Projecting When John Cena Will Make His Next Appearance in WWE

Donald WoodSeptember 22, 2022

Professional Wrestling: WWE SummerSlam: John Cena during match at Barclays Center. 
Brooklyn, NY 8/20/2017
CREDIT: Chad Matthew Carlson (Photo by Chad Matthew Carlson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X161332 TK1 )
Set Number: X161332 TK1

WWE has seen a wave of changes since Triple H took creative control in July, including the returns of multiple former stars.

While many of those names formerly worked under The Game in NXT, that doesn't mean the door is closed to more tenured stars coming back to the company.

And there wouldn't be many bigger comebacks in wrestling than John Cena.

The 45-year-old returned to WWE in June to celebrate his 20th anniversary with the company. He teased a potential match against Austin Theory, and fans have been waiting for the bout to eventually come to fruition.

Here are the best short- and long-term ideas for the 16-time champion’s return to Raw and SmackDown.

Best Short-Term Option

Theory is currently embroiled in a heated war of words and fists with Kevin Owens, but the current feud looks to be a placeholder for Mr. Money in the Bank.

After taking a loss to KO at Extreme Rules on October 8, the down-and-out Theory should get a visit from an old friend.

As the 25-year-old comes to the ring on Raw talking about the devastating defeat suffered the night before, Cena’s music should hit and he should make his way down to cheers from the crowd.

With Cena unlikely to partake in the next Crown Jewel event from Saudi Arabia on November 5, he should be on WWE programming to set up a long-term storyline that culminates in a match at the other live event in the same month, Survivor Series WarGames.

While the show is already intriguing following the inclusion of men’s and women’s WarGames matches, the addition of Cena to the card would help catapult the PPV back into the upper echelon of WWE shows, just as it has been for the majority of its existence.

Cena would not only be a major boost for Survivor Series viewership, but he would also provide much-needed star power to weekly WWE television as the NFL season continues to impact ratings.

Best Long-Term Option

If WWE officials don’t need Cena for the rest of 2022, they should save his return to in-ring action until the Royal Rumble and allow him to be a surprise entrant in the 30-man Battle Royal.

With the crowd in San Antonio in a frenzy over his stunning return and the WWE Universe excited about the future possibilities, Theory should come out of nowhere and dump the legend over the top rope, setting up a story that could continue through WrestleMania 39.

WWE will be looking to create unforgettable moments in front of the Los Angeles crowd at SoFi Stadium in April. Finally allowing Cena to get his hands on a man like Theory, who has been plaguing him since making a return in January, would give the fans something to truly care about.

WWE would be in the ultimate win-win situation in this scenario, as Cena would be able to earn a win and give the fans a happy moment seeing the good guy get some revenge. On the other hand, Theory’s loss could lead to a Money in the Bank cash-in later in the night.

After the devastating defeat, few will be thinking the 25-year-old has the credibility to be the company’s top champion, but that’s the beauty of it.

Whether it’s Roman Reigns or someone else, Theory cashing in to close Night 1 would set up a wild Night 2.

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