John Cena Not Missing Ring Time Due to Heel Injury

Travis TaylorFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2013

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WWE champion John Cena will not be missing any ring time as a result of his heel injury. The Cenation leader's live event schedule has been changed so his Achilles tendon will have more time to heel.

On upcoming Raw live events, Cena has been removed from matches with Ryback and has been placed in a series of tag team bouts. The move allows the champion to continue to compete in the ring while minimizing any further damage he may incur.

According to Marc Middleton, via

John Cena will not be missing ring time and plans to work through the bruised heel injury. Cena's RAW live event matches against Ryback have been changed to Cena, Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield to protect Cena. Ryback has worked with Sheamus this weekend.

A search of the WWE's upcoming Raw live events confirms that, in the weeks leading up to Extreme Rules, Cena is still advertised for the shows. Also advertised for the same shows are Team Hell No and The Shield. Ryback and Sheamus are also on the list.

Cena is not only the WWE champion, but he is also the face of the WWE with mainstream interests to his name. To lose Cena so soon after he won the title would put the WWE in a difficult situation.

The company's other big stars, The Rock and CM Punk, are both on the shelf nursing injuries. Even a polarizing wrestler like Cena is a big draw with widespread name recognition.

Of course, ever since announced that Cena had been injured, debate has surrounded whether Cena would be stripped of the title or if the injury were even real.

Should Cena's injury force him out of action for more than 30 days, then he should be stripped of the belt. If done before Extreme Rules—and before the 30 days are up—the title could be up for grabs at the pay-per-view.

This sets up Ryback taking the belt and Cena still coming out strong.

But if the injury is legitimate, but not serious, then placing Cena in tag team bouts is the right move. This way, the WWE doesn't lose any revenue from the champion not being on television or wrestling at house shows. It keeps Cena performing, but keeps him from spending too much time in the ring or taking too many bumps.

If the WWE continues having Cena team with Kane and Daniel Bryan against The Shield, it could do wonders for the trio from NXT.

Not only does this further their storyline with the tag team champions, but having Cena take the pin—which could be blamed on his heel—lends even more credibility to Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

From the angle of his feud with Ryback, losses to The Shield help build an image of Cena looking vulnerable. In turn, this gives Ryback an aura of strength. A championship match is more exciting if the champion might not win.

Of course, it wouldn't be unusual for a company known for heightened reality, character tweets and backstage Touts to create an injury for its champion to further along a storyline. Superstars have been "injured" and written off television to film a movie, to freshen up their character or yes, continue a storyline.

Take Ricardo Rodriguez, who had his ankle "broken" to advance the feud between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger. The kayfabe injury built Del Rio up more as a babyface and poured more heat on Swagger.

Regardless of the reality of Cena's injury, the WWE champion won't be missing any ring time. He may be limping when Extreme Rules rolls around, but he'll be there to defend the title.