers and to the belt. It gives prestige. Flip flopping titles doesn’t always work, so why do it here just to prove a point that not many people will care about?
At the end of the day, the idea of a title on the line might never happen. However I feel WWE should just let the two men build the hype themselves. ‘Serious’ John Cena is my favourite John Cena. Let’s see him step up for the fight. Let’s see the grizzled veteran in The Undertaker standing in his way. A match of such star power doesn’t need gold to shine.
What do you think? Do you believe a title would make it a better match, or should the belt stay with AJ Styles, Ambrose etc.? Should Cena break Flair’s record? Can Undertaker deliver another five star match? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, thanks for reading.