John Cena – the name and face of WWE. He’s waived the company flag as their franchise player for ten years with many stars coming through the ranks to try and overtake the Cenation leader. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Ryback have all been pushed at one time to rival and potential surpass Cena in popularity but here Cena still stands as the face of the company even in 2015. Many fans have wanted change at the top of the food chain for a while and there’s a great opportunity at the moment for WWE to make their next top guy to knock Cena off the top. However, it’s not going to happen overnight. The first step towards creating a “new John Cena” is to have Cena “pass the torch” to someone that shouldn’t really start of as a good guy to begin with. Roman Reigns could very well be the next John Cena but in order to do that, he needs to beat the man himself and do it as a heel. Here’s how I would book Roman Reigns vs John Cena…
If Roman Reigns is to truly become the next top guy in WWE, beating Cena is the best way to do it. Every time a new top guy is made, there’s always that “glass ceiling” that prevents them from being elevated. For the likes of Rusev, Bray Wyatt, Ryback and Kevin Owens, that glass ceiling was John Cena. However, those that have beaten Cena like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in big match situations have become stars in their own right. They’ve never become the face of the company but they’ve been turned into one of the true elite in the WWE. Roman Reigns could finally break into that elite with a big win over Cena.
I know what you’re thinking. Bryan and Punk both beat Cena as babyfaces. The likes of Bray Wyatt and Kevin Owens were heels and pressure to keep the biggest face of the company strong has lead to hardly any villains winning a feud with “Big Match John.” The likelihood of heels becoming stars by beating Cena doesn’t seem like a strong solution. Even after beating Cena at Summerslam, Seth Rollins is currently struggling after losing the US title back to Cena at Night Of Champions.
I don’t want this to seem like a knock on John Cena because it really isn’t. If anything, his position at the moment could help someone like Roman Reigns to get over. Roman turning heel is a risky move but worth it as he’s really got nothing else to lose. Roman was pushed as such a babyface at the start of the year but was seemingly rejected even more than Cena. If he turns heel, then it’s a great opportunity for Reigns to become the badass that got him over in the first place with the Shield. In a recent piece for SLTD Wrestling, I said:
“The Roman Reigns that became such a big hit barely spoke. The talking was mostly left to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins when he was apart of the Shield. Roman let his fists do the talking and acted like a total badass. The fans didn’t like Roman Reigns because of his mic skills. They liked him because they liked to see him beat people up. Let him do just that.”
That’s a crucial role for Roman to play. He needs to be a badass heel in order to counter the ultimate face. This would be Superman vs Doomsday. Two powerhouses with completely different agendas. Once you have that, you’re good to go.
I think one of the biggest aspects of being a heel is having something to brag about and credibility. Right now, there’s a great opportunity to get that credibility as a bad guy. Firstly, he beats Bray Wyatt at Hell in a Cell. Then he sets his sights on Cena.
If the reports of Cena being out for two months are true, then the next step for Roman is easy. On the RAW after Hell in a Cell, US Champion John Cena comes out (who would have won his US title match the night before). He comes out and makes his challenge which Roman accepts. As Lillian Garcia is doing the introductions, Roman attacks Cena before the match even starts. This is not like a regular beatdown. Roman DESTROYS Cena. He batters him with the steel steps, he smacks him with chairs and does the spear through the announce table that he did to Bray Wyatt. As Roman walks up the ramp, Cena crawls back to his feet. In a fit of rage, Roman gets him back in the ring and just beats the crap out of him. He doesn’t do any special moves or anything. He just punches him. One after another after another until Cena is KO’d. He spits on Cena’s face and leaves.
This sidelines Cena for the few months that he’s away. The US title would also be vacated. Meanwhile, Roman is running through the roster and just beating the crap out of everyone. Dean Ambrose then confronts Roman about his new attitude. He doesn’t mind Roman getting a little crazy and just wants Roman to get take out all of the anger built inside against Dean at Survivor Series. Roman accepts and punches Dean in the mouth. Dean laughs about it and mouths that “this will be fun, my brother.” The two have their match at Survivor Series. It’s a nice little match which eventually spills onto the entrance ramp. The ref stops his count briefly just to tell Reigns and Ambrose to get back into the ring. Eventually, Roman spears Dean through the stage screen leaving Dean out. Roman rolls into the ring, grabs the mic and yells “Is that what you wanted Dean?” The doctors are trying to help Dean but he suddenly struggles down to the ring. Roman batters Dean in the ring and hits the spear but Dean kicks out. He hits another spear but Dean kicks out. This infuriates Roman to the point where he is just punching Ambrose over and over like he did with Cena. Eventually, the ref calls for the bell and awards the match to Roman via knock out. It features shades of the Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens match in February which ended in similar fashion. However, it does work well for Roman’s character as he is shown to be a legitimate badass.
The Authority would be impressed with Roman’s new-found aggression and would reward him with a WWE World title opportunity at TLC in a TLC match. The champion Seth Rollins would be annoyed but Dean would want to be in the match as well. The Authority give him a rematch with Roman on RAW. If Dean wins, he’s added to the title match. Seth Rollins is at ringside. The ref calls for the match to start but Roman instantly kicks Dean in the nuts to be disqualified. He lays onto Dean until Seth pulls him off. Seth is upset that Roman has just made the TLC main event a triple threat. Roman doesn’t care but Seth slaps him. Roman then goes after Seth. Roman hits both Dean and Seth with spears. He then notices the chair Seth was sitting on at ringside. He grabs it and we then get a case of deja vu. Dean and Seth are down as Roman smacks them both with chair shots over and over. If you’ll recall, Seth did the exact same thing to Dean and Roman when he left the Shield and joined the Authority. This sets things up nicely for TLC.
This match would probably be a great match with the three of them knowing each other so well. I would have Roman take out Dean with a spear into a table or something cool like that. Roman would be closing in on a victory but then we hear the music of John Cena. Cena returns to battle Roman on top of the ladder. This would be quite the bump but Cena AAs Roman off the top of the ladder onto a table similarly to what he did to Edge at Unforgiven 2006. Seth takes advantage to retain the title.
Cena would then declare himself in the 2016 Royal Rumble and vowed to become only the second man to win the match three times (with Stone Cold Steve Austin being the first). Roman would interrupt and announced that “he’s in” and said that he would win the Rumble match for a second year in a row whether Cena or any of the fans liked it or not. He also vowed to eliminate Cena from the Rumble himself. Cena and Roman come out near the end of the rumble match and they both make it to the final six. Cena eliminates Roman by side-stepping his spear and clotheslining him over the top rope. However, Cena would get shockingly eliminated when his back was turned. Cena and Roman stare at each other and begin to fight on the outside. The refs come out to try and stop it but Cena and Roman take them out. Cena pushes the last ref away but Roman takes advantage to spear him. Roman looks like he’s about to spear Cena off the stage but Cena counters it into the AA on the entrance ramp. Both men are out and helped to the back to end their night.
John Cena comes out the next night on RAW and calls out Roman Reigns for a match. Triple H interrupts, saying that a match between Reigns and Cena needs to be promoted properly. He’s willing to give John Cena his match with Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania on one condition, Cena must win every match he wrestles from now until Mania. If he is to lose just one of his matches, Cena will miss out on Wrestlemania 32 all together this year. John Cena’s US Open Challenge has been such a success since Cena introduced it as it’s given many other wrestlers a chance to share the spotlight. Considering that a lot of wrestlers on the active roster might miss out on a big match at Wrestlemania anyway, being reduced to probably being in the Andre The Giant battle royal, this is their chance to make a name for themselves before Wrestlemania to go into the event looking good.
Meanwhile, Roman’s schedule is a lot lighter than Cena. He doesn’t have to do anything. Triple H tells Roman that if Cena loses before Mania, he does have a match for Roman to be in. If Cena loses then Roman would be added to the main event of Wrestlemania instead. Cena would vow to prevent Roman from sliding into a title match he really doesn’t deserve. John would face the New Day in a three man gauntlet at Fastlane. He beats Xaiver and Kofi but is losing to Big E. Big E is about to hit the Big Ending when Roman comes out. He stares at Big E and then spears Cena, causing Cena to win by disqualification. He batters Cena and spears him through the barricade to properly hurt him.
I know what you’re thinking. Why would Roman help Cena win by getting the New Day disqualified? If Cena wins, then Roman can’t get his title match right? However, Roman is preparing for Cena himself for Wresltemania too. If Roman’s attacks leads to Cena losing, then he gets his title shot. If Cena is hurt going into Wrestlemania, then it’s an easy day at the office for Roman. It’d be foolish for Roman to not prepare for Cena should he win all of his matches. If he doesn’t, then it’s a win-win situation for Roman anyway.
Eventually, Cena does win all of his matches leading into the event. Cena gets his hands on Reigns on the RAW before Wrestlemania giving him two attitude adjustments through the announce tables to hurt Roman. I would at least have Cena attack Roman once. Cena can’t be totally dominated by Roman in the feud because this match is huge for the Samoan. Cena and Reigns both have to look really strong heading into this match.
At Wrestlemania, Roman and Cena have their match. The match initially starts with Cena hitting Roman with the AA immediately, but Roman kicks out at one! Cena is stunned as Roman just gets up and laughs at Cena. The match goes on and Roman then starts to dominate. The matches Cena’s had before this are really starting to effect him as he looks tired around seven minutes into the match. Roman is just hammering away. Things get worse for John as Roman spears him into the steel steps on the outside. Cena makes it back into the ring but is feeling his ribs for the rest of the match. Roman eventually hits a spear in the ring but doesn’t cover him. He stands over him and poses. Roman shouts “Who’s the man?” but then falls down as Cena locks on the STF. Roman is in the hold for nearly two or three minutes but somehow gets the ropes. However, Cena is spent after what’s happened to him in the match. That STF took a lot of Cena. Roman gets angry and starts slapping Cena repeatedly. Roman goes for the Superman Punch but Cena counters it into an AA but Roman kicks out. Cena then starts to make his comeback but is exhausted. Cena goes for the five knuckle shuffle but as Cena is coming off the rope, Roman hits the superman punch. Cena stays up as Roman hits another Superman punch and a spear to get the clean victory over Cena.
And that’s how I would book it. In fact, I think would be one of my strongest ideas of how to turn Roman Reigns heel. Roman needs to look like a badass and I think this feud with Cena has helped turn him into a legitimate badass heel that was not all about taking cowardly wins. Him having to work a lighter schedule then Cena leading into their match is heelish but it’s not done in such a way that makes Roman look bad. As long as he won the match at Mania, all of this would have been worth it. I think a star could be made with this feud and his name… is not John Cena. It’s in fact Roman Reigns and you can believe that.
Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!