Ever since WrestleMania 33, the ratings for both of the major WWE shows have been plummeting, and a former champion may return soon to help out. The last time John Cena was seen on WWE television was when he proposed to Nikki Bella in the middle of the ring at that very pay-per-view (PPV) event. Since that time, both superstars have been noticeably absent from the company, but one of them is now rumored to make a return on this week’s SmackDown Live.
It has been almost two months since John Cena was seen on WWE television, as he has been off working on different projects. He is expected back some time next month, but there have been rumors of him possibly coming back once or twice before his scheduled return.
Dave Meltzer spoke on this weekend’s Wrestling Observer Radio and started discussing the sagging ratings for WWE. It is no secret that Cena could bring about a jump that the company needs, but when is he going to come back?
It could be much sooner than anyone thinks.
This week’s SmackDown will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, which just so happens to be where Cena is doing some work over the coming days.
Taking a second to regroup and recharge. Finishing up a wonderfully funny project in Atlanta, then a trip back home is long overdue @WWE
— John Cena (@JohnCena) May 28, 2017
As transcribed by Wrestling Rumors, Meltzer discussed the possibility of seeing John Cena on Tuesday night at SmackDown Live. Of course, anything is possible, but he does raise a good point that WWE would want to promote things a bit better if one of their top stars is going to return.
“I mean, I haven’t heard that [John Cena] is gonna be [at SmackDown]. I suppose he could be. He’s supposed to be back in like a month. Usually he likes to do like, straight stuff in the sense of he’s either in, or he’s not in. So it’s not like drop in, then be gone for a month. But, I mean, it’s possible. But, if he was gonna be there, they really should advertise it.”
With numbers not being the best over the last two months, it would make sense that WWE would want to push John Cena’s return. Yes, a surprise return would be great for a huge pop and make for an awesome moment, but it wouldn’t help their ratings at all if no one was already tuning in.
Last week’s SmackDown Live was the follow-up show to Backlash and featured Jinder Mahal as the new WWE champion. As reported by Cageside Seats, there was a jump in ratings due to that, combined with Shane McMahon’s Money In The Bank announcement and a huge tag team match.
Who wouldn’t want to see Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles team together?
Team Blue has actually seen more fluctuation in ratings than Monday Night Raw with a few up-spurts here and there. Raw is almost consistently seeing a new 2017 low each and every week, which is not good news for anyone.
Within the next few weeks, Cena is going to return to the ring and numbers should start to level out for both shows. They may be bad and his appearance would help, but WWE isn’t going to waste it or let it happen unannounced.
John Cena is now and has always been a big-time ratings draw for WWE. Those that love him will tune in to see one of their favorite superstars performing. Those that hate him will tune in to razz him or watch him fall flat on his face. It is no surprise that both brands need a shot in the arm for ratings to go up and even though SmackDown Live had a slight jump last week, a return by the former multi-time champion could really help more than anything.
[Featured Image by WWE]