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THE POWER OF THE PIN - APRIL 2, 2023: Was This Cena's Final Scene?

Updated: May 6, 2023

Despite a legendary and lauded career, John Cena showed in his performance at WrestleMania that he's essentially taken his final bow, in terms of being a professional wrestler

Another Showcase of the Immortals is upon us, as the highly anticipated WrestleMania in Los Angeles kicked off on Saturday night. The 39th incarnation of what has become a global event promised to have all the glitz and glamour that Tinsel Town is known for. And kicking it off was WWE's top leading man of the 21st Century, John Cena.

Big Match John would be facing the challenge of his ultimate understudy. In so many ways Austin Theory is a rebooted version of Cena - so much so that he could easily pass as a stunt double for The Doctor of Thuganomics. It's a comparison that fans, media, and even the two performers themselves have made. Because of that, this proud pair has been on a collision course for a while now.

In most years, this might have been your usual clash of the titans, but this time, it felt more like a swan song. John Cena has been in Hollywood and away from active competition for several years now His career in films and television is really starting to blossom. Meanwhile, back in WWE, Austin Theory has been putting himself and A-Town on a different kind of map.

So it's not surprising that Cena couldn't escape from LA with another win on The Grandest Stage of Them All. It's already been written in the script that Austin Theory will be one of the guys who stands on top of World Wrestling Entertainment for the foreseeable future.

Cena represents the past - the transition from the Attitude Era into a new version of the promotion. One that ruled its industry for nearly 20 years without any true opposition.

Those days are long gone now, and unfortunately for the 16-time world champion, he doesn't own a DeLorean. There's no going back to the future now, and he showed that on Saturday night. If there was ever any indication that Cena has truly drawn the final curtain on one of the greatest in-ring careers ever, then we've finally been witness to it.

The Leader of Cenation took a lot of slings and arrows during his time on top, being besieged with boos and chants of 'you can't wrestle' for years by his critics. It was an unfair assessment of his abilities; the company didn't need him to be a sharpshooter in the squared circle. What Vince McMahon was looking for was a steady face of the franchise, a money player who could replace icons like Steve Austin and The Rock.

Because those were big shoes to fill, Cena often didn't get his just due for his amazing work ethic, dedication to the company, and tireless charity work. While he may not have been the same type of bad boy that some of his predecessors were, John represented more of the traditional hero. He was the red, white, and blue, All-American boy... right down to his crewcut. That often worked to his detriment.

Despite all that, he will be remembered as the most important WWE Superstar of his time, despite being criminally underappreciated for carrying the banner during the Ruthless Aggression Era. There were some dark times then, but the fans always knew that they could count on Cena to deliver in the main event.

Those days are gone now. He isn't a professional wrestler anymore. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. And he certainly will never be the same John Cena that he was before. In fact, we'll never even get a glimpse of it again.

Against Theory, Cena looked slow and sometimes clumsy. He mistimed moves much more than he ever has in the past. And while naysayers might tell you that he's always been that way, it's never been quite like this. His strength and athleticism used to be able to make up for his mistakes between the ropes. They failed him at 'Mania because they just aren't there now.

On top of that, in comparison to Theory, he looked old. He was pale and noticeably thinner. And (as Theory pointed out in a recent promo battle) his hair is getting really thin on top. In short, he's starting to really show his age. Both in terms of his appearance and his outcome. He just didn't deliver the goods like we have seen so many times in his career.

Instead, we saw him for what he is today. He's no longer Super Cena, he's now the Peacemaker. He's a modern-day movie star and not yesterday's wrestling star. And that's okay. With all the memories he's given us in the ring, perhaps it's time that he just makes this one his last go-around. After all those times holding the gold, it's now time to stick to the silver screen.

John Cena should consider WrestleMania 39 as his final role in WWE and stay in Hollywood. That's where Act II of life has taken him, and it's time to let it all play out. (end scene.)




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