John Cena has been the top star in WWE for over a decade. He has been a durable workhorse for that entire time, so it was pretty startling to check on his 2016 match statistics from CageMatch.net to see that he has only wrestled in 44 matches in 2016.
I double-checked this number at ProFightDB, and Cena also has 44 matches listed in their database for 2016.
I scanned through each database very carefully and located a few entries that did not agree with each other. CageMatch lacked Cena matches from August 2, October 4, and October 16 that were included at ProFightDB. ProFightDB, meanwhile, was missing Cena matches from June 6, June 13, and July 17 that were included at CageMatch.
So if these three additional matches are added to the list for whichever database you prefer, John Cena may have actually wrestled in 47 matches thus far in 2016. This includes pay-per-view matches (4), televised matches on Raw or SmackDown (8), dark matches after Raw or SmackDown is finished taping (13), and house show matches (22).
Maybe this isn’t the most shocking thing in the world because Cena missed the first five months of 2016 while recovering from injury, outside of a quick cameo at WrestleMania 32. He didn’t officially return to WWE until May 30, 2016. Therefore Cena has wrestled in these 47 matches across a span of just under 5 months.
This begs the question: Is 47 total matches a typical number for John Cena across 5 months?
I looked through the data for Cena at CageMatch and here is his monthly output of matches, going back to 2011:
This table shows that Cena’s 2016 match totals from June through October are indeed at low levels that Cena has never demonstrated since 2011, outside of injuries.
We can scan the table for any 5 consecutive months where Cena wrestled in at least one match each month, and the smallest such sum is these 47 matches from 2016 (the table has Cena at 44 matches for 2016 because it strictly summarizes the data from CageMatch, without incorporating those three extra matches from ProFightDB).
The only occurrences of less than 47 matches across 5 consecutive months require the inclusion of a month that Cena completely missed, such as September 2013 or November 2015.
Even if Cena is given the benefit of rounding and we say that he has only been an active wrestler for 4 months in 2016, it is still really difficult to find a span of 4 consecutive months from 2011 through 2015 where John Cena wrestled in 47 matches or fewer, without including a month where Cena wrestled in under 5 matches.
The 4-month span from July through October 2015 included 46 matches, and that is because John Cena missed most of August with a broken nose. The strongly overlapping period of June through September 2015 included 47 matches.
Outside of that period, we need to include a month where Cena wrestled in either 0, 1, or 3 matches, to find a span of 4 consecutive months where he didn’t amass more than 47 total matches. For example, Cena took some time off due to injury after losing to Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam 2013, and so Cena only wrestled in 6 total matches between August through October 2013.
Cena also missed some time around September and October 2012 with an injury, and it’s at least worth wondering if the fact that he wrestled in an absurdly high 84 matches across the 4 months (May through August) leading in to that period had anything to do with it.
Ultimately, it looks like John Cena has taken on a reduced wrestling schedule in 2016, even after we account for the injury that caused him to miss the first 5 months of the year.
What do you think about this, Cagesiders? Is this what John Cena’s wrestling schedule is going to look like going forward, or will he eventually go back to cranking out those months of 13+ matches on a more frequent basis?