John Cena recently tweeted a gym promo hyping his upcoming tag team match at WWE’s Super-Showdown event on October 21. The 16-time world champion will team with Bobby Lashley to take on Kevin Owens and Elias in a match that many consider to be simply a throwaway bout.
But the real news is not Cena’s match, it’s his body. John somehow managed to improve on his already impressive physique and take it to a whole new level. At the age of 41, John Cena is in the best shape of his life. But what is he really preparing for?
The easy answer is nothing. It’s not as though Cena had let himself go physically and suddenly decided to hit the weights again. He was already in tremendous physical shape and that was the case long before he arrived in WWE. Cena builds his body and takes pride in how he looks. The same is true of The Rock and many other guys that are no longer wresting full-time.
However the biggest difference between John and everyone else is that Cena is still close to WWE. It could even be said that although he’s crafting another life for himself in Hollywood, John Cena would likely still be wrestling every week if he still had something to do. But John has nothing left to earn and even less to prove.
Cena has done it all and even his critics would have to admit that. But as the former face of WWE continues to thrive throughout mainstream pop culture, many fans are beginning to wonder if John is perhaps prepping for another run.
— John Cena (@JohnCena) August 23, 2018
Is that why he’s working overtime in the gym? Yes he’s committed to his body and yes he would likely live in the gym despite what career path he chose. But the time may be coming soon when John Cena could find himself in the middle of an intriguing WWE storyline.
But what is that storyline? Many fans continue to hold out hope for a John Cena heel turn. It’s been debated ad nauseam for years but it’s an idea that will just not die. John is past his prime, despite how he looks and he has moved on to the next chapter of his life. A heel turn now seems unnecessary and a bit pointless.
However the same was true of Hulk Hogan in WCW. Hogan was at the end of his pro wrestling career in 1996. Even though many fans respected him, he no longer had the overwhelming wave of popular support behind him. Hogan was on his way out of the industry and everyone knew it.
But when he betrayed WCW at Bash at the Beach and joined the nWo, Hulk Hogan’s career immediately restarted. The guy that everyone knew was past his prime was suddenly relevant again. Hogan once again became the hottest star in the business and WCW flourished thanks in large part to his efforts.
Many fans believe this is precisely where Cena is now. John has nothing to lose by turning heel. The company has been handed off to Roman Reigns and the next generation of WWE Superstars. Cena could come back and occasionally work when WWE needs him or when he wants to and both sides would likely be just fine with that arrangement. But as long as the possibility exists that Cena could return with a villainous character, fans will surely want to see it happen.
So if a heel turn is not in the cards, then what? Is John Cena perhaps preparing for just a basic return, a paint-by-numbers run that fans are accustomed to seeing from him? After all, he and The Undertaker never had a return match from WrestleMania 34 though many fans believed that bout would eventually happen. Taker is working Triple H at the Super-Showdown but what happens if The Deadman crosses paths with Cena once again?
The problem for John is the same problem that John always has every time he comes back. No matter what he does or how hard he works, he’s always booed out of the building. Fans have nothing to gain by reacting negatively to him. He is really not a constant world title threat like before. There’s just no reason to hate him. Cena gave everything he had to the industry and now he’s living life on his terms. Why waste time hating him for it?
But if John is not turning heel and if he is indeed just as hated now as he ever was, then what is truly next for him in WWE? Is it possible that he comes back for the Super-Showdown event and then disappears until WrestleMania season? WWE tends to use him very sparingly these days so it would not be surprising if Cena worked only a few more times before the end of 2018.
However there is no doubting John’s heart and passion for the pro wrestling business. He has just as much now as he ever did. There may even come a time when Cena works in WWE’s front office or perhaps behind the scenes as many of his contemporaries do. John has always shown respect to the business that made him. There’s no reason to believe that he has changed his mind now.
John Cena’s WWE future is unknown at this point. He has done it all and he has an amazing career that speaks for itself. If he doesn’t have another main event run coming, then it would not negatively affect his legacy. But if he does have something else and if the company books him the right way, then John Cena could be back much sooner than expected. This time, he may stay just a bit longer.