John Cena confirmed what many suspected Tuesday, as the 15-time WWE world champion announced that he will not compete at WrestleMania 32 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
According to WWE WrestleMania on Twitter, Cena revealed the news as part of a press conference for the announcement that WrestleMania 33 will take place at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, next year:
Cena underwent shoulder surgery in January, and his long-shot attempt to return in time for the April 3 extravaganza fell short.
Per Erin Edgemon of AL.com, surgeon Jeffrey Dugas told WWE.com that he repaired the 38-year-old's rotator cuff, among other issues: "He had a complete tear of a small portion of the rear rotator cuff tendon, the infraspinatus—toward the top-back of his shoulder—which I repaired. Also, there was a large piece of loose tissue in his shoulder that needed to be removed."
While no timetable was ever provided for Cena's return to the ring, Nick Paglino of WrestleZone.com reported that a six- to nine-month recovery was possible.
Cena has been notorious for healing quickly over the course of his career, so there was still some thought that he could potentially return for WrestleMania, especially due to some of the rehabilitation videos he posted on Twitter, including this one:
As Cena mentioned, he has never missed a WrestleMania since his debut at the Showcase of Immortals at WrestleMania 20, which saw him defeat Big Show for the United States Championship.
The leader of the Cenation has been a staple at the event for well over a decade, and he has been in the main event on multiple occasions.
While it is unclear what his role would have been this year if healthy, a legend versus legend match against The Undertaker seemed possible.
The Phenom will instead face the returning Shane McMahon, while Brock Lesnar against Dean Ambrose and Triple H defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns rounds out the top of the card.
There is no question that Cena's WrestleMania absence hurts the show's star power significantly, but it should give other talent a chance to shine, which could prove to be a great thing for the product moving forward.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.