John Cena returned to WWE on the March 6th episode of Raw from the TD Garden in Boston.
It was the first time Cena had appeared on WWE television since teaming with Kevin Owens to defeat Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns on the December 30th episode of SmackDown. Cena hadn’t appeared on the red brand since June 2022 when he celebrated the 20th anniversary of his main roster debut.
On the show, Cena entered to a massive ovation but before he could address the crowd he was interrupted by Austin Theory. The young star said that he had a gift and that gift was a match at WrestleMania. Surprisingly, Cena initially said no to the match, claiming Theory hadn’t earned the right to ask. From there the 16-time World Champion picked apart Theory for his name, claimed no one cared about him, and even said WWE piped in crowd noise during his matches.
As the verbal sparring continued Cena had a clear upper hand and eventually agreed to the match at the urging of the crowd.
With Theory left frustrated in the ring, Cena headed back up the ramp to fire a couple more shots, before introducing Cody Rhodes to the crowd. The American Nightmare and Cena embraced on the stage and shared a short conversation. Posting on social media after the show, Rhodes appeared to reveal that Cena told him to “reward their noise, every time.”
“Reward their noise, every time…”
Thank you @JohnCena#WrestleManiahttps://t.co/hVu0yimVuapic.twitter.com/Pvjpzn8vuo
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) March 7, 2023
Vince McMahon Visited John Cena On Raw
Ahead of the show, it was revealed that Vince McMahon was backstage. It has since been noted that McMahon was primarily there to visit Cena who has met with multiple times outside of WWE in recent months. Interestingly, it was also claimed that McMahon was in the Gorilla position all night and is “doing more than WWE are letting on” backstage.