At the conclusion of the main event, in front of a live Fort Worth, TX audience, John Cena returned to WWE, setting up a rivalry between the Doctor of Thuganomics and current Universal Champion Roman Reigns.

Reigns had just beaten Edge in a closely contested title match, with assistance from his cousins, the Smackdown Tag Team Champions the Usos, and his former Shield brother Seth Rollins. He was standing tall in the ring, proclaiming, “Now the whole world can acknowledge me,” when the signature intro to John Cena’s theme blared over the sound system.

Up until this Sunday, Cena has not competed in WWE since Wrestlemania 36 on March 26, 2020. In that pre-recorded, ‘cinematic’ match, Cena lost to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in a “Firefly Funhouse” match that deconstructed his wrestling career. Cena has spent much of the past several years developing his movie career, which includes roles in Fast & Furious 9 and the upcoming James Gunn-directed Suicide Squad.

Cena last fought Reigns at the 2017 No Mercy PPV. Cena lost that match by pinfall after a spear. The buildup to that match was intensely personal, with John Cena delivering numerous “worked shoots” that criticized Roman’s position as the top wrestler in the company.

While Cena’s return marked a huge moment for the WWE PPV, the streaming service Peacock–which hosted the event in the US–had major streaming issues during the opening of the men’s Money in the Bank match. .

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