John Cena knows his opportunities are dwindling and it looks like the WWE is giving him some push. After disposing of Rusev (or has he?), it seems the 16-time WWE champion wants another title reign.

At least this was what he seemed to show when the July 25 edition of "WWE SmackDown" kicked off. Jinder Mahal retained his title, fending off Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison match. The Modern-Day Maharaja got some help from the Great Khali at WWE Battleground and now he wants to know who is next in line.

On cue, John Cena appeared to stake his claim on the title until SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan intervened.

Apparently, he is not completely sold on Cena getting the first crack and instead set a no. 1 contender’s match between Cena and the rising Shinsuke Nakamura. That match happens next week, August 1.

Why Cena vs. Mahal makes sense

Seeing how Cena is performing on borrowed time, pitting him against Mahal makes sense. It supports the current run of the WWE, that of which is the United States vs. the World.

However, that does not necessarily mean that Cena will win the title. He could win the match but not the title – hinting that there could be interference happening even if it is SummerSlam.

Both Cena and Mahal do have adversaries to worry about. For Cena, there is Rusev who was conspicuously absent on SmackDown.

If not the Bulgarian Brute, the Great Khali could get involved once more. And for those who caught WWE Battleground, most know how the odds can tile on the side of the Modern-Day Maharaja.

For Mahal, there is Randy Orton to worry about. While he did get the raw end of their match, most know how he can easily re-emerge and intrude in the match.

Is it time for Shinsuke Nakamura?

Giving Shinsuke Nakamura could be a twist, especially with his rising popularity. He could find himself getting a title shot but even that comes with some kinks.

Baron Corbin is still around and the “Lone Wolf” has been known to get involved and wreak havoc. If not on next week’s show, Corbin could emerge and cost the former WWE NXT champion the title.

If chaos does happen next week, there is also that possibility of seeing a Triple Threat match at SummerSlam. Though it may seem taller odds for Mahal, the key here is the sideshows in Orton, Rusev and Corbin.

In general, a title change at SummerSlam doesn’t seem likely unless it is a clean one-on-one set to between Mahal and Cena or Nakamura. WWE SummerSlam happens on Aug. 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.