The WWE Network exclusive, Main Event, lived up to its name on Tuesday as Triple H announced the main event for the next special event, Night of Champions. The headlining bout at the September 21 pay-per-view will feature John Cena invoking his WWE World Heavyweight Championship rematch clause. It will be the first title defense for Brock Lesnar.
Cena lost his championship this past Sunday at Summerslam in one of the most one-sided main event matches in WWE history. Calling it a glorified squash match would be more than an accurate portrayal. Despite this, the match told a story that was fresh and interesting. Wrestling fans are not used to seeing Cena in such a worn-out state. The question is, however, what can be gained from having a rematch so soon?
Is the WWE trying to create a Rocky III moment with Cena? Summerslam may not have featured Cena’s trainer suffering a heart attack at ringside, but Brock Lesnar certainly did look like Clubber Lang. He was more prepared and much, much more physical. Lesnar is one of the strongest champions the WWE has had in years. He looks unbeatable.
So what can happen next month? Personally, I feel like Lesnar can’t lose. The WWE needs to bring stability back to the championship belt, and Brock is the guy to do it. The more he dominates, the more getting the title off him will mean something for whoever finally achieves that seemingly impossible feat.
Cena getting decimated for a second straight month is probably not the route they want to go with their biggest financial draw. If they’re smart, Cena will be extremely serious when he is on television leading up to Night of Champions. They shouldn’t book him in meaningless six-man tags and singles matches on Raw, but show him preparing for redemption.
Give us training montages. Continue the motif that built the Summerslam match so well. This is a real fight. Have him do an emotional sit down with Michael Cole, discussing his mental state after the worst loss of his career. Create a scenario where Cena can lose the match, but win the hearts of fans by showing how dedicated he was in his effort to get the championship back.
Rocky III is a great storyline to emulate; but five weeks my not be enough time to create the emotional connection the payoff eventually deserves.