John Cena has been the franchise player of the WWE for over a decade. But he is absent from the programming for a long time courtesy of his part-time role. Nowadays, only some of the special events on the WWE programming witness him in-action. The last time it happened was back at the Super Show Down PPV in Melbourne, Australia.
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We have received some updates about when John Cena will finally return on WWE programming, again. Apparently, WWE has started advertising him for some of the house shows to occur by the end of this year. Both Raw and Smackdown brands will host some special live events during the Christmas week that will see the Cenation Leader back in action.
In combined, John Cena is set to appear on thirteen shows starting from December 26th. It will continue up to mid-January. Previously, he was going to work only in some of the non-televised shows. But now the updated schedule has indicated that he will appear on two of the episodes of Monday Night Raw and one Smackdown Live.
Here is the entire list of his upcoming appearances, (courtesy SBINation.com)
Weds., Dec. 26 – New York City, Madison Square Garden (Raw house show)
Thurs., Dec. 27 – Long Island, NY, NYCB Live (SmackDown house show)
Fri., Dec. 28 – Baltimore, Royal Farms Arena (SmackDown house show)
Sat., Dec. 29 – Pittsburgh, PPG Paints Arena (SmackDown taping)
Sun., Dec. 30 – Tampa, Amalie Arena (SmackDown house show)
Fri., Jan. 4 – Columbus, GA, Columbus Civic Center (Raw house show)
Sat. Jan. 5 – Tallahassee, FL, Donald L. Tucker Civic Center (Raw house show)
Sun., Jan. 6 – Ft. Myers, FL, Hertz Arena (Raw house show)
Mon., Jan. 7 – Orlando, Amway Center (Raw television)
Fri., Jan. 11 – Charleston, WV, Charleston Civic Center (Raw house show)
Sat. Jan. 12 – Knoxville, TN, Knoxville Civic Coliseum (Raw house show)
Sun., Jan. 13 – Huntsville, AL, Vox Braun Civic Center (Raw house show)
Mon., Jan. 14 – Memphis, FedEx Forum (Raw television)
The 16-time world champion will team up with Finn Balor to compete against Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre at the December 26 live event from Madison Square Garden. Another advertised match is Cena & Rey Mysterio against Randy Orton & WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura at the December 29 live event in Pittsburgh.
Even in the past couple of years, John Cena returned on this particular timespan of the year to work on multiple shows. WWE wants to give the very best to their fans during the holidays. So there’s no better way to deliver this by letting the poster boy of the company appear on the programming. This works as a special attraction on the shows.
So there were expectations that John Cena will work on the Christmas and New Year special edition of WWE Raw. However, two of these shows will air as a taped version. Last year, both the shows took place on live formats forcing the superstars to stay away from their families during the festive season.
WWE chose to duck any sort of backlashes, this year. So they will film these two episodes of the show prior to the actual date that goes beyond John Cena’s returning schedule. So we may not expect to see him on these two particular shows. But he is available to work in some of the January episodes hinting presence at Royal Rumble.