The Miami Heat recently captivated the sports world with their 27 game winning streak. Leading the way in this effort would be LeBron James who is averaging 26.5 points per game making him the leading candidate for the MVP. It’s fair to say that James has dealt with an uncanny amount of media attention since joining the Heat in 2010. With that attention, he has had to climb many hills to prove he is a current NBA great. However, getting to the top was not easy for him and few can relate to his struggle. Arguably only one man may be able to relate, that man would be John Cena.
In less than two weeks, Cena will be entering WrestleMania 29 going into the fight of his life against the WWE Champion, The Rock. For Cena, this match would be his opportunity to wear WWE gold since losing it to Alberto Del Rio in October of 2011. Despite the in and out of the ring struggles, Cena’s rise back to #1 contender has been impressive. Cena has capitalized on this path with victories over top stars, winning the Money in the Bank and winning the Royal Rumble. But his loss to The Rock at last year’s WrestleMania would be the “stain on the white t-shirt” that would make these accomplishments gray. Since Cena has the chance to be on top of the world again, what would a certain NBA athlete say to him about the adversity facing him?
When James was drafted to the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2003, he came onto a team as the fresh hometown hero that looked to be their answer. How could people not love that smile and that “aww shucks” demeanor that he upheld? But those manners can only go so far since playoff games aren’t about how nice you are, but just how badly you want the glory. Every season James would endure the heartbreak of going far but always come up short. James knew if he wanted to win a championship and finally solidify himself as being the best then he must take a chance, and that chance could make him the most hated man alive. But was the risk worth the glory?
If James had a sit down conversation with Cena, he would remind him of his special, “The Decision“, that he had in 2010. In order to gain glory, you have to somewhat embrace the dark. You have to tap into your inner outlaw and envelop a part of yourself that you’ve never known. Look at the all-time greats: Michael Jordan, Julius Erving and Kobe Bryant. Are they equated with being Sunday school ushers? Of course not. James would have Cena think about the all-time greats in his world: Randy Savage, Ric Flair, Steve Austin and Harley Race. These were definitely not altar boys.
James would bring up this past Raw when Cena showed frustration with the daily reality that he may not be able to beat The Rock. This reality has consumed him for a year and has been that degree of thought he’s been fixated on since the loss. This is the “side of darkness” that LeBron had to embrace in order to win a championship. On Monday, Cena brought up him having to deal with a 50/50 crowd every night of fans that do and do not support him. James would remind Cena of the crowd at WWE One Night Stand 2006 when the audience was 100% against him and he wrestled in hostile environment. James would put into perspective how that one night for Cena is every road game for him. This would make Cena think.
Before James would leave, he would remind him what it was that drew him to the WWE in the first place. Winning. James would remind Cena about being a kid, emulating that moment when James would shoot hoops on the court with his friends and Cena would play wrestle with his brothers, that moment of glory was when you were declared “winner”. This moment would sum up all the dreams he had. He would tell him, that leaving Met Life Stadium with the WWE title is not just an option, it’s the mission. And just like when James took his talents to South Beach to win, Cena must rise to the occasion at Mania and to do whatever it takes to become the new WWE Champion, by any means necessary.