The hottest topic in WWE these past few weeks has been the feud between Roman Reigns and John Cena. Each and every week on Raw, the animosity between the two was being pushed to new levels. Cena crossed some lines that left many fans with their jaws on the floor, shining a spotlight on Reigns’ inability to cut a good promo and even bringing up his suspension under WWE’s wellness policy. Eventually, though there had to be a time when Cena would have to back up his ruthless promos.

NEXT: JOHN CENA IS NOT A HYPOCRITE, AND HERE’S WHY

That point came this past Sunday at WWE No Mercy. The 16 Time World Champion and the man who is being groomed to take his place did battle in a match that on paper was worthy of headlining WrestleMania.  It was a pretty good bout too, most likely the match of the night. Both men gave it absolutely everything they had, but in the end, Cena fell to Reigns. Cena and Reigns shook hands and John whispered something in his victorious opponent’s ear.

After that, The Big Dog took his leave and Cena stuck around to soak in the atmosphere. The post-match events felt eerily similar to The Undertaker‘s unofficial retirement at WrestleMania 33 following his loss to Reigns as well. At one point, Cena even appeared to be fighting back tears, especially when the crowd began to chant ‘Thank you, Cena.” The Franchise Player really milked the moment and it raised the question of whether that’s the last we’ll see of Cena competing in the ring.

Following No Mercy, Cena appeared on the WWE Network show Raw Talk to discuss his loss to Roman Reigns. Cena managed to artfully dodge the topic of his retirement until Jerry Lawler effectively asked him outright. It turns out that Cena is not retiring, but that loss to Reigns likely marks the end of an era. He discussed being 40 years old, and even if he didn’t have all of the projects outside of WWE, like the upcoming Bumblebee movie, he still wouldn’t be able to go at the pace and ferocity that he may have done in the past.

During his appearance on Raw Talk, Cena commented on WWE being his family, and that he will act like a Batman type figure where if the company shines a light in the sky, he’ll come running. Judging by his comments, Cena will clearly be sensible when it comes to retiring and winding down his in-ring career, but fans of him shouldn’t worry about him ever leaving WWE for good. Cena has the company flowing through his veins, and as long as he and WWE exist, Big Match John will likely be a part of it.

Fewer fans are sticking with the mantra that John Cena is bad for WWE, and many are coming around to the fact that he may very well be the best WWE Superstar of all time. Cena has likely done more for the company than any of us will ever know, and his run was unlike any other. The decision to slow down when it comes to performing in the ring is a wise one, and it’ll mean that we’ll get to see at least a few more years of John Cena matches going forward.

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