John Cena, the face of WWE for over a decade, appears to be ticking off items from his wrestling bucket list. At age 46, Cena has hinted at his imminent departure from in-ring competition, with commitments set only until mid-October this year.
This year witnessed Cena marking a landmark debut in India and now, he's poised to make waves in NXT. Cena's latest journey in WWE has seen him clash with The Bloodline. In a tag team bout, Cena will partner with LA Knight to face the formidable duo of Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa at Fastlane 2023.
In a surprising twist, Carmelo Hayes, a rising star in NXT, recently broke the news of Cena's upcoming appearance on the brand. Cena will stand beside Hayes in his bout against Bron Breakker, who will be seconded by the cunning Paul Heyman.
With Cena's NXT stint looking to be short-lived, here's a peek at the top three roles he could adopt:
#3: The Special Guest Referee
John Cena expressed reservations about his long-term in-ring future. Just last month, he made a memorable appearance as a special guest referee at Payback.
Cena could be stepping into the squared circle in black and white stripes once more, possibly overseeing the simmering rivalry between Hayes and Breakker. It's worth noting that Hayes ended Breakker's dominant title reign in April.
#2: Teaming with the Top Dog
No Mercy saw the rise of a new NXT Champion: Ilja Dragunov. After a brutal contest, Dragunov clinched gold, and with it, a bullseye on his back. Enter Baron Corbin, a superstar whose last taste of gold dates back almost half a decade.
Cena, having had multiple encounters with Corbin on the main roster, might consider teaming up with Dragunov, adding an intriguing dynamic to the storyline.
#1: Classic Mentor vs. Protégé
Carmelo Hayes, in his early NXT days back in 2021, paid homage to Cena's 'Ruthless Aggression' era during a confrontation with Adam Cole.
Today, Hayes is not just any superstar; he's a former NXT Champion. Cena's inspiration is evident in Hayes' style and attitude. But as the old adage goes, never meet your heroes. With Cena in Hayes' corner, tensions could rise, leading to a betrayal and perhaps, the most awaited feud, where the protégé challenges the mentor.