WWE superstar John Cena is arguably the WWE network’s biggest star. When the WWE brand split took place last year, it seemed strange that Cena was drafted to SmackDown Live, rather than the premiere Monday Night Raw. Many would have expected Cena to be the face of the WWE’s premium brand, but that position went to Roman Reigns, a wrestler who remains unpopular with the WWE universe.
In some ways, Cena’s draft to SmackDown Live was a smart move by Vince McMahon. Cena’s feud with AJ Styles was a huge boon for SmackDown, and the blue brand’s viewing figures quickly caught up with and sometimes surpassed those of Monday Night Raw. The problem for McMahon was the fall in Raw’s viewing figures, and in the absence of top stars like Cena and Brock Lesnar, SmackDown’s numbers started to suffer too.
Of course, wrestling fans are well aware that Cena’s movie and TV commitments have meant that he is an infrequent performer. Since claiming his record equalling 16th world title at 2017’s Royal Rumble, Cena’s in ring appearances have been few and far between. Cena’s appearance at WrestleMania 33 was in a low key tag match and his Summerslam match with Baron Corbin was a mid-card affair.
Last month, Cena told Complex that his days as a WWE superstar “are numbered,” and that his commitments away from the ring are the reason that the WWE made him a free agent.
As a free agent, Cena is now well placed to move between SmackDown Live and Monday Night Raw, and as a result, his popularity can be used to push more frequent competitors. As recently reported by the Inquisitr, Cena’s matches with Jinder Mahal have been used as a key factor in the promotion of Mahal as the WWE Champion. As reported by Ringside News, Cena’s schedule now sees him switch to Monday Night Raw.
Does John Cena’s Switch To Monday Night Raw Signal The End Of The Shield Reunion Rumors?
Throughout the early part of 2017, the WWE rumor mill suggested that both Cena and Roman Reigns were set for heel turns. Those rumors were dented when Cena showed up on Raw to team up with Reigns as a tag team. This was a real surprise, as many presumed that Cena would feud with Reigns, setting up the opportunity for one of them to execute a heel turn. Even the official WWE website asks whether Cena and Reigns can “co-exist on the same brand.”
The answer seems to be that the WWE believes that, not only can they co-exist, but as a tag team they can form a formidable partnership, one that could prove to be an ideal way to boost Reigns’ popularity. We saw flashes of a feud between The Miz and Cena during the buildup to WrestleMania, and The Miz’s partner on that night was Samoa Joe, an established heel and a relative newcomer to the main roster. If Cena and Reigns are to form a tag partnership, that would rule out claims that Reigns may be about to re-form The Shield tag team.
Of course, this is WWE wrestling, and we can always expect the unexpected. Sportskeeda state that they still expect a feud between Reigns and Cena, suggesting that Roman Reigns vs. John Cena will be a huge match at the No Mercy PPV. There is little doubt that Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman will continue their feud into their already announced title bout at No Mercy. Reigns, having feuded with Strowman for much of 2017, seems to be left without a credible storyline. It makes sense for the WWE to use Cena to boost Reigns.
Wrestling Inc. claims that Vince McMahon is using Cena to boost Reigns, so perhaps tonight’s Monday Night Raw will reveal the role that Cena is to play in the coming months.
[Featured Image by WWE]