SmackDown Live superstar and 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena is currently away from WWE as he begins filming the second season of American Grit and fans may not see him until the end of the year.
According to Wrestlezone, Cena was originally scheduled for WWE’s Survivor Series supershow on November 20 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. However, he has been pulled from all advertisements for the show and his next scheduled WWE appearance is a live event on December 26 at Madison Square Garden.
Cena, 39, did a similar thing last year while filming the first season of American Grit. He left after Hell in a Cell 2015 on October 25, 2015, and did not return until the final Monday Night RAW of the year on December 28.
WWE will likely be short-handed for one of their biggest shows of the year. In addition to Cena, Randy Orton is currently not scheduled for the show as his wife is expected to give birth around that time. With their age, outside obligations, injuries, and reduced schedules, Cena and Orton have not been as prominently featured.
Cena, in particular, has a budding career outside the industry and has become a part-time performer. In fact, in a recent appearance on WWE Talking Smack, the WWE Network exclusive post-SmackDown Live exclusive show, Cena said that he’s “openly waiting for someone to step up” and take his top spot.
He added that consistency is what it would take to dethrone him, via Wrestling Inc.
“Everybody asks me, ‘hey, when are you moving over?’ It just fuels me to get stronger, faster and hone my craft more. People have moments, moments that last in the annals of WWE history. But if you look at what I’ve done, I just show up all the time and deliver. I am waiting for someone after 14 years to show up all the time and deliver. You can ask many other WWE Superstars who know exactly how hard that is. I am just waiting for someone not to do it once, just to do it consistently better.”
However, despite his decreasing WWE schedule, Cena isn’t planning on a full-blown exit from WWE to pursue a full-time film career. As he told ABC earlier this year, despite the constant questions and the perception professional wrestling still has, he has no intention of leaving WWE.
“It’s taken years and I still can’t jump the hurdle,” Cena said. “Everybody’s like ‘OK, when are you getting out of wrestling to do movies?’ And they’re baffled when I’m like, ‘I’m not!’ I want it to be acceptable to do both. Why would I turn off 650 million global viewers? Why would I turn off half a billion social accounts? Why would I turn off the fun?”
— theScore (@theScore) October 24, 2016
Inside the ring, Cena has attained every major accolade possible. From holding every major championship and carrying the WWE brand as the face of the company since 2005, Cena could retire today and have his legacy cemented in place and a WWE Hall of Fame plaque waiting for him.
Last year, shortly after returning, Cena suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for over half a year. He missed Wrestlemania 32, but did appear in a segment with The Rock and Wyatt Family, and it was the first time since Wrestlemania 19 that the WWE’s biggest show did not feature a Cena match.
The hope this year will be that when he returns, Cena will be a key part of Wrestlemania 33 in Orlando, Florida.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]