Earlier this week on Monday Night Raw, John Cena continued his open challenge for his United States Championship less than 24 hours after retaining it against Rusev in an 'I Quit' match at the WWE Payback pay-per-view.
Since dethroning Rusev at WrestleMania, John Cena has seen off a number of challengers ranging from Dean Ambrose to Bad News Barrett, and Neville – who came agonisingly close to defeating John Cena – to Sami Zayn.
How did the WWE top that? By having NXT Champion Kevin Owens shock the world and interrupt John Cena, hitting him with the pop-up powerbomb.
Article continues below
He didn’t answer John Cena’s open challenge, in fact he had no intention of competing for the United States Championship as he disrespected the belt and gained instant heat by stepping on the title. But in his first night on the main roster he certainly left the fans talking and left the arena with something huge to add to his already-impressive résumé.
It has since been revealed that Kevin Owens would have a match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, and his opponent would be the United States Champion, John Cena. But the championship won’t be on the line.
Article continues below
This opens up new possibilities for the match. If the United States Championship was on the line then it was pretty much a guarantee that at the end of the night, John Cena would walk out with his championship intact.
Now that the gold isn’t on the line, should the NXT Champion defeat the United States Champion? Not just any United States Champion, but the face of the WWE?
WHY KEVIN OWENS SHOULDN’T DEFEAT JOHN CENA
John Cena is the face of the WWE, he is bringing back some relevancy to the United States Championship by defending it on a weekly basis so that means the title is now more important than it has been for a very long time.
This raises the question, should someone competing on NXT – regardless of how experienced and talented he is – defeat someone who has carried the WWE for a number of years?
Losing to Kevin Owens could potentially hurt John Cena. He’s defeated so many tough superstars recently, such as Rusev, and losing to Kevin Owens could possibly make John Cena’s victories over Rusev mean nothing, it could show that anybody could defeat Rusev.
What would a victory for Kevin Owens do for the United States Championship? There’s a chance that the NXT Champion defeating the United States Champion could harm the United States Championship and the importance of the belt, that it’s losing to a championship lower down in the rankings.
Where would John Cena go next? He’s seen off plenty of superstars in his career, most recently the young up and comers like Bray Wyatt and Rusev and he’s bounced back with bigger feuds, if he loses to Kevin Owens then what’s next for John Cena? Which feud can he enter? It shows that he’s beatable as a champion.
WHY KEVIN OWENS SHOULD DEFEAT JOHN CENA
Again, John Cena is the face of the WWE and the championship he is holding was once something a superstar would hold for a while and then lose, but Cena is making it important, it’s now a sought-after championship which means he is someone with a target on his back.
Fans tune in to every single week to see talented stars such as Kevin Owens do what they do best and now that he is targeting John Cena, he could be keeping Cena relevant.
A win for Kevin Owens would legitimise NXT as a serious brand with serious competitors who can in fact keep up with the best and show to the fans that maybe don’t want NXT, that they’re in safe hands.
If Owens loses to John Cena then it shows that if the NXT Champion, the number one star on NXT is losing then the remainder of the roster stands no chance. That kind of play is not needed. They need to ensure that Owens represents NXT to the best of his ability and show that he, alongside so many others, are ready to take over.
A victory for Kevin Owens could mean more fans tune in to NXT, fans who don’t watch NXT at all or just view it now and again. If they saw Kevin Owens defeat John Cena they would want to tune in to NXT to see what the brand is all about.
It would also help Kevin Owens a lot, he’s still the NXT Champion which means he also has a target on his back and he will have big feuds lined up and big title defences in the form of Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe.
If he can defeat John Cena at the Elimination Chamber event then it will make Owens look unbeatable and that’s what he needs to look like as he continues to dominate NXT so when he does eventually arrive on the main roster, fans know exactly who he is and what he’s capable of.
All in all, I believe Kevin Owens needs the win against John Cena, it would help NXT look better than it already is and would make the fans continue waiting for his full-time arrival on the main roster.