Michael Cole References John Cena During Austin Theory Match

john cena austin theory

Michael Cole was on commentary during a recent Austin Theory match and he made a reference to John Cena’s finishing move, which could be a tease for a future match between Cena and Theory.

The last time John Cena wrestled in a WWE ring was at SummerSlam 2021 when he lost to Roman Reigns in a match for the Universal Title. The 16-time WWE Champion Cena has been away from the company for all of 2022 except for the June 27th episode of Raw celebrating his 20-year WWE anniversary.

During the September 30th episode of Smackdown, Raw’s Austin Theory was on the show in a match against Drew McIntyre that would lead to a six-man tag team main event. During the Theory-McIntyre match, veteran WWE announcer Michael Cole said:

“No doubt Austin Theory is one of most talented we have seen in a while. He could use an Attitude Adjustment though.”

It was a reference to Cena’s Attitude Adjustment finishing move, which was originally called the FU and later changed to the Attitude Adjustment went WWE became a PG product in 2008. There has been speculation for months that WWE is planning a Cena vs. Theory match for WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles next year. Since Cena has become a big star in Hollywood, it would make sense for him to appear on that show.

As for Theory, he has expressed confidence that he will face Cena in a WWE ring some day in the future. The 25-year-old Theory is 20 years younger than Cena, so recently spoke to CBS Sports talking about how he grew up modeling his life after Cena and sharing advice Cena gave him.

“It’s so weird to meet somebody and pretty much have to explain to them, ‘I modelled my whole life after you.’ It’s one of those things as a kid getting bullied, my dad not being in my life a lot. Cena, I could watch him and just escape. It was the connection to his personality.”

“And that’s something I learned from him. He told me, ‘Don’t ever think people go out there and want people to connect to their performance. Nobody will connect to your performance unless they connect to your personality.”

“I started thinking, even with that process through NXT to finally being drafted to Raw officially, it was a time to figure stuff out. How can I connect to them with my personality? This is a world in WWE where everybody can kill it in the ring. Everyone can go hard in the ring. So what’s going to set you aside from killing it in the ring? I learned that from him.”

“To have that moment with him, the person that — I had to put in my own work — but somebody that got me to the dance mentally, it takes the words out of my mouth to think of that actually happening.”

Back in August 2022, Cena was among the guests at former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s birthday party. Cena remains busy out of the ring with various acting projects, hosting shows, commercials and other things.

Michael Cole, who is a close friend of Cena’s after calling many of his matches over the last 20 years, likely referenced Cena’s finisher for a reason during Theory’s match. It could certainly be part of WWE’s plans for their biggest show next year.