5. Bray Wyatt vs John Cena Firefly Funhouse Match (WrestleMania 36)
This was one of two fantastic cinematic masterpieces to take place at last year’s Mania. Bray Wyatt finally got the rub from “Big Match John” and righted the wrong of Mania 30. This was less of a fight and more of A Christmas Carol storytelling as John Cena went through his past indiscretions.
The match had a plethora of references and callbacks and played on the parallels of Cena and other corporate faces of WWE like Hulk Hogan and their eventual heel avenues he never took. What made this match special was the fact that WWE and Cena actually showcased self awareness for their missteps previous, such as the booking error of Cena going over Wyatt six years previous, and Cena’s robotic promo against Kurt Angle.
Coming off as more of a promo battle than a wrestling match, this was exactly what Wyatt needed, as it addressed real-life problems, such as his weight criticisms from his Husky Harris days. WWE flexed their productive muscles here, and Cena and Wyatt more than matched the creative with the best character work of their careers and the match was booked perfectly from start to finish.
Even Cena’s “Doctor of Thugonomics” gimmick return echoed heelish tendencies in what was the first attempt in years by WWE to paint Cena as the bad guy. Cena and the WWE Universe were shown that he wasn’t the golden boy that has been the narrative for most of his career.
With the match finishing with the Fiend pinning Cena, as his SmackDown promo plays out, ” the most overhyped, overvalued, over-privileged WWE Superstar” in his own words had been ended. If this is the retirement of John Cena, then it is a fitting way for the poster boy of nearly two decades to bow his head.
For me, I enjoyed the easter eggs as well as the centre performance, this was a masterpiece and seemed to fix Wyatt onto the right path for the future.