John Cena’s WWE schedule has been significantly lighter this year than it has in any other year since he was made the company’s top guy over a decade ago. According to CageMatch.net, Cena has only had 44 matches this year, and according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that number won’t be much higher by the end of this year.
Cena is currently off filming the second season of the Fox reality show American Grit, and according to Meltzer, he is scheduled to appear at Survivor Series next month, but he won’t return to being a weekly character on WWE television until next year.
“John Cena is listed for Survivor Series, which surprises me. But that’s the only listing he’s got until the first of the year. He’s gone filming that American Grit show right now.”
— Cageside Seats (@cagesideseats) October 23, 2016
WWE is currently pushing the idea of a Raw vs. SmackDown elimination match at Survivor Series, and Cena will probably be a part of that match. As of this writing, Cena isn’t advertised for any of the SmackDown shows leading up to Survivor Series, so it looks like his he’ll only be appearing on that show, possibly as a “surprise addition” to the SmackDown team, which will probably feature AJ Styles, Dean Amborse, Randy Orton, and Bray Wyatt.
The biggest storyline on SmackDown after the first of next year will probably be John Cena’s chase for his 16th WWE World Heavyweight Championship win, which would tie Ric Flair for the most world title wins in history. They’ll probably hold off on Cena winning his 16th title until WrestleMania 33, where he could be going one-on-one with AJ Styles in what would be their third singles match.
If Cena doesn’t challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship next spring, he could end up wrestling The Undertaker, who was his scheduled opponent for WrestleMania 32 before he got hurt. There’s a photo going around of “The Phenom” on crutches, and the rumor is that he just had surgery on his hip. But, many are expecting him to be fully recovered and ready to go for WrestleMania 33.
Will Cena have a heavier WWE schedule next year? Well, that depends on a few things, with the most obvious one being his health. Cena missed most of this year due to injury, so if he’s completely healthy next year, he’ll probably have a lot more matches than he’s had this year.
Cena has been getting a lot of television and movie role opportunities over the last couple of years, as most people in Hollywood think that he could be the second coming of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is currently the highest grossing box office star in Hollywood.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) August 22, 2016
Even though he’s become a part-time wrestler, Cena has said that he plans to continue wrestling as long as he physically can. But, the question is, how long will his body hold up? He’s missed a lot of time over the last few years due to injury, and it’s pretty safe to assume that he’ll end up suffering another major injury at some point within the next couple of years if he does, in fact, keep on wrestling.
John Cena being a “part-timer” has been brought up several times on WWE television, and it’s something that they’ll probably use in their storylines until he ends up retiring.
WWE is reportedly open to having Cena be a heel because of his part-time status. So, we could finally see WWE’s ultimate good guy turn bad when he returns to the company next year, which is something that pro wrestling fans have been wanting to see for more than a decade.
[Featured Image by WWE]