5 Best Scenarios for John Cena's Next WWE Appearance
At some point later this year, John Cena is going to be back on a WWE screen.
One of the most popular stars in the company's history, he has always managed to carve out a place on the card no matter what is happening elsewhere. But with the roster as stacked as it is, that may be tough this time around.
However, if WWE thinks on its feet and adopts a different approach for Cena, there's every chance his next run with the company could be a hit.
Here's a few scenarios for WWE to consider when it comes to nailing Cena's next run in WWE.
Returning as an Authority Figure
Maybe John Cena's best booking direction moving forward wouldn't be as a full-time in-ring competitor.
One thing that is guaranteed is that no matter which brand Cena appears on, he would help drastically boost ratings. So why not bring him in as an authority figure?
It could be to counter what Shane McMahon is doing across both brands or it could be as a standalone entity on SmackDown Live to help with the network switch later in the year.
But WWE has not had a great deal of successful babyface authority figures in the past. Cena could be exactly what the company needs in that regard.
A Semi-Permanent Return for the Dr. of Thuganomics
It was a great, feel-good moment at WrestleMania when John Cena revived his Dr. of Thuganomics gimmick to take down Elias.
So why not bring the character back on a semi-permanent basis this summer?
Cena, and WWE fans, could have great fun with the gimmick if it was booked properly. Have Cena work as almost a tweener, coming out on a weekly basis to verbally attack whomever he feels like.
Naturally, that could lead into a longer-term feud with a big name or it could even lead to another confrontation with Elias, whose creative direction has been badly lacking since 'Mania.
WWE fans have seen enough of Cena in his current guise in recent years. Refreshing his gimmick could give him a huge boost upon his return to the company.
The Long-Awaited Feud with Samoa Joe
WWE has ticked a lot of boxes in recent years in regard to dream matches, but there is one that hasn't yet been booked.
John Cena vs. Samoa Joe.
It was teased earlier this year in the build to WrestleMania, but for one reason or another, it never happened.
However, if Joe gets his hands back on the United States Championship, a title Cena put a fair amount of prestige into a couple of years ago, the scene is set for a huge feud.
It could take place throughout the summer, likely culminating at SummerSlam.
And it would be something fans would love to see.
A Summer Showdown with the McMahon Family
WWE is clearly intent on having Shane McMahon on TV as both an authority figure and an in-ring competitor for the foreseeable future.
However, feuding with Roman Reigns isn't helping The Big Dog's main event credentials, so McMahon and his family need a new target throughout the summer.
Who better than John Cena?
The angle can be booked so that Cena has been tracking McMahon's reign of terror in recent months, making him want to come back to put Shane in his place.
It could culminate with a match at SummerSlam, for example, and would be a good way to keep Shane on TV without having him interfere with any top guys and their booking.
A Run with the 24/7 Title
While the addition of the WWE 24/7 Championship has been interesting, it's in need of a main event star to make the belt feel worthwhile.
That star should be John Cena.
Cena has little in the way of creative direction in regard to a return to TV, so what better way to integrate him than by surprising the champion on an episode of Raw or SmackDown and winning the title?
Not only would it allow Cena to be on both shows, which can only be a good thing for ratings, but it would also help him to put over some of the company's lower-card talent.
It'd be a gamble and would limit Cena's in-ring time, but if the company wants to make its newest championship feel worthwhile to fans, then this would be a smart move.