John Cena made it clear during his most recent Monday Night Raw appearance that he didn't know when he'd be back in a WWE ring again. The 16-time former world champion last competed in a SmackDown dark match at Madison Square Garden in September 2021, weeks after losing to Roman Reigns in the main event of that year's SummerSlam. His busy acting career has played a key role in why his wrestling career has slowed down, but Cena has consistently insisted that he is not retired. 2022 will mark the first year since 2002 that Cena has not competed in at least one match.
According to WrestleVotes via GiveMeSport, that will change in 2023. The insider reported this week that Cena is expected to be present at WrestleMania 39 on April 1-2 in Inglewood (Los Angeles), California and "should be wrestling."
"I know he touches base every so often, and although Vince is out of the picture, Cena still has a love for this place. John Cena and Triple H have a respect for each other," the insider stated.
John Cena as The Next Rock?
The report also noted that Cena is looking to become "the next Rock." Ironically, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is heavily rumored to be in the main event of next year's WrestleMania against Reigns.
"WrestleMania is still WrestleMania and it's in Los Angeles. If Cena is legitimately trying to be 'the next Rock' you should perform at WrestleMania in Hollywood, and I think he'll be there and I think it'll be wrestling. I'll leave it at that," they said.
Rock and Cena's rivalry spanned three WrestleManias in the early 2010s, resulting in Johnson beating Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII before dropping the WWE Championship to him at WrestleMania 29 a year later. Cena would later apologize for comments he made publicly about Johnson and his part-time status with WWE.
"I'm sorry and I was wrong," Cena said back in 2018 while promoting Bumblebee. "That's the best thing I can do. I think my gripes were legitimate inside the WWE Universe. The WWE Universe is so dedicated and so fanatical, that they're giving me the same comments that I once gave Dwayne Johnson. Because every Monday, now moving to Friday, when they turn on the TV, that's their lives. That's the thing they follow the most... And if you're not there every Monday, as a viewer -- especially since I've been with you guys for 15 years — you feel offended. Especially since before, I was like, 'hey, man, where did you go?' This is a very tough balancing act, and it's one when I called out Dwayne, I called him out because of ignorance."