Watch John Cena's return to WWE Raw in full as he sets up WrestleMania 39 match

wwe raw john cena vs austin theory
Watch John Cena's return to WWE Raw in fullWWE

There have been whispers for a while, and yesterday (March 6) on Monday Night Raw it was confirmed: John Cena will face Austin Theory at WrestleMania 39, with the WWE United States Championship up for grabs.

It's a match made in heaven, really.

John Cena is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, with a joint-record 16 WWE championships to back up that claim.

But it was his late-ish career run with the WWE United States Championship that was perhaps his finest run of all.

Related: Is wrestling real or fake? All your WWE questions answered

Putting the belt up week after week for an Open Challenge, Cena took on all comers, underlining his status as an all-time great, and did more than anyone in recent history to elevate that title.

For his part, Austin Theory was being touted as the Next Big Thing by none other than Vince McMahon.

But with McMahon out the picture ("Your daddy's not here anymore," as Roman Reigns memorably put it), Theory's star rapidly waned.

He lost his Money in the Bank match for the lesser-US Championship and looked a busted flush, but he's since recovered and now is the bearer of that title.

So it seemed obvious that when Cena walked out at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts last night that Theory would pop up and offer him a "gift" –a match for the ages at WrestleMania 39.

And you can watch the FULL 17-minute segment in full below, courtesy of BT Sport.

Incredibly, Cena initially declined, with what we're going to call the "No-One CARES" promo.

"No, took a second to think about it, thought it over, no," said Cena.

"I'n not interested in your 'gift' because you haven't earned the right to give it."


First Theory made it about Cena's bald spot. Cena wasn't moved.

Then Theory made it about the fans. And John Cena NEVER lets down the fans. He's John Cena!

So it's official: Austin Theory vs John Cena for the WWE United States Championship on the Grandest State of them All.

In recent years, Cena has spent a lot more time in Hollywood than the squared circle.

He started his side-hustle in WWE Studios movies The Marine and 12 Rounds before popping up in the better-best-forgotten Fred: The Movie, but since then has gone from strength to strength.

With Trainwreck, Sisters, F9 and The Suicide Squad, John Cena has become a bona fide movie star.

He's still made time for the WWE, but while he had a tag team victory just after Christmas last year alongside fan favourite Sami Zayn, it's been a long time since he last won a championship.

Cena lost a battle of the generations when Roman Reigns defeated him at SummerSlam 2021 with the Undisputed WWE Championship on the line.

He lost a six-pack challenge at Fastlane 2018 for AJ Styles's WWE World Championship. He lost to Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship at Madison Square Garden in 2017.

In fact, Cena last held WWE gold in February 2017, when he lost the WWE World Championship to Bray Wyatt at Elimination Chamber and failed in a bunch of attempts to win it back.

His last title win had come a month earlier when he beat AJ Styles at that year's Royal Rumble.

Cena's last WrestleMania win came in a mixed-tag match with his then-girlfriend Nikki Bella against The Miz and Maryse.

Can Cena get his first Mania win and first WWE title in six years. The time to find out is now.

Are you looking forward to John Cena's return at WrestleMania 39? Let us know at @digitalspywwe.

Catch up on Raw, Smackdown, NXT and all the big WWE action via the WWE Network or BT Sport. US viewers can access the WWE Network via Peacock.

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