WWE Rumors: Cena Not at SummerSlam, McAfee Contract Info, Bayley Preparing for Return

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 8, 2022

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 15: John Cena visits "Extra" at Burbank Studios on January 15, 2020 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

Cena Reportedly Not Scheduled for SummerSlam

Despite his recent appearance on Raw, it doesn't appear as though John Cena will be part of the SummerSlam card later this month.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Michael Perry of ThirstyForNews.com), there will "almost surely" be no Cena on the SummerSlam card since Mr. Money in the Bank Theory has been announced as the opponent for United States champion Bobby Lashley.

Meltzer also noted Cena isn't being advertised for any shows currently, which is likely a sign that he won't be back on WWE programming any time soon.

A couple of weeks ago, Cena appeared on Raw to celebrate his 20th anniversary on WWE's main roster. Cena cut a promo and also had some interactions with WWE Superstars, including Theory.

Theory has been calling Cena out on social media for quite some time and apparently attempting to goad him into a match. Theory cut a heated promo on Cena in the locker room on Raw, only for Cena to walk away.

Last weekend, Theory dropped the U.S. title to Bobby Lashley at Money in the Bank, but he scored the biggest victory of his career later in the night, winning the men's Money in the Bank ladder match to earn a future world title match.

WWE is clearly positioning Theory to be a top star, so Cena is a logical opponent for him, but it may not be until a bit further down the line, perhaps at next year's WrestleMania.

Until then, Theory will continue his feud with Lashley and look to take back the U.S. title at SummerSlam on July 30.

McAfee Signed WWE Contract Extension Weeks Ago

WWE announced Thursday it signed SmackDown commentator Pat McAfee to a multiyear contract extension, but the agreement was reportedly reached quite some time ago.

According to WrestleVotes, WWE and McAfee came to terms "a few weeks back," and it was "to the thrill of everyone involved."

WrestleVotes also noted that WWE "knows exactly what they have" in McAfee and wanted to make sure to keep him in the fold for the foreseeable future.

WWE did not divulge additional terms of the deal with McAfee, but the new contract means McAfee will continue to bring his entertaining brand of commentary to SmackDown alongside Michael Cole for years to come.

McAfee began doing work for WWE in 2018 as an analyst and even a wrestler in NXT, but in April 2021, he reached a deal to be the SmackDown color commentator.

The former NFL All-Pro punter has thrived in his role due to his quick wit and energy, plus he has started to branch out on the WWE main roster as well.

McAfee faced and defeated Theory in a match at WrestleMania 38, and now, he is set to face Happy Corbin at SummerSlam later this month.

For the past several months, McAfee has disparaged Corbin on commentary, leading to Corbin attacking McAfee after Money in the Bank and accepting his challenge for a SummerSlam match.

Bayley Training for WWE Return at WWE PC

Bayley reportedly took another step this week toward returning to the ring after missing the past year with a torn ACL.

According to PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson, Bayley was seen at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, "for several days earlier this week."

A report of Bayley being at the PC came on the heels of Meltzer (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News) reporting recently that Bayley is expected back in action "somewhat soon."

Bayley tore her ACL while training at the PC last July, causing the cancellation of her scheduled SmackDown Women's Championship match against Bianca Belair at Money in the Bank 2021.

Prior to getting injured, Bayley was on the roll of her career, as she had previously held the SmackDown women's title for over a year and was among the top heels in WWE.

After being a beloved babyface in NXT, Bayley struggled to find herself in that role on the main roster, but she proved to be arguably an even better villain.

With a pair of faces in Belair and Liv Morgan holding the women's titles in WWE currently, now would be the perfect time for Bayley to make her return if she is able to do so.

Becky Lynch returned last year at SummerSlam after more than a year off on maternity leave, and SummerSlam would perhaps be the ideal venue for Bayley to return as well.

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