It’s been pretty clear that WWE has been trying to find a replacement for John Cena over the last year or so. Originally, that guy was Roman Reigns, but the Reigns push hasn’t gone according to plan, and it may end up being completely thrown out due to his recent wellness policy violation. Reigns’ WWE future and how much he’ll be pushed is completely up in the air right now, and the same goes for John Cena.
The WWE draft is happening in a little over 24 hours, and in the weeks leading up to it, we’ve heard that John Cena will be the face of SmackDown. But according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, the former 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion is now working a part-time schedule, as he won’t be on any of the house shows in the United States for the rest of the year due to non-WWE commitments.
Also, Meltzer said that the plan has always been to make John Cena, Randy Orton, and AJ Styles the faces of SmackDown, but, due to Cena’s part-time status, that could change.
“The original thing was going to be [John] Cena, AJ [Styles], and Randy Orton were going to be the key SmackDown guys, but that was before Cena decided that he was going to go part-time, so that could all change as well. And, as it relates to Cena, John has done his last domestic house show for, who knows when? He’s still going to do TVs, but he has no more house shows in North America on the schedule.”
WWE’s house show business has taken a dip over the last couple of months, and John Cena deciding to no longer take part in the non-televised events certainly won’t help the house show numbers come up. But it looks like Cena is more focused on exploring his opportunities in Hollywood, which is something that he often criticized Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for.
Is John Cena’s WWE career coming to an end? Probably not. He said in an interview last week that he’s going to continue to wrestle as long as he physically can. But if you’re expecting to see him at a WWE house show, you’re probably going to be disappointed.
Cena, who is 39, has been WWE’s top man for more than a decade, logging around 250 live shows per year during that time. However, it appears that those days are done, and that we’ll only be seeing the former United States Champion on either Raw or SmackDown from now on, depending on which brand he gets drafted to.
As of right now, Cena is scheduled to team with Enzo Amore and Big Cass at WWE Battleground, where the trio will take on The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson). Furthermore, it’s expected that Cena and Styles will have their blow-off match at next month’s SummerSlam pay-per-view, so they’ll likely be drafted to the same brand.
The original plan was for Cena and Styles to battle for the newly introduced World Heavyweight Championship, because it’s expected that Raw will retain the WWE Championship. Also, now that Cena is a part-timer, there’s a chance that AJ Styles could end up winning his first World Title in WWE, that is if WWE sticks to their original plan.
At this moment, the top three picks for Raw are expected to be Roman Reigns (even though he’s currently suspended), Seth Rollins (who may win the WWE Championship on tonight’s Raw), and Dean Ambrose (the current WWE Champion). And, as previously mentioned, the top three SmackDown picks are expected to be John Cena, AJ Styles, and Randy Orton, although we may see Brock Lesnar be a top three pick for the blue brand.
[Image via WWE]