I’m about to make a statement that a few months ago, I never thought I would make.
This whole US title Open Challenge thing. . .It really works for me. . . I don’t even care that Cena is undefeated since February (in any type of match, mind, not just singles) - He’s giving other talents a time to shine, and I appreciate it.
The NAIborhood and I were discussing possibilities for how long this can go on, and truthfully, I think this could last quite a while. There’s really a number of ways they can go with this.
For starters, we’ve had 5 open challenge matches, and this thing is now entering its second month. So, presuming this happens once a week, we really only need another 10-12 of these and it takes us pretty much right until SummerSlam, which is generally considered to be when we all expect Cena to lose the US title.
I can give you a list of WAY more people than a dozen who are worthy of a title shot. Just for fun, I’ll break it up into sections.
To give myself an extra challenge (and to keep this from becoming overly lengthy), I won’t search for the roster or anything. All of this will be off the top of my head.
Adam Rose - Lets see how the crowd responds following the ESPN piece, especially if Rose ditches the buds and comes out as his own man.
Damien Sandow - Granted, this should have happened before he once again became a comedy act, but it could be fun.
Jack Swagger - At some point he needs to remind us all that he’s a former World Champion.
Dolph Ziggler - Ditto.
Sheamus - Double ditto.
Heath Slater - I mean this sincerely, he needs to hold his own, at least briefly, if he actually answers the challenge.
The Ascension as a duo - Has Cena ever specifically said it HAS to be one on one?
I’m honestly asking - While I enjoy the matches, even this open challenge isn’t getting me to listen to a John Cena promo.
Kalisto - Someone mentioned this on Twitter but it totally needs to happen. Whomever you were, give yourself credit in the comments.
New Day - Any member, just as long as Xavier Woods talks about it.
Zack Ryder - For his quarterly appearance on television.
Finn Balor - Many people assume he’s going to be the one to beat Cena for the title. I doubt this sincerely, but it would be fun to see.
Baron Corbin - Would be a good way to see how he does with a major league crowd.
Tyler Breeze - Same.
Bull Dempsey The problem with this is that Dempsey would so completely and utterly destroy Cena, it wouldn’t be fun anymore.
Chad Gable - Cena made his WWE debut challenging Kurt Angle. Seems only fitting that Gable, like Angle an Olympic wrestler, should bring this full circle.
Jason Jordan - This kid is a blue chip prospect, mark my words.
Rhyno or Brian Kendrick - They’re part of NXT, but a WWE appearance or two isn’t improbable.
Chris Jericho - He’s not really at the stage of his career for this kind of thing, but it would be a fun program for a month of two, especially if Jericho goes back to being a heel.
Santino Marella - Returning from a serious injury, holding his own against the champ? Why not?
Billy Gunn - Call me crazy, but I still contest that Gunn is one of the best athletes WWE has ever seen, and even at his age, he’d give you a hell of a match.
Shelton Benjamin - From one of the best athletes to perhaps the absolute best athlete. Why Benjamin isn’t back with WWE full time is beyond me.
Goldust - Won’t be a super surprise, but he could return from his injury to take on Cena this summer.
Bubba Ray Dudley - This one is all over Twitter, so it deserves mentioning.
And finally, Jimmy Wang Yang, my prediction for tonight’s challenger.
I’ll stop here, with 25 names, which would take us through the next 4-6 months of WWE TV, and that’s just scratching the surface. Honestly, this could go until 2016 if WWE wanted, and if Cena continues to make talents look good (and, more importantly, if the brass do something with said talents once they do), the sky is the limit as to what this Open Challenge could do for the roster.
What do YOU think? Who do you want to see answer Cena’s call? Be Heard.