Looking back at the WWE in 2016, there’s one rivalry that stood out and created consistent memorable moments and that’s AJ Styles vs. John Cena. For years, fans never thought they’d see this match come to fruition but WWE pulled the trigger and we were treated to great television.
Their first time sharing a ring together saw the fans trade dueling chants of “AJ Styles – Lets Go Cena” that went on for a few minutes. The beat down that followed from Styles and the Club started a rivalry that lasted the entire summer culminating at Summerslam in arguably the match of the year in WWE. Together, these two were the lone bright spots on a lackluster event.
Outside of these two being two of the best wrestlers on the planet, what makes this rivalry work is the equal level they’re presented on. Cena is at his best when he’s opposite of someone who can legitimately beat him – clean. Look back at Cena’s most celebrated rivalry to date with CM Punk. Punk was treated as an equal and with that approach, there’s a sense of unpredictability. That unpredictability translates to fresh and compelling television.
The story between these two is still in its beginning stages. Since the loss at Summerslam, Cena hasn’t gone in depth about his loss. They can pick up right where they left off in the New Year, with Cena being set up in a match with Styles. They can go in some different directions like focusing entirely on Cena trying to get his 16th world title or Styles being upset that he’s back trying to take his spotlight.
Whatever the story may be, putting two of the most over superstars in the ring together once again on a major PPV is the right decision to make. The champ that runs the camp and the face that runs the place is the go-to rivalry in the WWE at the moment. One that if booked correctly, can be a moneymaker they can go back to at anytime just like Punk/Cena was.
Now why should it happen at the Rumble? The only thing to look forward to at the Rumble so far is the dynamic of Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. At this point, no one is looking forward to another round of Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns. So to sell tickets for this major event in the huge Alamodome in San Antonio, WWE needs more than just Goldberg and Lesnar. Insert Styles and Cena and what you have there is a deserving main event that the majority would be satisfied with.