John Cena has generated many headlines in and out of the WWE, despite being forced to the sidelines with a shoulder injury. Even before that, he was granted a hiatus from the ring towards the end of 2015 in order to film a new reality-competition series for FOX, American Grit. Then he was forced to undergo shoulder surgery in January. The expected recovery time was nine months, but Cena will complete his rehabilitation process in five, as he recently announced that he’ll be back on Monday Night RAW on Memorial Day, May 30.
Cena missed out on an official WrestleMania feud and match, but was cleared to participate in a segment alongside The Rock and The Wyatt Family. His rumored opponents going into the event were The Undertaker and Roman Reigns, two matches that certainly would have been main-event worthy. WWE still has plans for both of those matches to take place. As of the beginning of April, Roman Reigns had been penciled in to defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena at SummerSlam. And if the stars align, the company plans to pit Cena against the Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 next year in Orlando.
WWE clearly hasn’t forgotten about John Cena, and John Cena clearly hasn’t forgotten about WWE. During his recovery process, Cena has been doing the media rounds, promoting American Grit as much as possible. He’s earned a reputation of being a workhorse in and out of the ring, with promotion being one of his strong suits. In a recent interview with Ring Rust Radio, Cena was asked if he could envision blending his American Grit project with the WWE (Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription).
“I think the possibilities of the show are limitless, I really do because of what it is based on. You will be put in a certain area of the earth, you will work with the team as best you can, and at one point or another your resolve will be tested. Any single human being can fit in that category. I really think the possibilities of this are endless. I think it would be unbelievable television if they did a WWE version of American Grit.”
John Cena has endured being the most polarizing figure in WWE for over a decade now. WWE has refused to give in to the crowd’s demands to change his character because of Cena’s work ethic outside the ring and his merchandising sales. Cena admitted that his career as a sports entertainer prepared him for the inevitable nerves he’d face as the host of a new show.
“You put your heart and soul into something that you want it to be so good and you know you have something more than just a television show… You get nervous of public opinion, but I’ve learned a lot in my long and strenuous career in WWE. I certainly had my shares of hits, but I’ve had my share of misses to go with them. You do the best that you can, you promote your product the best you can and then there’s a point where it’s just out of your hands.”
The underlying notion in WWE’s refusal to change the John Cena character is the stubbornness of not turning him heel. Since climbing to the top of the WWE mountain, Cena has remained a babyface, an anomaly this day in age. Cena has been known to have fun with this debate, going so far as to literally turn the heel of his shoe during a promo in the ring. Wednesday he took it a step further with a tweet that surely got the masses riled up.
[Image via YouTube]