clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

John Cena’s next Hollywood hiatus to reportedly keep him away from WWE until June

CinemaCon 2017 - The CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards Brought To You By The Coca-Cola Company Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Even before the announcement of next week’s “Superstar Shake-Up” between WWE’s Raw and SmackDown brands, we knew the latter show would be without one of its marquee attractions after WrestleMania 33.

That’s because John Cena landed a lead role in a Universal Pictures comedy entitled The Pact. Numerous sites have looked at the “Tickets & Events” section of WWE’s website and local advertising in cities where the blue brand will be holding house shows and filming television to try and determine when the 16 time World champ will be leaving (he’s not advertised for the post-’Mania show tonight (April 4), for instance) and for how long he’ll be gone (he doesn’t appear on promoted cards up through August’s SummerSlam).

PWInsider has zero-ed in on some dates between which there’s very little chance he’ll be working for WWE, however. Filming on The Pact is set to start on April 19 and run though June 9. As one of the main characters in the picture about parents trying to thwart their daughters’ plans to lose their virginity on prom night, expect Cena to be needed for all of those seven weeks. The film is set for release on April 28, 2018.

Whether Cena’s “only” gone for those dates or if he’ll be out all Summer, WWE will need to address the impact he has on SmackDown gates. According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required but recommended), the blue brand’s attendance rose significantly once Cena returned from an American Grit-related absence in late 2016, and even outdrew Raw in February 2017 for both televised and non-televised shows.

There are persistent rumors SmackDown could add a big name from NXT as early as tonight, and there were reports they could pick-up another huge star from Raw in the “Shake-Up”.

Whether or not Cena is on USA Network tonight, the next week should be very interesting.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats