There are a lot of question marks regarding the main event of WrestleMania 21, but after No Way Out, one piece to the puzzle has just been filled.
On Sunday night, John Cena finally defeated Kurt Angle – the very same competitor who defeated John in his debut in June of 2002 – in his hometown of Pittsburgh to become the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship. As of this writing, we still don't know whether Batista will be one of the athletes vying to take the championship from JBL – that piece of the puzzle will be solved tomorrow night on RAW.
For Cena, a victory over Kurt at a pay-per-view is a huge accomplishment, and aside fron gaining the main-event slot, Cena also ended Kurt’s two-year streak of representing SmackDown! in the main event of WrestleMania – Kurt faced Eddie Guerrero last year for the WWE Championship, and Brock Lesnar the year before.
“I’ve come so close to beating Angle, so many times, and with so much on the line,” explained Cena. “From my WWE debut, to pay-per-views, to this chance to become the No. 1 contender, Kurt and I have been through a lot. This one was especially special, because I think it was similar to the first time we met. He was hungry and focused, but he kept saying he was going to walk all over me, like he always did, only this time around, I came out smooth, and it went the other way.”
Naturally, Cena was thrilled beyond belief to know that he’s now guaranteed a chance to compete in the main event of WWE’s biggest annual pay-per-view on April 3rd, but for Cena, this win isn’t just about business, it’s personal.
“You ask anyone in this business how it feels to know you’re going to WrestleMania to compete for the WWE Championship, and they’re going to tell you it’s a dream come true,” said Cena. “Now, it’s put up time. I’ve been talking smack for the past two years, and it hadn’t gone my way. Now, I got no complaints. I earned it tonight, and I made it to the dance. So no more talking trash, it’s time to focus up and make good on the promise I made to myself and the fans two years ago.”
The pledge Cena is referring to took place at WrestleMania XIX, when the West Newbury, Mass., native stood in front of a sold-out crowd at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, and promised the world that he would be headlining the following year’s WrestleMania. That prediction didn’t happen – he was off by a year.
WrestleMania XX was still a landmark pay-per-view for Cena – he rocked the Madison Square Garden by hoisting Big Show over his head for an FU, and defeating him for the United States Championship. At WrestleMania 21, he’ll have his chance to make good on his championship dreams, but when John Cena laces his Reebock Pumps up on April 3rd, he will be either facing John “Bradshaw” Layfield (or whomever the WWE Champion is at that time) in a Singles Match, or both JBL and Batista in a Triple Threat Match. “Evolution’s Animal” will make his choice as to which championship to challenge for Monday night on RAW.
“This is WWE, and like I’ve always said, I’m a man of the people, because I was one of the people” Cena told WWE.com from the backstage area of the Mellon Arena. “Not too long ago, I was sitting in the seats, and if I were still sitting in the seats, I’d want to see JBL vs. John Cena vs. Batista. So if he comes aboard, he’s in the mix, and he’s about to find out what the greatest program in the world has to offer, and if he chooses to stay on the red side, so be it, we’ll get him when we get him.”
Regardless of Batista’s decision, Cena is just excited to that he’ll be part of the big main event. Following No Way Out’s Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match between JBL and Big Show, Cena even gave fans a preview of WrestleMania, when he launched JBL through the stage, and left the WWE Champion lying in a pool of his own blood. At WrestleMania 21, Cena says you can expect that same aggression.
“At WrestleMania you can expect me to go all out,” said Cena while twirling the medallion on his United States Championship. “I’m always a guy who’s full of surprises, always taking risks, and always doing everything that I’ve been told not to do. You can expect that same attitude – and I know it sound very cliché – on a WrestleMania platform. This is it for me, and I’m going to make good on my word. Right now I’ve got some platinum, now all I need is some gold to match.”