16-time WWE Champion John Cena has been announced for the February 28th episode of SmackDown and speculation is rampant that this will build to a match at WrestleMania 36.
Cena has previously stated that he wouldn’t be busy during the WrestleMania weekend and was hoping to be part of the show. There were also rumors floating around that Cena would be facing either Goldberg or The Fiend for his 17th World Title.
Now, according to Wrestling Observer Radio, Cena will indeed be at the show and he will be facing a familiar opponent, Elias.
According to Dave Meltzer, the current plan for a Cena vs. Elias match at WrestleMania 36 builds off of their interaction at WrestleMania 35.
While Cena did not wrestle at WrestleMania 35, he did make an appearance for a segment with Elias. During the segment, Elias was out in the ring attempting to give a musical performance when he was interrupted by Cena.
Cena, who came out as his “Dr. Of Thuganomics” persona proceeded to interrupt Elias’ performance with one of his own before delivering a beat down on Elias.
According to Meltzer, while some might feel that this is a bit of an underwhelming match, it at least has a storyline behind it. It’s expected that there will be some interaction between Cena and Elias during Cena’s scheduled SmackDown appearance that will remind us of their history and build the match.
Currently, Elias is something of a babyface, so if it does turn out that he will be going up against the ultimate WWE babyface in John Cena, this could mark the beginning of a heel turn.