Do extreme lumberjacks equal certain doom?

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June 23, 2006

This Sunday at Vengeance, John Cena seems to be heading into the proverbial lions’ den. Not only does he have to take on ECW’s suicidal, homicidal, genocidal maniac Sabu, but he has to do it in a hostile situation: an Extreme Lumberjack Match.

Trouble has been brewing between Cena and Sabu ever since the contract signing for Cena’s match with Rob Van Dam at ECW One Night Stand. That night, Sabu put the then-WWE Champion through the contract signing table to give him a taste of the extreme.

This past Monday night on RAW, it happened again. Cena made ECW Rebel Balls Mahoney tap out to the STFU, but Sabu attacked after the match. This time, it was the announcers’ table that Cena crashed through, and he was bloodied in the process. Despite the sneak attacks, Cena has never been one to back down from any challenge; so on Tuesday night, he walked right into the arena during ECW on Sci Fi, confronting the whole ECW locker room with an extreme offer.

“I'll look you all dead in the eye, because ECW doesn’t like me or how I do business,” Cena said. “I have no problem with that. You want to fight? All you have to do is show up. Bring anybody you want…hell, bring everybody! My offer is that at Vengeance, John Cena and Sabu have an Extreme Lumberjack Match!”

Sabu immediately accepted and seemed like he wanted to go right then and there, but he was restrained by Paul Heyman immediately. While it’s obvious that Cena won’t back down, one has to wonder if this was a wise challenge. The former WWE Champion himself isn’t worried, saying that the challenge was more about motivation.

“I’ve been caught by a few surprises in 2006, (specifically) one at New Year’s Revolution and one at One Night Stand,” Cena told WWE.com. “Now that I’ve familiarized myself with ECW, a lot of people say I don’t fit that style and I’m not made for that type of brutality…but I’m still standing and going strong. I’ve taken a beating and I keep on ticking. I just want to make sure that every one of those punks is at ringside so when I’m doing what I have to do at the pay-per-view, there are no excuses.” 

The ECW environment wasn’t kind to Cena at One Night Stand, as he walked out of Hammerstein Ballroom that night without the WWE Championship. This time, Cena will face an ECW Rebel in a WWE ring…but with the entire ECW locker room surrounding the ring, the idea of chaos breaking out is not so far-fetched. So will Cena be prepared for the worst?

“I don’t do much preparation. I leave it all in the ring,” he said. “I’m used to keeping it in the ring and Sabu isn’t; that’s where our ‘styles’ conflict. So if you’re trying to play the chalkboard game or the John Madden game, I’ve got a better chance of staying in the ring. Obviously, if Sabu somehow gets me out of the ring I’m not just fighting one guy; I’m fighting whoever shows up. Every other time I’ve seen or heard of ECW it’s turned into a Wild West shootout, and that’s what you’re going to see at Vengeance. It’s going to be everybody from ECW and me, and I ain’t going down without a fight.”

Win or lose, Cena says he may not be done with ECW after Vengeance. “I’ve got one focus and that’s the WWE Championship. That target right now is Rob Van Dam, and I’ll be watching (Edge vs. Rob Van Dam) very closely. When I had the WWE Championship I had to really keep my head on a swivel, because anybody at any given time can be gunning for you. Now that I don’t have it and I want to get it back, it’s a lot easier to get prepared. You know who you’re going to face and you know it’s going to be a one-on-one showdown.”
 
Can John Cena survive his trip through hell this Sunday night, or will the lumberjacks spell extreme doom for the former WWE Champion?

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