John Cena has stolen more headlines for someone who’s only made two WWE appearances in 2016. First, Cena took a hiatus to film the FOX reality series, American Grit, but then a shoulder injury kept him out indefinitely. He initially defied odds by making a surprise run-in to aid The Rock at WrestleMania, then defied more by declaring he was ready to return in five months when the prognostication called for closer to nine.
But as detailed over the last week here on the Inquisitr, John Cena’s workload didn’t just begin and end with the WWE. The face of the company made sure his face was planted on as many platforms as possible. Hosting duties with the Today Show and Live! With Kelly & Michael, promotion obligations for his movie and television roles and a special appearance at ESPN’s recent Invictus Games. All that helped John Cena land a huge gig hosting the ESPY Awards in July, which should generate some much-needed crossover appeal.
Now, it’s only a matter of days before Cena returns to his day job. Last month he announced, via Twitter, and the WWE, his return to Monday Night RAW on Memorial Day, May 30. It’s no coincidence that the two determined that date to help with floundering ratings on a traditionally poorly-rated holiday show.
This week we noted how Cena was already booked for his first comeback match that night in Green Bay. He’ll team up with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to take on AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows, aka The Club. Now, it’s looking more and more like this will be an advertised dark match that will take place after RAW goes off the air. Daily Wrestling News is reporting that WWE officials don’t want Cena to be involved in any of the Reigns/Styles program (on air) but they are planning on pushing Cena to the main event sooner rather than later.
It appears the way to insert Cena back in the title/main event picture will be to have him win back the United States Championship he brought back to prominence in 2015. There’s even been discussions of him winning the belt his first night back, to coincide with Memorial Day. Cena’s patriotism has been well-documented and there might not be a better feel-good moment than John winning that title on that day. So based on what DNW is hearing, it’s more likely that Cena would beat Rusev for the championship, rather than current champion, Kalisto.
This would set up an introductory feud between Rusev and Cena which would eventually lead to a top-tier match at SummerSlam. While there have been many reports floating around that John Cena would be challenging Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at that event, there are also discussions involving a reunited Shield to take on The Club, so officials are deciding which way to lean as obviously Reigns wouldn’t do both.
Recycling the United States Championship Open Challenge would be best for business, as the weekly Cena segment was arguably the most consistently-entertaining aspect of RAW during its time. But it seems also like the best way for the creative team to catapult him back into the main event picture. Cena could also jump back in simply by returning, but his presence will help, and will also be the kickoff to a slew of big-named stars to return after him.
Another John Cena push may be received negatively, but it’s coming due to poor ratings and lack of roster depth. The latter of which will change considerably in the next month, and may allow WWE to slide Cena back while the new and returning talents take over the top spots. Either way, the champ may be here again very soon
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