It's been almost a year since John Cena has held the WWE Championship. His last reign ended at Hell in a Cell when Alberto Del Rio won a triple threat match.
A month later at Survivor Series, CM Punk won the title and began his current reign.
Despite not holding the title since October, Cena has been in the main event in six of the seven pay-per-views held in 2012. He faced John Laurinaitis, Big Show and Brock Lesnar in the process.
I'm not the biggest fan of the current John Cena character, but I do feel that he has reached the stage of his career where he doesn't need to hold the WWE Title for the rest of his career. He should be away for a few more months at least and that could be a good thing.
He is a 10-time WWE Champion and a two-time World Heavyweight Champion.
His first three reigns lasted a total of 793 days.
The next seven reigns totaled up to 265 days, including a two-minute reign as champion at Elimination Chamber 2010.
He has been in the main event scene for only seven years and has racked up 12 major championship reigns.
Triple H has 13 between the WWE and World Titles from 1999 to 2009.
The Rock had seven title reigns. Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan had only six each.
It's no question that John Cena is the current poster boy for WWE, but when neither the WWE or World champions are main eventing pay-per-views, it undermines the prestige of the titles.
When should John Cena's next WWE Title reign begin?
There was a point in time when Cena would win the title every other month. It got old, repetitive and stale. Triple H was exactly the same with the World Title during his time with Evolution.
No man should be bigger than the ultimate prize of WWE or World Champion, but WWE booked John Cena in that role during the first-half of 2012.
The rumors of the current CM Punk heel turn are that he loses to The Rock at Royal Rumble and then Rock faces John Cena for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 29. If that is the case, there is no doubt that Cena will walk out of Metlife Stadium with the WWE Title.
Personally, I would be ecstatic if John Cena doesn't hold the WWE Title until 'Mania.
Keeping Cena away from the title has been a great decision, but having him overshadow the current champ is not. CM Punk should be the main focus of Raw and pay-per-views. At SummerSlam, Punk will finally be in a main event, but so will Cena (again).
If WWE wants to succeed in the future, they need to build up more main eventers to replace Cena, Punk, Orton and others once they decide to retire.