Friday, October 2, 2015

John Cena Is Taking Time Off for Personal Reasons

Cena's taking some time off
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Big news has come down from Dave Meltzer that John Cena, the current WWE United States Champion and arguably still the number one guy in the company, will be taking time off from the road between Hell in a Cell and December. He's not advertised for any shows after Hell in a Cell, and he won't be appearing on the upcoming ten-day European tour that the company takes around this time of the year. The reason for the hiatus, as given by WWE, is "personal reasons," so it could mean anything. Rather than speculate on what those reasons could be, I instead would rather wish Cena a quick and beneficial resolution to them.

The hidden story here is WWE has lost its ratings trump card. Of course, RAW is in the middle of an overnight ratings swoon right now, and even though overnight ratings don't matter (repeat after me until you're blue in the face), people within the company like to pretend they do because the mindset within WWE hasn't changed since 1999. Whenever that aspect of the business has done badly, WWE has leaned on Cena to carry the show and bring back viewers. With him on the shelf possibly through Survivor Series, the company is going to have to scramble to find something else.

Obviously, the best answer would be trying to build new guys during these leaner times so that they can become bigger draws later down the line. Remember, pushing someone new doesn't mean they spike the numbers right away. It takes time. Steve Austin wasn't a dynamo right after Austin 3:16, and CM Punk didn't become a stalwart right when he began Summer of Punk 2: PUNK HARDER. Now would be the perfect time to develop guys like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, New Day, and the like so that if Cena has to leave again for whatever reason in the future, the impact isn't as dire. Do I expect WWE to follow that plan? Hell no, so be prepared for Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, and any other legend the company can scrounge up in the interim to be spammed to oblivion until Cena comes back.