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John Cena’s next hiatus reportedly not scheduled until October

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The intrigue of the “Never Give Up” armband John Cena left in the ring after his SummerSlam loss to AJ Styles continues...

According to WrestlingInc, Cena missing last week’s SmackDown Live broadcast wasn’t because of his next break from WWE. While he will be missing time to film the second season of American Grit, that won’t be until later in the Fall. The report says the 15-time World champ will leave in mid-October (which is line with when he left WWE television after Hell in a Cell in 2015 to work on the first season of the Fox reality competition) and be gone most of, if not, all the remainder of the year.

So, what’s going on with the Face That used to Run the Place? He worked dark match segments on both Monday and Tuesday last week, missed this weekend’s house shows and now is advertised for both SmackDown Live events early this week - the house show tonight (Aug. 29) and tomorrow’s televised one from Dallas.

Of course, he could only work after the cameras stop rolling for USA Network on Tuesday, too, just as he did last week.

Cena is unlikely to be able to work, Backlash, the first SmackDown-only pay-per-view (PPV) on Sept. 11 due to commitments for WWE in China which were set before the brand-split Sunday events were announced. It’s possible he’s being kept off Tuesday television because they want to spend the time building matches which will actually happen when that show airs in less than two weeks.

Are they also working on a larger storyline? Will his American Grit absence be part of that angle? Can we finally expect to see a humbled and human Cena? Who will he be working with between Backlash and his exit, presumably after No Mercy? Is there any chance this leads to the long dreamed of (at least by smarks) heel turn?

While we wait to see if he shows up on TV tomorrow night, start fantasy booking, Cagesiders.

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