MAULING IT OVER - 03.18.2023: The Burial of Austin Theory
John Cena shredded WWE United States Champion Austin Theory to the point of no return. Did that help the up-and-coming star... or completely hurt him?
By Mark Mahler - 03.18.2023
A couple of weeks ago on WWE Monday Night Raw, we saw the return of John Cena. This is always a joyous time for CeNaion and ratings spike for the WWE brass. But Cena being typical Cena - he cut a promo, played to the crowd, and absolutely obliterated Austin Theory.
This isn't the first time we've seen Cena cut a promo and try and bait his opponent into something. He did it with the Rock and the Rock writing the promo on his arm. He made the Tribal Chief stumble all over himself when the promo exchange stalled because of forgotten lines.
This was different. The feel was not Cena trying to bring the best out of Theory, it was like Cena was walking his dog to mark his territory and Theory was grass, tree, and fire hydrants. Anything the big dog in the yard can state a claim to.
He not only took that dump in his own backyard, but he also make sure to rub Theory's face in it.
We all know that the WWE tends to make crowd noises during shows if the crowd goes flat...they really need lessons from the Canadian crowds, and the UK crowds when it comes to not needing to pipe in boos and cheers, but I digress. When a crowd isn't into the program the show tends to have fake crowd noises to give the home watchers the idea that the product is hot.
Austin Theory, Vince McMahon's newest chosen one, has a great look. He has some amazing in-ring skills. He seems to be able to handle a mic. But he's boring as sin! He just isn't connecting with the WWE fanbase. I think the Vince McMahon push is a big reason why but the fact remains he just is lacking in his ability to draw in the fans. In other words, he lacks the IT factor a lot of people want to see.
Cena obviously has been watching the WWE product and decided to make it a focal point in his exchange with Austin Theory. "I would much rather be bald than have them pipe in fake crowd noises because no one cares." This right here is the shot heard around the wrestling world that connected.
Cena with one line laid waste to Theory.
He completely demolished Austin. And the ultimatum is now on Theory...sink or swim.
Cena was right. If the G.O.A.T. wins, Theory loses. If Theory wins, and the crowd doesn't accept him, he still loses. So somehow, Theory needs to show wrestling fans around the world that he can stand on his own two feet. And that he belongs with the big dogs in the yard.
This is no small feat at all. Theory's Wrestlemania debut with Vince McMahon was a loss, on top of a Stunner. He was handed a Money in the Bank match that he didn't qualify for. He lost the match after cashing in the briefcase on a secondary title. Everything Theory has been "gifted" as Cena says, hasn't exactly turned up roses.
If Theory comes out with Cena and humbles himself. Shows the fans he's more than Vince McMahon's former protege he might have a chance. If he doesn't it might be hard for him to rebound. It's an easy fall from the top of the ladder with that Money in the Bank briefcase, to the bottom of the card.
Just ask Damian Sandow and Baron Corbin. The only way Theory comes out of this looking good is by putting on the best match of his life with the legendary Cena.
Not trying to be like the 16-time champion, but by being the best version of Austin Theory, himself. If he can win the crowd over and possibly steal the show with Cena, it would go far to justify all the things Theory has been given.
Cena buried Theory in his promo, whether it was done to inspire or get something out of Theory that we haven't seen, is up to Austin. If he can't dig deep and find it James E Cornette will be right.
"They left Theory flatter than a fucking turd in a punch bowl."
And that's all on Theory. Maul it over.