When John Cena recently returned from his months-long hiatus of filming eight movies and a TV show, the WWE Universe was told that he would be returning as a “free agent” in the wake of the Superstar Shake-Up, all of which are words that allegedly make sense. But since returning, Cena has been exclusive to Smackdown Live, and he has spent his time being the human embodiment of America, and making people like Rusev and Jinder Mahal feel bad about where they come from.
Cena will in fact be in a No. 1 contender match on Tuesday night, where many assume he will go on to face Mahal for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam and probably win his 17th world title. But hold on a minute, player and/or Jack. It might not be that simple. And when it comes to affairs concerning John Cena, “it might not be that simple” is a balm to a wrestling fan’s soul.
As noted by Wrestling Inc., Cena is advertised and booked for September’s No Mercy pay-per-view in Los Angeles, which is a Raw-exclusive PPV. In fact, the last Smackdown-only event that Cena is advertised for is the go-home show for SummerSlam on August 15. After that? All Raw bookings, baby. In fact, he’s already scheduled to work a bunch of Raw-branded house shows in August.
If this is a smokescreen, it is an extremely elaborate smokescreen, as WWE doesn’t tend to advertise the biggest star in the company for dates where they can sell tickets for those shows based on the biggest star in the company, you know, being at those shows. It doesn’t help to piss off ticket-buying fans, especially John Cena fans.
If this isn’t a smokescreen, it’s almost certainly a big ol’ red flag that Cena isn’t leaving SummerSlam as WWE Champion. If WWE is indeed making a move to get the Universal Championship off of Brock Lesnar and onto someone who’s on the show every week, they’re certainly not going to have BOTH world champions on one show. The prestige of the Universal Championship is already slightly lackluster; you don’t want to ruin that by suddenly having what many fans believe is the “real” world title on the same show. Especially if Cena is the one holding it.
So it seems like this is good news for people who like John Cena and don’t watch Smackdown Live. Congratulations to that one person. You did it, Rick!