WWE is currently dealing with a horrible onslaught of injuries making the roster weaker than usual. Stars like Randy Orton and Seth Rollins are sidelined. Rising names like Neville and Cesaro were also hit with injuries to make them miss some time. All are forced to sit out WrestleMania but the biggest name on the injured list is John Cena. WWE’s biggest star has been forced away from the ring due to shoulder surgery and it is a huge blow for the entire wrestling industry. Cena is not expected to return in the near future and has been ruled out from competing at WrestleMania.
There’s no current timetable on when Cena can return to the ring but he does have a couple of things working in his favor. The early estimates indicated that a return around the summer would be likely and his genetics are incredible. Cena has returned much earlier than expected from serious injuries multiple times in the past and he may do the same again due to how hard is he working at recovering with social media posts showing it every day. While losing a star is not a good thing by any means, it does provide a couple of positive things regarding Cena.
His eventual return will be a big moment if WWE capitalizes on it with the right booking. A big star coming back after a long time away is a guaranteed way to create excitement and gives fans an interesting moment. The current WWE roster is loaded with various new and old stars and a great deal of opportunities to make sure Cena gets back into things with a fun return. We’ll look at a variety of options that would see WWE’s biggest star of the last decade come back in an effective manner. Hopefully it comes sooner rather than later but here are the top twelve incredible ways for John Cena to return.
12. Form Tag Team With Randy Orton
John Cena and Randy Orton are both currently on the injured list and each man will be in an odd situation when returning. WWE is in a transition period of building new stars and their former two top main eventers in the company are nearing the end of their prime as they get up there in age. While they will always hold value in WWE, it may be best to use them in new spots so the younger and fresher stars can continue getting opportunities in the upper card. Cena and Orton working as a legendary tag team could help add credibility to the tag division and create good matches against the likes of New Day.
11. Enter Long Feud With Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe finally signed with WWE in 2015 and has already become one of the biggest stars in NXT. Considering how talented he is and how much merchandise he already sells, you have to figure WWE will have to call him up to the main roster before it’s too late. John Cena actually spent time training with Joe in UPW before WWE signed him. An effective way to set up big a feud would be for Joe to brutally attack Cena on Cena’s return night. There’s no better way to make a debut than going after the biggest star in the company and there’s a ready-made story that could lead to great results.
10. Return at WrestleMania 33
John Cena is already in the legend stage of his career despite wrestling regularly every week when healthy. The success and star power of Cena has elevated him into the level of performers like The Undertaker and Triple H. WWE’s current stage of presenting new stars to see who can get over on a larger scale can give Cena another year off to rest and recharge his batteries. A big reason for fans liking to give Cena a hard time is how overexposed he has been. Going a full year without the biggest star would make him more valuable when returning and could set the stage for a bigger WrestleMania 33 attraction match against The Undertaker or another top name.
9. Return With A Mean Streak
One of the few criticisms against John Cena has been his personality being too goofy and not taking things seriously. As someone who occupies the top spot in WWE, he should show a mean streak once in a while, rather than make corny jokes and smile every week. The best route to show that things are different would be for Cena to show an edge when he returns by destroying Alberto Del Rio as revenge since that was Cena’s last match on television before getting injured. Cena can still appeal to the younger fan base while showing more of a mean streak and adding more depth to his character.
8. Dream Match With AJ Styles
Sometimes a return in wrestling can be done in the most simple of ways to create the best result. AJ Styles signing with the WWE has created many new dream matches possibilities and one with John Cena would be at the top of the list. The selling of a Cena vs. Styles match on a PPV would be a tremendous way for Cena to return with weeks of vignettes and selling before he finally appears on television again. Between his current position as an upper midcarder with momentum and fans showing support every week, Styles is on the road to the main event picture and a match with Cena would put him over the top.
7. Beat Kevin Owens For The Intercontinental Championship
A nice callback to last year would see John Cena return to answer an open challenge against Kevin Owens and defeat him to win the Intercontinental Championship in his first match back. Owens debuted on the WWE main roster by defeating Cena in his first match, so the moment would make sense to add to the story. More importantly, it would establish a true rivalry by pairing the two up once again rather than have their story end with the aforementioned three-match series. Cena and Owens have outstanding chemistry and the work they could put out may be better now with Owens as an established heel.
6. Become General Manager
A potential brand split may lead to general managers returning. John Cena has a lot of wear and tear on his body, so the idea of a limited role with less in-ring work may be beneficial to prolonging his career. The legend of Cena has grown enough where he can get by with working just a handful of matches per year and they would actually become more special. Cena’s star power is still valuable and can be utilized as a general manager of Raw or SmackDown. We would get to see him in a new role and change the dynamic of the show in a positive way.
5. Feud With The Balor Club
There are already hot rumors out around Finn Balor getting called up to the main roster with the debut of Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows as The Balor Club. The trio was an important part of New Japan’s tremendously successful Bullet Club faction. Balor coming up to the main roster will be a huge deal and has been saved for a big moment. There’s no doubt he is going to get a main event push and will likely be positioned as a cool heel similar to his role in The Bullet Club. John Cena is the perfect pure babyface character to oppose the Balor Club as they try to take over the WWE and it will lead to outstanding matches.
4. Win United States Championship
One of the best things to happen to WWE in 2015 was John Cena becoming the United States Championship. Cena introduced his open challenge and faced a mystery opponent just about every week. The mix of intrigue and the guarantee of a great match always delivered. Cena helped introduce new stars like Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, not to mention giving other roster members like Dean Ambrose, Cesaro and Neville a chance to showcase how good they can be. The United States Championship felt relevant and interesting until Cena lost it to Alberto Del Rio. Cena winning it back and starting the open challenge once again would bring much needed consistency to WWE TV.
3. Challenge Triple H For The WWE Championship
Triple H is currently the WWE Champion and Roman Reigns has zero momentum heading into their WrestleMania title match. You have to assume WWE is looking at the possibility of having Triple H retain and continue his title reign a little bit longer, rather than letting Reigns get booed out of the building on the biggest show of all time during his victory. If Triple H continues his run, John Cena returning around SummerSlam would lead to a perfect match. SummerSlam has lacked the main event appeal of being the secondary yearly PPV to WrestleMania until last year’s Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar bout. Cena vs. Triple H would provide a legendary bout with both men in their current stages and there’s an easy story there of the longtime hero coming back to stand up against the villain.
2. Help Shane McMahon Defeat Undertaker
John Cena was reportedly scheduled to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 until Cena’s injury ruined the match and Shane McMahon returned to replace him. The match was the most exciting potential WrestleMania showdown as Undertaker has faced most of the other active legends but has yet to square off with Cena at a WrestleMania event. WWE has to deliver this match at WrestleMania 33 and having Cena screw Undertaker would be a surefire way to set it up a year in advance. The rational could be Cena wanting to do what’s right for the WWE Universe by getting Shane McMahon in power while The Undertaker has the reason to get to Cena for trying to ruin his legacy. Yes, the stipulations indicate Undertaker losing would ban him from WrestleMania but it’s wrestling and these rules break all the time.
1. Attack Roman Reigns
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns is a money feud waiting to happen. Reigns is trying to replace Cena as the face of the WWE but he has yet to match Cena’s work ethic, body of work or popularity. Society is currently digging the idea of superheroes squaring off with the movies of Batman vs. Superman and Marvel’s Civil War pairing Iron Man against Captain America. The closest thing WWE has to replicate that would be the two golden boys as the two faces could square off to find out who the top star in WWE is while using their differences to create conflict. Cena is more of a pure character and Reigns has an edge. Both traits make their fans love them and their haters despise them, so the atmosphere would always be electric and create great television.
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