I know John Cena is off in Hollywood, taking a WWE hiatus, and working on films and promoting other projects. But, was it necessary to take him off SmackDown LIVE’s intro?
All teasing aside, social media (somewhat) exploded after a few million WWE fans worldwide noticed that John Cena’s image was taken off the video/music montage opening to SD LIVE. See video below.
Actually, both Cena and fiancé Nikki Bella were axed from the intro, while new Superstar Shakeup talent were added: U.S. Champ Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, Chris Jericho, Charlotte, Jinder Mahal, Tye Dillingers (10! 10! 10! 10!), and Lana.
Is this a sign Cena (and Bella) are never coming back?
I love the tease, but think this means something a little more different and a potentially a little bit bigger. I’m not even sure Creative has anything to do with this, but eliminating a superstar from an intro is huge, especially when one is talking about John Cena; and it simply cannot go unnoticed. And I do think the small act of taking a superstar – especially one at Cena’s level – out of an intro is a deliberate action just to keep the fans guessing and cause a stir on social media; and for once it had nothing to do with nude photo leaks #win-win. Kudos on so many different levels, WWE Creative.
What do I think it means? Some are speculating it is the end of an era, but I don’t think it has anything to do with John (or Nikki) leaving the WWE behind. To be frank, I think it has more to do with a potential of Cena moving to RAW (taking Nikki with him), or him becoming an Undertaker-esque character, where, when he is around, he feuds superstars on both brands, depending on where he is needed.
I also think that as Cena hit his 16-time WWE championship run earlier this year, there may be a potential for him to win a Universal championship at some point, before he exits the company. The title is newly established and with Cena carrying the WWE for so long, prior to Hollywood calling, I do think officials will look for an opportunity for him to snag the title for a run, simply to hit the history books. Anything is possible when it comes to John Cena.
However, despite the speculation, I don’t think Cena nor Bella are gone from the WWE. But, I do think it means that we may be seeing one or both on RAW, come SummerSlam season.