Austin Theory Responds to John Cena's Polarizing WWE Raw Promo

Generations will collide at WWE WrestleMania 39. Ten years after he was the current crop's representative going up against the Attitude Era's top dog, John Cena now represents an older iteration of the WWE locker room when he battles WWE United States Champion Austin Theory. This contest is a long time coming for Theory, as he has often emphasized his admiration for Cena, noting that Big Match John inspired him to become a wrestler. That love is lost now that they are adversaries, as Cena belittled the 25-year-old in a scathing promo two weeks ago on Monday Night Raw.

Some have even criticized Cena for going too far, as the multi-time world champion broke the fourth wall by referencing "fake piped in crowd noise" for some of Theory's matches. Regardless of what was said, Theory remains unfazed.

"To be completely honest, in that moment, I kinda of knew what was going to happen," Theory told WWE After The Bell. "It doesn't matter if I've been there every single week working and grinding and putting my name on the print of Monday Night Raw. It's how it always is when that guy comes back. Everybody goes crazy. I didn't want to give him any time to speak. That's why I immediately came out. We all saw when I came out there, he had a lot to say. Of course he had a lot to say to me, I'm the most important thing here. If you're trying to be important again, I'm the guy."

Theory believes that Cena's words come from a place of insecurity.

"I could have stood out there and broke down, but I didn't," Theory continued. "I stood in the ring with John Cena, looked him right in his face, he said what he had to say. It seems like he's really upset. Me, not so much. I looked that man in his eyes and I saw the fear. This is a guy who I grew up watching, who motivated me and inspired me, and he's out here in front of his home crowd and trying to be cool?"

While WWE WrestleMania 39 will be the biggest match of Theory's career, it's familiar territory for Cena. The Fast X star has wrestled for and won the United States Title at WrestleMania twice before.

"John Cena really built a legacy for the United States Championship. Could that be one of the things that really bothers him?" Theory questioned. "He really didn't have anything to say about the United States Championship. Maybe that's something that gets under his skin, feeling like he built that mountain, and then, 'Uh oh, here comes Austin Theory.'"

Theory vs. Cena goes down at WWE WrestleMania 39 this April.