The torch has been passed to Cena in 2005 when he beat JBL. So after 8 years, he still needs to get the torch? LOL.
I guess by that logic when Hulk Hogan returns, I guess CM Punk or Cena needs to pass the torch to Hogan.
Let's be realistic here all people do is talk about attitude era this and attitude era that. Hell, it was even talked about initially as PG Era vs. Attitude Era the match between these two.
It was why it was seen as a dream match. I'm talking about the company seeing this as the passing of the torch of the generations. Why you think the company has been pushing this damn thing all decade with Cena calling out Rock in the media and the feud has been going on since WM 27? The reason being that the company knows in the general public Cena wasn't passed the torch from either Rock or Austin who they adored.
With saying JBL passed Cena the torch is like saying Iron Sheik passed Hogan the torch in 1984(The torch actually belonged to Backlund, but Backlund left instead of turning heel to do the torch passing) although many say it was actually Andre at WM III because he was the dominating mainstream star before Hogan's era. The way the company sees it is different.
I actually think HHH passed him the torch because that is when people knew he was being pushed for real as champion tbh at WM 22.
FYI on if Hogan comes back it will be to give him his good bye like Flair with HBK although he kind of got that in 2002 when he passed the torch to Rock although Rock and Austin took the torch from his Era long before he came back.
Passing of the championship isn't the same as passing of generational mainstream stars.