Did John Cena 'pass the torch' to Ryback on Raw?

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October 16, 2012

By now, 10-time World Champion John Cena is used to receiving a mixed reaction from the WWE Universe when his entrance theme blares through the speakers and he charges into the ring. Interesting then, that on the Oct. 15 episode of Raw, there was nothing mixed about the reaction given to Ryback when, during Mr. McMahon’s contract signing, the leader of the Cenation opted out of title consideration so that the undefeated Superstar could challenge CM Punk for the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell.

It was a moment that may well live forever in WWE lore, as an entire arena was in turn transfixed, then transformed, by a monstrous newcomer and three simple yet undeniably powerful words. When Cena — still nursing an injured right arm and still harboring a grudge against the reigning champion — essentially stepped aside and passed along the torch that is the honor and responsibility of challenging for Punk’s illustrious title to Ryback, the WWE Universe seemed to hold its breath in unison. Then, in one earth-shattering voice, they let it all out.

"Feed me more."

"FEED ME MORE."

"FEED! ME! MORE!"

The chant that’s emanated from arenas all over the world found its home in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Monday. But the real surprise was that as the crowd erupted, encapsulating the building in a wall of sound that reverberated throughout the WWE Universe, it was Cena leading the charge! Now more a mantra than simply a chant for a Superstar hell-bent on laying waste to anyone who may get in his way, "Feed me more" has never meant so much to so many.

Ryback, who has been nothing short of a force of nature since his arrival in April, now carries the weight of the WWE Universe on his broad shoulders. Handed to him by Cena — a 10-time WWE Champion — Ryback also carries with him the hopes and dreams of an entire locker room. Whether it’s because Cena isn’t yet healthy enough to do battle, or perhaps because the Cenation leader sees something special in the rising Superstar, the burden is now on Ryback to answer the call.

Few have been afforded the opportunity to challenge for WWE Championship gold; fewer still have claimed it. Standing now at the precipice of greatness, when Hell in a Cell descends on Ryback and Punk come Oct. 28, will Ryback live up to the enormous expectations thrust upon him by Cena and carry that torch to a title reign?                                    

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