Is The Champ getting bombarded?
The mere act of spitting apple into someone's face is egregious enough to insinuate a brawl; but on Raw, when Carlito covered WWE Champion John Cena in saliva-drenched bits of a Granny Smith, he may have bit off more than his (loud) mouth can chew.
"I'd say it wasn't a wise thing to do," Cena told WWE.com. "Carlito knows that you may get me once, but you won't get me twice. Eventually, we're going to have a fight."
With Randy Orton next in line to challenge The Champ for his gold, spreading his focus between the two has a few possible outcomes for Cena: he spends too much time thinking about Carlito and doesn't give enough attention to his upcoming SummerSlam match with Orton; or, he keeps Carlito at an arm's length and centers all his attention on Orton.
If the latter scenario occurs, it would be Orton that receives no benefit. For the better part of the year, Cena has stepped up to every challenge that presents itself. That said, one could make an argument that an alert Cena would exponentially lower Orton's odds of causing a title change.
There is also a way that Carlito and Orton could both profit if their scheme works (that's assuming they're working in collusion and that it is, in fact, their scheme). If Cena loses at SummerSlam, Carlito would immediately have an ally in the new WWE Champion, Orton, while Orton would regain a World Title for the first time since becoming the WWE's youngest World Heavyweight Champion in 2004.
There's no way to know for sure if Carlito and Orton are working together; that's purely speculation, but being that two of WWE's most notoriously underhanded Superstars are involved, our fans should not put it past them.
Even with all the uncertainty revolving around the situation, Cena says he cannot bring himself to worry about backroom politicking that may or may not be occurring.
"I don't know what allegiances or alliances go on behind closed doors," said The Champ. "All I know is that being the WWE Champ, everyone is coming for me because I have the richest prize in the business."
Lately, a handful of Superstars have been following examples set by The Great Khali and Bobby Lashley that a surefire way to get Cena's attention is through physicality. The mentality of "knock him around a little bit" and he'll notice me has seemed widely accepted among contenders.
"It's funny," Cena chuckled, "because there always seems to be a chip on the shoulder for those vying to be the No. 1 contender. For guys like Carlito and Kennedy, who feel like they haven't gotten their ‘due,' they realize that if they want to get ahead in WWE you have to make some sort of a lasting statement."
Carlito has made a statement through his despicable apple-spitting incident, and he made a few verbal statements to WWE.com that contained some harsh words for The Champ.
"Carlito beat John Cena back when he was on SmackDown when he first debuted," he said. "Carlito is the one who deserves to be wearing that WWE Championship. Who cares that Cena beat Lashley or Umaga or anyone else; John Cena can't beat Carlito. John Cena needs to worry about Carlito, not the other way around."
The weeks leading to SummerSlam will prove to be extremely important and telling for the WWE Champion, as well as all the Superstars who are immediately involved in attempting to unseat him. Will their disdain towards Cena prove to be a coincidence between two young, arrogant Superstars or a calculated plot to rip the title from The Champ's grasp?