More Details on That John Cena vs. Austin Theory Promo From WWE Raw

John Cena returned to WWE TV on this week's Monday Night Raw and was promptly confronted by Austin Theory, who wanted to defend his United States Championship against Cena at WrestleMania 39. Cena initially declined, saying Theory wasn't ready before tearing into how little the crowd cares about "A-Town Down." Theory tried to fire back, only for Cena to say that Theory will lose regardless of whether or not he can win at WrestleMania. Cena eventually accepted after asking the Boston crowd how they felt about the match.

Fans and critics alike have since taken to social media with mixed feelings about the promo. The popular sentiment is that Theory is expected to win at WrestleMania (even the oddsmakers are favoring him) because of Cena's part-timer status and his willingness to put over talent as a means of establishing them in the eyes of fans. However, there's also a fear that Cena buried Theory so thoroughly that not even a WrestleMania victory will help undo the damage.

Fightful Select has since dropped a couple of backstage reports regarding how Raw went. Sean Ross Sapp noted that no producer was credited with the Cena/Theory segment, which has led to speculation that Cena had a bit more control over how the promo went down. A separate Fightful report stated, "Those that we spoke to within WWE were happy with how WWE Raw unfolded with John Cena adding some familiar eyes to the show." The show drew in an average of 1.827 million viewers with a 0.52 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Cena's appearance at the top of the third hour helped prevent the usual third-hour drop-off in viewership.

Cena and Theory have been building this match-up long before Monday's promo, including some back-and-forth exchanges on social media, Theory mocking some of Cena's old catchphrases and them having a face-to-face confrontation backstage when Cena was on Raw last year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his WWE debut. Theory has also stated in interviews that Cena has been giving him guidance behind the scenes. 

"It just depends what we're talking about," Theory told The New York Post last year when asked about Cena's advice. "Typically it's work-related and how can you improve this or what looks better to you here. Honestly man, not even advice he's given me but I think just his character. Watching him as I was growing up, the whole 'Never give up' [slogan.] As cheesy as people may think that sounds, that mentality, that never-give-up mentality is what really helped me through my life and really got me to this point. And I think a lot of people that see me as the 24-year-old United States champion, the youngest in WWE history, and how I've gotten here so far is that mindset, that never-give-up attitude. That's something that's been an inspiration to me and that's definitely somebody that's a big influence on me and helps me guide my way."

"It kind of just blows my mind. It's so wild. I don't want to say I didn't expect it because I've always had the motivation and the drive and the determination to be here. But to actually think like, 'Oh whoa, I can actually get some advice from John Cena' is just mind-blowing. When you think, who's your ultimate inspiration in life, whether it's a baseball player, a football player, a WWE superstar, and to finally meet them and be able to conversate with them about work and how to get better and get to that next level, it's wild," he added."

How do you think the Cena vs. Theory feud will unfold? Do you think Monday's promo was planned out by Cena to help eventually get Theory over with the fans? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!