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It’s been a pretty tumultuous year already for the WWE. While the company definitely had success with this year’s WrestleMania taking place in the massive AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, things haven’t gone so well from week to week with Monday Night Raw, which has seen some truly horrific ratings at times. But we can expect next week’s episode to see a definite spike in viewers, as that’s when superstar John Cena will finally and officially return to the squared circle.
You can’t see him…yet, but on Monday night, John Cena will undoubtedly make a shitload of fans go berserk when his theme song hits and he steps out from behind the curtains. (Unless, as it happened with The Rock’s return, half of it takes place backstage before the in-arena reveal.) Cena has been a fan favorite for just about as long as he’s been fighting, and he’s easily one of the most popular wrestlers still working. Now he’ll just need to stay healthy long enough for that “still working” aspect to go on for many more years.
Cena has been absent from the ring for all of 2016 (minus his appearance at WrestleMania 32) due to an injury to his shoulder. His last fight was against Alberto Del Rio in December 2015, and he underwent surgery on his shoulder at the beginning of January. And as he points out in his tweet, the rehabilitation period for that surgery was supposed to be nine months, but it should surprise exactly no one that John Cena’s body is capable of healing up faster than modern medicine would have us believing. I bet his shoulder is even better now, and probably has Bluetooth capabilities and WiFi or something.
It makes sense that Cena would choose to head back to Raw on Memorial Day. The wrestler’s first big acting gig was in the movie The Marine, which bled into his military-themed onscreen attire at the time. As well, he’s the host of the Fox reality series American Grit, in which a group of soldiers from different military backgrounds are split into different teams and given different challenges that definitely put those people through some physical duress.
Cena, who only last year got his nose broken in the middle of a Raw match, is one of the biggest bankable names that the WWE still has going for it. And considering popular wrestlers like Daniel Bryan and Sting have retired recently, the company assumedly wants to keep a tight hold on everyone they have left. Getting Cena back to championship storylines will probably keep him around for quite a while.
Watch the return of John Cena when Monday Night Raw airs Monday, May 30, at 8 p.m. ET.