What's next for Cena? Questions swirl after loss in "Once in a Lifetime" Match

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April 02, 2012

The last we saw of John Cena, he was sitting on the entranceway of The Grandest Stage of Them All, with a look on his face that can only be described as, well … simply miserable. (PHOTOS)

Since his agonizingly close loss to The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII, Cena hasn't said one word about what he's thinking or feeling. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, that image can't even begin to express what it must feel like to lose a "Once in a Lifetime" Match.

"Nobody goes into a match thinking that they're going to lose. If they do, they've already lost," said WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson. "Simple fact is: Cena was very confident going in."

Throughout WrestleMania Week, the leader of Cenation was active on Twitter, encouraging his followers to get ready for a match for the ages. Now he's gone radio silent, leaving the Cenation with only questions – and serious concerns – as they wonder what's going through their icon's head.

"I think he's probably a little confused," former WWE competitor Dean Malenko said. "There are likely a million emotions going around in his head. He might be feeling that he let people down, and maybe even let himself down."

It was nearly a month ago on the Raw SuperShow in Boston where Cena told The Great One, "If you beat me, I lose everything!" As The Brahma Bull still soaks in his monumental victory, Cena's silence has left us with pressing speculation: Has the 12-time World Champion really lost everything?

John Cena gives The Rock an Attitude AdjustmentOne thing is for certain: John Cena has never quit in the face of adversity. He rises above adversity at every turn. Even with the Miami crowd pouring on some haterade, Cena didn't let it faze him as he pulled off one of his greatest performances yet. But Cena has said it himself: "Nobody remembers second place."

Is the shame of a second-place finish enough to make Cena second-guess his decision to get in the ring with The People's Champion? Is it enough for him to contemplate quitting for good?

"As far as his state of mind, he's gotta be upset about it, because I know he really wanted to win," said WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston. "But he can only blame himself for it. He tried to showboat at the last minute and it didn't work out."

Someone who knows what it takes to cope with adversity, WWE Tough Enough trainer Bill DeMott, admitted he has to wonder if Cena is still shocked by what happened Sunday night, but warned that it may light a spark under Cena to become an even more fearsome competitor.

"For Cena, he's always said it: he's not going anywhere," DeMott said. "Maybe this is the kick in the ass he needs for a new gameplan. They may have just awoken a sleeping lion."

As the chorus for Cena to speak up grows louder and louder, so do the expectations for him to rise above this devastating defeat. What will be the next move for the leader of the Cenation? Can he repair the potential damage to his WWE legacy?

These are questions that only one man can answer. And knowing the kind of man Cena has always been, it wouldn't come as a surprise if he answers them sooner rather than later.

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