Thursday, January 7, 2016

John Cena Injured, Will Miss WrestleMania 32

News came down last night that John Cena is heading to Birmingham, AL to have shoulder surgery on Thursday, 1/7/2016.  The prognosis is that he will be out of the ring for 6-9 months which puts his return at some point well past WrestleMania 32 in April.

While I would never wish an injury on anyone I would typically at least spin this as an opportunity for someone else to step up.  There's two problems with that in this scenario though.  The first is that for Mania you really want all hands on deck and John Cena is still their biggest star and performs at a high level especially on the biggest stage.  The second issue is that injuries have just run roughshod on the promotion for so long now that John Cena was even more important than ever before.

To that second point, check this out.
That's not even taking into account the fact that Randy Orton is on the shelf as well. There are probably others I am not even thinking about, but the point is the roster was pretty severely depleted long before Cena's shoulder injury.

WWE is going to be forced to get behind some of their talent and strap the proverbial rocket to their back which isn't the worst thing ever, but it will certainly hurt Mania this year.  By my count these are the people that are presented as truly BIG DEALS in WWE that are not currently injured and three of them are part-timers:
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Roman Reigns 
  • Triple H
  • The Rock
  • Undertaker
We aren't even sure if The Rock will do anything physical at the show much less have a match.  Triple H can still do his thing and would seem to be slotted against Roman Reigns (which should be good mind you), but I have no idea what you do with Brock.  I have no idea who will be in the title picture (Brock I guess because I figure the title won't be involved in the Triple H/Reigns match) and I am just not sure how quickly or how well they can build or rebuild other members of the roster to make this seem like a big card.  You have to figure the next guys up at this point are Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt along with his Wyatt Family.  You've also got the League of Nations there too, but while I like all those guys it feels like their ceiling is lower than the other guys I mentioned.  The New Japan four will be in at some point, but I honestly figured that NXT was their primary stop initially at least.  Speaking of that a guy like Finn Balor may get called up or even Sami Zayn.  Considering the whole at the top of the card this may not be the worst time to get a call up from NXT either.  It may help these guys avoid the usual main roster welcome that seems to cool folks considerably. 

All of this, along with the Royal Rumble stipulation related to the title makes for a very interesting WrestleMania 32 season.  It will be fascinating to see how they get from here to there.

Anyhow, best of luck to John Cena as he recovers from this injury.