For the first time in more than 15 years, John Cena did not wrestle on a single WWE pay-per-view in 2019. The 16-time former world champion has been hard at working building up his acting career in Hollywood, so outside of a small handful of matches in January and a surprise appearance at WrestleMania 35, Cena was nowhere to be seen on WWE television. But with WrestleMania 36 scheduled to take place in Tampa (the city Cena calls home) in April, reports have already started popping up of Cena getting involved in a match at the show. He appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week to promote his next upcoming film, Dolittle, and discussed his potential future with WWE.
"This is the first time in 15 years, or maybe more, that I haven't been on a WWE scheduled pay-per-view in a calendar year. So this is the first big transition.... I've officially moved elsewhere, I'm not a regular player. WWE is still my heart. I'm still apart of the family. I still keep in touch with a lot of folks. I try my best to teach and mentor and help when I can. But man, I'm 42.
I've been proud of the effort I've put forth, and I just want to make sure I never am in a position where paying customers look at the effort and say, 'Eh, he's sticking around cause he's greedy.'"
Cena said his involvement would entirely depend on what idea Vince McMahon has for him.
"I always like for them to give me ideas and then me kind of make it my own. I know we have have a small, large event called WrestleMania around the corner. It just so happens to be in Tampa. That's kinda where I live, so I'll be in the neighborhood. Suicide Squad should be done. But it's not like I call someone up and be like, 'I wanna be in WrestleMania.' Those spots are very coveted. There are performers that work all year, 250 shows a year, to earn those spots. I would love to earn one of those spots."
Cena confirmed he's currently filming James Gunn's upcoming DC film The Suicide Squad. Along with Dolittle, Cena's 2020 films include Project X-Traction and Fast & Furious 9.
One person who has already pitched a match with Cena at Mania is Randy Orton, though he shot that down during a Sports Illustrated interview.0comments
"I wasn't even aware of that," Cena said. "I never make the matches, I'm just grateful to be able to perform in WWE. Every day away from it, I miss it more and more and more. I'm becoming more honest with myself about how much I miss it. I'm very eager to get back into a WWE ring soon.
"And on the subject of WrestleMania, I can tell you this — I haven't missed a WrestleMania since my first appearance at WrestleMania 19, and I do not plan to miss a WrestleMania for decades to come."