John Cena told the world he would not be wrestling at WrestleMania 32 during a press conference to announce that Orlando would play host to next year’s mega-show. Then Cena went out and made a surprise run-in on Sunday night to help The Rock fend off The Wyatt Family, a WrestleMania moment shared by former rivals who headlined the event twice before. But as it turns out, Cena did not follow up his ‘Mania cameo with an appearance the following night on Monday NightRAW.
According to Wrestling Observer Radio, and as reported by Wrestling Inc, John Cena may still not be cleared to return to the ring full-time and wrestle. Much like The Rock, Cena was able — and cleared — to perform a couple of spots and celebrate, but perhaps nothing more. Late last week, The Inquisitr reported that Cena was in fact cleared, telling Complex Magazine that he should be back already:
“If you ask me today, I should’ve been back two weeks ago. I’ve logged almost 400 hours of physical therapy. I got 111 visits in 12 weeks time. I go every single second I can. People say I have a Wolverine-like style of recovery. I was given a nine-month quota to come back and after three months I can tell you that I am ready to do anything asked of me possible. It’s a matter of when they call me.”
The report suggests further that John may not make a full return until late-May or June, supporting a longer timeline that the Observer noted originally, saying Cena would be out all the way up until July. This past Sunday would have been the first time since 2003 that Cena missed a WrestleMania, but his surprise appearance kept his streak intact, albeit in an unadvertised manner. He had wrestled in every WrestleMania starting in 2004, leaving seven of the last 12 as a World Champion and main-eventing on five separate occasions.
John Cena’s super-human ability to recover is nothing new, as the polarizing future WWE Hall-of-Famer has missed time due to injury numerous times in the past. However, each injury has seemingly been a test to see not how well he recovers, but how quickly he can get back in the ring to the shock of his doctors and peers. Cena tore a pectoral muscle in early October of 2007, and then returned just a few months later to win the 2008 Royal Rumble. He was supposed to miss anywhere from seven to 12 months, according to WWE officials. Then, during SummerSlam in 2008, he suffered a broken neck during his match with Batista and still managed to make a miraculous comeback just a few short months later.
You’d think that, as Cena advances in age, his recoveries would take longer. But even as recently as 2013, Cena made his return to WWE in a few months after suffering a torn triceps. The 15-time World Champion fought through the injury in order to main event that year’s SummerSlam, where he dropped the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan.
According to the Wrestling Observer, John was originally slotted to face Roman Reigns at this year’s WrestleMania before injuries shook up the whole planned card. It may still be in the cards for a program later this year, if Reigns is able to retain his title against the new number one contender, AJ Styles. Reigns and Cena have yet to square off in a one-on-one program, which has been hatched as a face-of-the-company torch-passing angle for whenever it materializes.
Many fans thought, or at least hoped that Cena would be re-packaged for this return, but clearly that wasn’t the case during his WrestleMania appearance. Pitting John Cena against Roman Reigns would be very interesting considering how the crowd similarly responds to them.
[Image via WWE]