Curiouser and curiouser...
John Cena has a match on SmackDown against Shinsuke Nakamura tonight (Aug. 1) with big kayfabe implications, but some advertising from WWE may be giving us clues to what he will and won’t be doing in the near future.
We already knew the “free agent” was advertised for No Mercy, the Sept. 24 Raw brand pay-per-view (PPV) in Los Angeles. Dig a little deeper in the list of advertised Superstars on shows between now into the Fall, as Wrestling Inc. did, and you’ll see that Cena may be representing the red brand earlier and more often.
The 16 time WWE champ isn’t advertised for a televised SmackDown after Tuesday, Aug. 15 - the “go home” show for SummerSlam. After that date, it’s all Monday nights and Raw PPVs, which doesn’t really point to the Ce-Nation leader picking up World title #17 in Brooklyn. Unless there’s going to be a major Superstar Shake-Up sending whoever’s holding the Universal title on Aug. 21 to the blue brand.
This doesn’t appear to be some scheduling anomaly or glitch, either. On the house show circuit, Cena’s jumping to Raw even earlier. The only non-televised SmackDown he’s advertised for this month is Aug. 14; everything else is with the other brand.
None of which accounts for the American Grit and Today host’s busy schedule doing other television and film projects, including a just announced role in the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, one of his highest profile Hollywood gigs to date. Cena’s just back from a hiatus to work in non-wrestling roles outside the WWE umbrella, and another absence is probably right around the corner.
Does a move to Raw signal Vince McMahon’s decided to start building to a big WrestleMania showdown with Roman Reigns as soon as possible? Is the Nakamura match getting crossed off the to-do list because Cena soon won’t be on the same show as the King of Strong Style? What do these plans tell us about tonight, and SummerSlam?
Speculate away, Cagesiders.