Watch Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman create mayhem after the main event in this slow-motion footage, captured during the Jan. 16, 2017 edition of Raw.01/19/2017 - 13:30
The father, the son and the WWE Championship
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Whenever John Cena's father sees his son, he sees an 8-year-old boy who used to make his own championships out of cardboard and dream of being WWE Champion someday. More than anyone, Mr. Cena knows what the WWE Championship means to his son, and how hard he has worked for it.
That's why he didn't hesitate to voluntarily put himself in harm's way Monday night on Raw and face the much younger, stronger and vicious Randy Orton in a match. Mr. Cena didn't care about putting his body on the line; he just didn't want Acting Raw GM Jonathan Coachman to strip his son of the WWE Championship, especially on the one-year anniversary of his title reign.
When you look at Mr. Cena, you see where The Champ gets his fearlessness and no quit-no surrender attitude. The elder Cena never even told his son that he had talked to Coachman and volunteered to face Orton. The Champ found out when Coachman informed him before our fans at the Sommet Center at the beginning of Raw. (WATCH)
Based on Mr. Cena's attack on Orton Sunday night at Unforgiven, Coachman told The Champ that he had grounds to strip him of the WWE Championship. When the Legend Killer grabbed the elder Cena out of his ringside seat and prepared to re-enact his previous attack where he gave him a concussion, the WWE Champion pounced and locked Orton in an STFU. Cena's father then gave Orton a dose of his own medicine by punting him in the skull.
An outraged Coachman immediately signed Orton and Cena to a rematch for the title at No Mercy on Oct. 7, but it will be a Last Man Standing Match. The Acting Raw GM also wanted The Champ to pay for his dad's involvement at Unforgiven, even though Mr. Cena was provoked by Orton. So, Mr. Cena decided he would sacrifice himself to save his son's championship.
John Cena pleaded with his father not to go through with the match. Without doubt, he still had images of Orton attacking his father several weeks ago in his head, and feared what he would do to his dad in the ring.
"I won't let you wrestle," Cena said.
"You don't understand. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I'm wrestling tonight," Cena's dad said stubbornly. "That WWE Championship means everything to you, and I'm not going to let Jonathan Coachman take it away from you."
The Champ even attempted to make his father's decision null and void. Coach agreed, and put Cena in a match where if he won, the battle between his father and Orton would be called off. Cena bested a driven Santino Marella, who was trying to impress his estranged girlfriend Maria. But the victory came by disqualification after Orton interfered and left Cena stunned and handcuffed to the ring ropes. A vindictive Coach then informed Cena about the convenient small print in his agreement with The Champ -- he had to win the match by pinfall or submission. It appears there may have been some collusion between Orton and Coach. It seemed that Cena never had a real chance of keeping his dad out of the match.
The Legend Killer's sadism reached new heights as he tortured Mr. Cena and made his son watch. The Champ's face trembled in red rage as Orton punished his father. He frantically tugged and scratched at the ring ropes and handcuffs. Cody Rhodes, whose own father Dusty Rhodes was punted in the head by Orton months ago, tried to help The Champ, but was thwarted by Orton.
His eyes seething with a cold fury, the Legend Killer flattened Mr. Cena with a vicious RKO. Orton was determined to exact revenge on Mr. Cena, and make The Champ feel like his dad's blood was on his hands. But the WWE Champion somehow managed to free himself by tearing off the bottom turnbuckle to try and save his father from a further beating. (WATCH)
The Champ stared a hole into Orton as he and WWE officials tended to his dad. Mr. Cena has never wanted to be a liability to his son. But Orton is using him as a tool in his ever-escalating personal quest to dethrone John Cena. And only one man will be left standing as WWE Champion after Cena and Orton battle Oct. 7 at No Mercy.