Austin Theory proved his critics wrong with a huge win over John Cena in the first match of WrestleMania 39.
Cena was hoping to capture WWE gold for the first time since 2017, and to regain the US Title for the first time since 2015, when he famously issued an open challenge answered by a variety of rising stars, including Cody Rhodes during his divisive Stardust phase.
Cena returned to WWE on the March 6th episode of Raw, where Theory issued the challenge to face him on the Grandest Stage of Them All. John Cena initially said that Theory wasn’t ready for such a grand spotlight, but eventually accepted the match. He was not seen on television again until he made his way to Los Angeles.
The returning legend made his entrance amidst multiple children in partnership with the Make a Wish Foundation, where he holds the honor of having granted the most wishes in history.
The bout went back and forth, and despite Cena seeming to have the upper hand at times with his ever-familiar offense, the tables turned when the referee was inadvertently knocked down. Cena had Theory in the STF and Theory tapped, but the referee didn’t see the submission, and Cena’s quest for the title was forced to continue. Theory emerged victorious in the end, though in controversial fashion as he hit a low blow before hitting Cena with the A-Town Down and pinning him.
John Cena Almost Faced Cody Rhodes At WrestleMania
While John Cena had been scheduled to appear at WrestleMania 39 for a number of months, the identity of his opponent was much more uncertain.
While Cody Rhodes was penciled in to face Roman Reigns from around August 2022, there were some within the company pushing for the American Nightmare to face Cena. This was followed by another plan which would have seen Cena face Logan Paul.
It has been claimed that a match between Cena and Logan Paul still could happen at SummerSlam.
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