We all saw the softball that was on John Cena's elbow a few weeks ago on Raw. He even referenced it in his promo. After dropping the WWE title to Daniel Bryan, who subsequently dropped it to Randy Orton, it looks like Cena will be taking some time off to heal up.
According to PWInsider's Mike Johnson, this goes beyond the elbow injury. Usually Cena would come right back once he's medically cleared. This time, though, Cena will allow his body to recuperate from years of wear and tear.
Love him or hate him, Cena is one of the hardest working guys in the business. It's probably why, despite the seemingly excessive focus on him and his character at the expense of others, you don't often hear people speaking out again Cena.
He works day-in and day-out, doing house shows, media appearances, granting wishes for sick kids and works hard-hitting matches. This schedule probably contributed to the breakdown of his marriage. Cena has put his career and WWE first in his life and his peers respect that.
All of this travel, though, only adds to the already taxing life of a professional wrestler. The physical trials a wrestler puts his or her body through on a nightly basis is more than any of us who have never stepped into the ring could begin to realize.
Leaving the ring only to catch a cab to the airport, fly to the next city, settle into a hotel and do it again the next day makes it difficult to heal.
Back in 2007, Cena took several months off after tearing a pectoral muscle. He returned remarkably fast as a surprise entrant into the Royal Rumble and won the match. This was the longest time Cena was out of action in the last seven years. He's been in some bruising matches and dealt with a litany of minor nagging injuries.
It's a good time for him to step away.
The bigger question is who will WWE position as the central draw. It has long relied singularly on Cena to draw viewers, with others playing nothing more than a minor supporting role.
In the last summer, it positioned Bryan to take over that top babyface spot. CM Punk remains a consistent crowd favorite. The turns of Triple H and Randy Orton will add new intrigue to the show, as well.