Bidding farewell to the No Mercy crowd with his long-standing salute, John Cena elected to have his cake and eat it with an evocative goodbye.
Unlocking all the tropes and traditions of a wrestling retirement despite the fact that he'll almost definitely be back on television in a matter of months, 'The Champ' soaked in the broadly positive response from the Los Angeles crowd following his clean loss to Roman Reigns.
He spoke at length on post-show gabfest Raw Talk about his need to find the next version of himself to lead WWE when he properly departs, noting pointedly that Roman had earned his respect after a month or so of potshots seemed to imply the total opposite. Just about straddling a tightrope between vanity and validation, 'Big Match John' swore up and down that his loyalty still lay with the organisation even in his absence. In his mind, he really couldn't go anywhere until he felt Reigns had broad enough shoulders to carry the load.
With the objective apparently now magically unlocked, Cena can now truly embrace life as a part-timer, curiously offering him a broader spectrum of matches at the 'Show of Shows'. Free from the shackles of weekly storylines, there's no shortage of options for company icons during WrestleMania season. Opening the show with Baron Corbin probably isn't on the agenda.