It’s confirmed that WWE superstar John Cena will not wrestle at Wrestlemania 32 in a few weeks, but his return is at least three months away, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Daily Wrestling News).
Cena, 38, suffered a significant shoulder injury in early 2016, putting him out of action for an estimated six to eight months. While the former 15-time WWE champion gave it his all to recover by Wrestlemania 32 — where he was rumored to face The Undertaker — the timing of his injury did not give him the proper time to heal.
During a press conference announcing that Wrestlemania 33 will be hosted at the Citrus Bowl in Florida, Cena confirmed his Wrestlemania 32 status.
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) March 8, 2016
The Observer‘s report states that Cena’s current estimated return date is sometime in July. If that is the case, Cena would miss Wrestlemania 32, Payback, Extreme Rules, and Money in the Bank. Returning in July could set the stage for a return at WWE Battleground which is set to take place on July 24.
The report mentions that Cena recently “hit the 350-hour mark in his rehab,” leading many to believe that he could have a physical role at Wrestlemania 32. The Inquisitr previously reported that WWE had discussions of utilizing Cena in a physical way at Wrestlemania, possibly interfering in the Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker Hell in a Cell match.
However, it’s always possible that Cena repeats history, recovers earlier than expected, and returns to the WWE ring.
After tearing a pectoral muscle in early October of 2007, Cena returned just a few months later to win the 2008 Royal Rumble. It was a remarkable recovery, as Cena was initially expected to miss anywhere from seven months to a year of in-ring time. Later that year, Cena suffered a broken neck in a match against Batista at SummerSlam, only to return a few months later.
More recently, Cena suffered a torn triceps in 2013 and underwent surgery after losing the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam. Once again, Cena returned just a few months later after initially being given a prognosis of a four to six month recovery.
With Cena not wrestling at Wrestlemania this year, it will be the first time since 2003 that Cena will not be in a match at WWE’s biggest event of the year. He has become a staple of the event, leaving seven of the last 12 Wrestlemania’s as a WWE titleholder. Also, since Wrestlemania 22 in 2006, Cena has wrestled in the final match on a Wrestlemania card five times.
Not having Cena for the company’s biggest event is a huge loss but WWE is currently without Cesaro, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Sting, and Neville. Wyatt Family members Luke Harper (knee) and Bray Wyatt (back) are also dealing with injuries. Outside of Sting, the company expects to have most of those performers back in the coming weeks/months.
To demonstrate how the injury bug has bitten WWE, all of the competitors who left Wrestlemania 31 as champions (Cesaro/Tyson Kidd, Cena, Daniel Bryan, Nikki Bella, and Rollins) are all currently sidelined. In Bryan’s case, he recently retired due to complications from the myriad concussions he has suffered.
It’s no secret that WWE is heading into their biggest event with a compromised roster. However, when the event is over, several top-notch reinforcements will be on their way.
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