The WWE is losing its biggest star and it couldn’t have come at a worst time. The flagship superstar of the company is scheduled to take some time off right smack dab in the middle of a RAW ratings crisis.
The reports indicate that Cena is not scheduled for anything after Hell in a Cell. His first dates back are scheduled in December and he will be missing a 10-day European tour. This is the first time I can recall Cena ever missing a substantial amount of time for anything other than an injury or an entertainment commitment.
A lot of fans may be rejoicing over this yet at the end of the day its terrible news. Like him or not, John Cena is the biggest draw the company has. He is the only star in the company that hasn’t been marginalized by the 50-50 booking. RAW ratings support this as Cena is generally in the highest rated segment of the show. This past week’s RAW went through a steady decline after Cena finished his match in the beginning of the show. He will be missed greatly.
It’s easy to claim this as some kind of a victory which will allow other wrestlers to shine while he is gone. Cena is the scapegoat for everyone from Seth Rollins to Kevin Owens’ struggles with getting over. Yet Cena is not the booker and even when Cena took a backseat to the WWE championship earlier in the year, Rollins still struggled and Cena continued to draw the numbers.
The absence takes Cena theoretically out of the Survivor Series pay-per-view on November 22. Cena could also miss TLC, although there is a pretty good chance he will be back by then. The roster is thin and after jobbing the WWE champion out for the last month, there is no viable draw for the Survivor Series. Depending upon how much notice Cena gave, it probably would have made more sense to save Lesnar for Survivor Series yet it seems like things were planned far in advance of the request for time off.
Will Cena drop the U.S. belt before leaving? It would make sense for him to do so, yet I could just as easily see the company keeping it on him. Either way, the next few weeks will be real interesting in regard to how Cena is booked and how or if he gets written off of the show with a storyline.