He had only been back for a week or so and now he’ll be out 6-9 months. New reports confirm today that John Cena will miss an extended amount of time due to a torn labrum, taking him out of WrestleMania 32, depleting a roster that is already without Seth Rollins and Randy Orton.
Rather upside down start to 2016 as tomorrow I will head to Birmingham for shoulder surgery. Life's full of set backs but #nevergiveup
— John Cena (@JohnCena) January 7, 2016
Cena’s absence already puts a choke hold on a watered down WrestleMania lineup. Having to fill AT&T Stadium would be tough at any time, but having to fill it without Cena is going to be a challenge. Cena’s absence could explain the return of Chris Jericho as well as recent signings of the Bullet Club.
This is the first WrestleMania that Cena will ever miss since becoming the franchise player. While Cena has been a mid-card attraction on the last two WrestleMania events, his participation is important for star power. He has been used to elevate up and coming guys the last two years, being paired with Bray Wyatt and Rusev. Like him or not, his absence is definitely a big hit for his fans.
Recent reports indicate that there was a plan in place for Cena on this year’s Mania card. At one point Cena was slotted to wrestle Roman Reigns. That match got changed after Seth Rollins went down and a new plan was put in place for Reigns. The big rumor was a Cena vs. Undertaker match at AT&T Stadium. At some point we’ll know whether this was the actual plan but that has not been confirmed. What I do know is that if you look at the big picture, there wasn’t a whole lot that made sense other than an Undertaker match.
Cena is coming off of (in my opinion) his best year as an in-ring wrestler. His matches with Rusev and Kevin Owens, especially Owens were some of the best all year. His Royal Rumble main-event against Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins is generally regarded as the 2015 WWE Match of the Year, his matches with Owens being the others. Like him or not his presence will be greatly missed inside the ring.
A final word of caution. Cena has shown remarkable recovery abilities in the past when it comes to longterm injury-rehabilitation. It is not entirely impossible that Cena misses Mania. That said, I think it’s very difficult for the WWE to plan on that, thus they would have to scramble and change plans last-minute to squeeze him in there. Maybe they can or maybe at this point they just hold him off regardless?
Finally, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Rock put out an announcement last week saying he was coming to WrestleMania. With Rollins, Orton, and Cena down, I have to guess that the WWE did everything they could to work with Rock and his insurance issues to get him inside the ring. While nobody has been able to confirm it, I am guessing that Rock will lace up the boots at Mania. With Triple H already theoretically tied up with Roman Reigns, a Brock Lesnar vs. Rock match makes perfect sense and could be the headliner that saves the show.