The past year of WWE programming has been radically different than previous years in one very specific way. For the first time in 14 years, John Cena has missed more time than he has in his entire WWE career. Since last October, Cena took a hiatus to film the first season of American Grit, he missed the first WrestleMania of his career, and he's been absent from WWE programming for a variety of reasons this year.
WWE is getting used to John Cena not being featured on WWE television every week, and it has opened up the doors for a lot of fresh WWE Superstars to take that time. That may seem like a bad thing on paper, but it allows Cena to do things outside of WWE to help promote the company, gives new opportunities to the current roster, and makes any program or match from John Cena special since they're not as frequent.
For example, he has been feuding with AJ Styles over the past several months, which have led to some great matches at WWE Money in the Bank and WWE Summerslam. SmackDown is heading into WWE No Mercy next weekend, and AJ Styles will defend the WWE title against Cena and Dean Ambrose. After next week, it's unclear when John Cena will be back on WWE television, but it could be much longer than expected.
According to the reports that have been coming for weeks, John Cena will be taking his hiatus from WWE shortly after WWE No Mercy. The odds are that means he won't be winning the WWE Championship at the PPV. The expectation is that Cena's hiatus will last through the rest of the year, but he could return to WWE towards the end of December.
Over the next two months, he'll be shooting the second season of American Grit for the Fox Network. The interesting thing about the show is it could be opening a door for Cena to take his career in Hollywood to new heights. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox, who recently picked up the rights for Marvel's comic series Superior, which is being developed for the big screen.
The comic series was written by Mark Millar, who has been involved with several popular series, including Kick-Ass, Superman, and several other Marvel properties over the years. The point is that Millar is said to be a big fan of John Cena's after seeing Trainwreck and has requested him for the role of the titular superhero in the film, which would give Cena his first leading role in a film for a major studio.
As of this writing, there is no news about Cena taking the role or the film moving forward with the 15-time WWE World Champion, but it continues to show the hot commodity that Cena has become outside of WWE over the past year.
His plate is full with WWE and all the outside projects he's doing already, so the question is if John Cena could handle a potential franchise for Marvel and Fox that could launch him even more into Hollywood and away from WWE programming. If anything progresses with this film, will it begin to affect Cena's role in WWE as "The Road to WrestleMania" begins next year around the same time he's due back to WWE?
Recently, the rumored plans for John Cena at WrestleMania 33 were revealed. As of this writing, he's either going to take part in the long-awaited match with The Undertaker or he'll be winning his 16th WWE title, which will tie Ric Flair's record. WWE has big plans for him heading into the grandest stage of them all next year, so opportunities like this could complicate John Cena's future in WWE if he's forced to choose.
[Featured Image via WWE.com]