WWE reintroduced us to its take on a draft during the summer of 2016, and for the most part it has been so far, so good. Unlike previous manifestations of the draft, with this one WWE is taking SmackDown Live seriously and has given them equal footing to Raw. For a while the blue brand even had the exclusive rights to John Cena.
Then earlier this year WWE had a wobble. The key to a successful draft is to blur the lines as little as you possibly can. Over the summer they went against that unwritten rule and allowed Cena to become a free agent and compete for both Raw and SmackDown Live. Turns out it was so Big Match John could compete against Roman Reigns at No Mercy while still remaining available for duty on Tuesday nights if needed.
PREVIOUSLY: BACKSTAGE NEWS ON CENA'S RETURN TO TV
That trend is set to continue later this month. On Christmas Day Cena will make his return to Raw, the first time the show will go live on Christmas Day, and he will presumably battle Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship. The 16 time World Champion is also being advertised to take on Roman at a live event the following night. However according to Sportskeeda, on December 30th Cena will be competing at a SmackDown Live house show.
That muddies the waters a little when it comes to figuring out what exactly WWE has planned for John upon his return. Throwing him back into a feud with Roman Reigns suggests that he might very well get his heat back and win The Big Dog's Intercontinental Title. It is one of the only championships that has evaded Cena at this point. Competing for SmackDown Live a few days later however may suggest that they're lining him up for a run with the blue brand between New Year and the Royal Rumble.
Earlier this week John Cena admitted that his days as a full time competitor for WWE are over. What that might mean is his return will simply last just one week, between Christmas and New Year. If that is the case it's hard to imagine he'll be gone for long. Raw's 25th anniversary show is a few weeks later followed by the beginning of WrestleMania season and you can rest assured that he will be around for that.