Who will win the epic showdown pitting Cena against Reigns at WWE No Mercy?
When the talk is done and the bell rings and Spears are thrown and Attitude Adjustments are carried out, which iconic competitor will be left standing tall? WWE.com editors offer their opinions on the epic battle between two of WWE’s top Superstars.
Roman Reigns will defend his yard at WWE No Mercy
Oh, John. You’ve done it now. You went and insulted the man in his own yard. Did a good job of it, too. No question about it. That bit about being “a corporate John Cena knockoff”? Surely made a lot of the haters smile. The jokes about the vest on Twitter? Fair play. The line about being a better part-timer than he is a full-timer? A dagger to the heart; no one could or would pretend otherwise. But … if history serves … we’ve seen what happens next, have we not?
It was a little later in the year, a little closer to the big dance, but we’ve definitely been here before. You and a large Samoan man (a cousin of this Samoan man, in fact) in a back-and-forth on the mic and an insult from you that was a bit more accurate than he probably expected. Egg on his face, the crowd in the palm of your hand and your opponent so rattled that all he could muster was a variation on “I’m gonna beat you up.” Those were good times, weren’t they? For you, and for us. Insulting a legend, or even “The Guy,” makes for great TV.
But what happened then? If memory serves … you lost. Lost big, in fact. In The Rock’s yard, even, or at least his hometown. You got cocky, and in the blink of an eye you had your head in your hands watching the confetti fall over someone else. There’s a pretty good picture of it. Here it is. And, by the way, that was against a guy who didn’t defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania, or make his bones in the most imposing faction in WWE history (with all due respect to The Nation of Domination), or have Brock Lesnar on the precipice of defeat before Seth Rollins stole the thunder with a Money in the Bank cash-in. The reality is The Big Dog is not afraid to take on anyone in his path, from The Beast to Braun Strowman to Samoa Joe, and when push comes to shove, all the hype in the world won’t be able to stop a Super Man Punch/Spear combination and a huge pay-per-view victory.
Credit where credit is due: You had the very last word against that first guy. But it took a year of soul-searching and grinding to get it, and by your own admission, you don’t have a lot of those left. In other words? Better luck next time … if, of course, there is a next time. — ANTHONY BENIGNO
John Cena will show The Big Dog that the yard still belongs to the Cenation
The most telling moment so far in John Cena and Roman Reigns’ verbal spats came on the Sept. 4 edition of Raw when Reigns challenged Cena to “prove” his claims and throw down with The Big Dog on the spot. Cena, not unfamiliar to Superstars looking to make a statement on his name, simply laid back, not taking the bait.
There lies the difference between The Guy and The Cenation Leader — Reigns lives in a world where “proving” is essential. He wants Cena to “prove” his claims. Hell, Reigns wants to “prove” to the WWE Universe that he can take down the 16-time World Champion. Cena, however, knows and believes he can beat Roman … no “proving” necessary.
In all their verbal spouts, both in the ring in recent weeks and on social media, Reigns is seemingly always trying to play catchup with Cena. Almost desperate to prove that they’re equals. The crazy thing there is that it would be difficult to find too many that would say John Cena and Roman Reigns aren’t, at the very least, near the same tier of Superstar.
But here is why none of that really matters right now: When Reigns looks at Cena, he sees a man with more titles won, more WrestleManias main-evented, more accolades gained, etc. The fact that Reigns has the youth, size and athleticism advantages (as well as arguably the power advantage too) is rendered moot until The Big Dog can overcome the one major disadvantage that Cena will never have — belief. – RYAN PAPPOLLA