John Cena widely praises Becky Lynch after their partnership on SmackDown Live

John Cena and Becky Lynch

John Cena's return to WWE has been known for a while now, but his upcoming advertised January 7 appearance on Raw would not be his first showing on television since April.

Instead, the 16-time world champion showed up on the pre-taped New Years Day edition of SmackDown Live to kick-start 2019.

Sporting his infamous new hairstyle, Cena stated that he knew that 'a man' was going to come out and run him down about being a part-timer and about Nikki Bella after his separation from the former Divas Champion.

But 'The Man' appeared instead - Becky Lynch.

The interaction all led to an interruption from Zelina Vega and Andrade 'Cien' Almas, and a mixed tag match was quickly made.

In the end, Lynch tossed Cena from the ring so that she could pick up the victory with a DisArmHer on Vega, before taunting him with his 'You Can't See Me' gesture when he wanted a handshake.

It was all good fun and can only help Lynch's popularity working with a star as big as Cena.

And Cena went on to further praise the Lasskicker in a post-SmackDown interview with Mike Rome where he spoke candidly about her passion and desire for the business.

Becky Lynch stole John Cena's moment on SmackDown Live, but the 16-time world champion has praised the Lasskicker.

"When I was promoting Bumblebee I was asked how I feel about Becky Lynch's character. She believes she's 'The Man'. Being in there with her tonight it's not a character - it's Becky Lynch - and that's something I can relate to," stated Cena.

"When I stand tall in a WWE ring, people know they get the best of me. When Becky Lynch came out there she not only staked her claim but said 'listen if i've gotta go through you to get it, i'll get it done' and I looked into her eyes and I know she meant it, and that's very rare.

"I hope the other WWE stars regardless of gender were paying attention to the attitude of Becky Lynch, because sometimes you've gotta announce your presence with authority."

When you're getting the seal of approval from a legend like Cena, you know you're doing something right in that ring.

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