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WWE WrestleMania 39 Results: Austin Theory Beats John Cena Amid Ref Bump, Low Blow

Austin Theory beat John Cena to retain the United States Championship at WWE WrestleMania 39. Theory took advantage of a ref bump and delivered a low blow to John Cena, which then led to Theory hitting Cena with his A-Town Down finisher for the win.

Cena’s entrance incorporated children from the Make-A-Wish foundation, and Cena was cheered (almost) unanimously throughout. There was big heat for Theory throughout the match, as the Inglewood crowd backed John Cena.

Austin Theory has been United States champion in a regime that has built the title into a main event entity. 2022 saw the first Money in the Bank cash-in attempt for the United States Championship when Theory unsuccessfully cashed in against Seth Rollins. Theory went on to regain the United States Championship that same year in a Triple Threat match at Survivor Series.

Top stars like Bobby Lashley—who was featured in the aforementioned Triple Threat match alongside Theory and Rollins—have carried the U.S. Title on Raw in the absence of WWE Undisputed Universal champion Roman Reigns.

Theory’s biggest test as United States champion came against John Cena, as the build centered around a scorched-earth promo Cena cut on Theory in their only in-person exchange.

“I would so much rather be bald than have them pipe in fake crowd noise for my matches because nobody cares” said Cena in a worked-shoot promo. Many have since argued whether this promo was designed to help or hurt Theory.

“Dude, I can go buy some topic, you still suck. You really are a dumb son of a b*tch,” continued Cena.

“I didn’t say no because I gave up, I said no because you aren’t worried. Dude, you are really putting my back against the wall but you don’t understand, if you and I have a match at WrestleMania, you lose everything. You’re done. And if we have a match at WrestleMania and you win? You lose everything.”

“You might win the day, but then you’ve got to go out the Monday after all by yourself and explain. You won’t have me to lean no, it’ll just be you big man against the most harsh, vocal, ruthless, critical audience in the WWE and they will eat you alive! Because they see what I see, they see what they see, you are full of crap!”

If Theory does make it as a top star, it would be one of the most awkward rises to super stardom in history. One that would take “tough love” to a whole new level. Not only will Theory have become a top star despite failing to cash in the Money in the Bank contract for a secondary title, he would have also done so in spite of John Cena’s (partially) kayfabe vote of no confidence.

And while Theory won, Cena did foreshadow that Theory would crumble under the weight of his massive career victory. WWE Raw after WrestleMania sets up perfectly for Theory to defend the title in an open challenge, only to receive his comeuppance and drop the title to a newcomer like Bron Breakker or maybe even free agent Jay White.

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