John Cena Proves Again He's WWE's Biggest Motivator
John Cena is said to be the last remaining true tit-for-tat in WWE. He proved it again at the final SmackDown of 2022.
John Cena may be entering the twilight years of his WWE career. However, the 45-year-old remains one of the most intriguing names in professional wrestling. In fact, if the Dec. 30 episode of SmackDown is any indication, he's one of the few remaining true movers in the industry. Last year, Dave Meltzer said the wrestler-turned-actor was one of the company's few ticket haulers. Someone WWE can put up the big tent for a match and reasonably expect to transfer more units than would otherwise be the case. As it turns out, Cena can still turn heads on the weekly pro wrestling show.
Last Friday's SmackDown episode ratings were released, and John Cena's spike was real. According to Wrestlenomics, "an average of 2,629,000 viewers" watched SmackDown. Wrestling economics provide valuable context for how high that number really is. "[T]hese were the highest ratings for Smackdown in two years. It was the highest overall viewership on Dec. 25, 2020 and the highest P18-49 ratings since Jan. 21, 2022. Christmas Drama 2020 The episode opened with an NFL game which boosted ratings in that situation. Other than that, it was Smackdown's highest total since Feb. 28, 2020, just before the tour Wrestlenomics also noted that a YouTube video of John Cena and Kevin Owens with Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn had more than 5 million views as of Tuesday afternoon. A staggering number even for WWE. As simple as asking John Cena to go out and cut a promo, then WWE will probably take advantage of that match at least a few times a year. However, the former Face That Runs The Place wasn't brought on to talk on SmackDown. His main event fight was with Kevin Owens as his tag team partner against Roman Reigns and Sami Zahn. Clearly Raines is WWE's pick to succeed Cena for the last 5+ years, but 2022 is the first full year he'll actually claim the title...pat Bryn on the back for the storyline in this game. Cena appears on a vignette saying he'll team up with Owens on SmackDown A week in advance gives viewers plenty of time to make viewing plans.
John Cena Deserves Credit, But The Spectacle Wasn't His Alone
John Cena was somewhat limited physically during the game. Still, his five-knuckle shuffle with Owens will be a highlight reel for years to come. With these fresh numbers, it's no surprise to hear that WWE is going for a full-court press to get John Cena involved at WrestleMania 39. Austin Theory has long been considered the frontrunner there, but Logan Paul has recently put his name in the hat as well.
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