So with Cena clearly entering the final stage of his career with the WWE, there’s been a lot of talk about how best to use him.
One of the ideas that gets tossed around a lot is that he should win his 17th world title ASAP to get it out of the way as it’s inevitable.
Whilst I agree that it’s inevitable that Cena will one day surpass Flair in terms of world titles, getting it out of the way would be a massive mistake as it’s really the only thing Cena has left to offer (assuming that heel turn is never going to happen).
Cena has literally won everything else there is to win in the WWE, so remove that record from his sights and there is little storyline reason to keep him coming back.
However, if you make Cena’s returns explicitly all about chasing down one final championship run then you have ready-made motivation every time he comes back. If he repeatedly comes up short then that only serves to help whoever happens to have the strap. You can even finally evolve his character away from hustle, loyalty and respect to a more grizzled old gunslinger out for one final shot at glory.
The undertaker worked so well as an attraction for the past decade because of the streak; it was something people were invested in beyond the match, the feud or the wrestler. If you make Cena’s last years all about him trying to break that record then maybe fans will stay invested in him now he’s part time and it will make that record being broken mean something if he’s spent years trying to do it.
In fact, Cena has NOT won everything there is to win in WWE, and it's one that gets overlooked by everyone for some reason, so there's one storyline left he can still do if they want to.