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WWE welcomes return of John Cena on Friday Night SmackDown

WWE's ratings are about to shoot through the roof with John Cena confirmed for at least seven Friday Night SmackDown episodes.

Just as John Cena helped make Roman Reigns a more credible champion, he could do the same for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Very few names in wrestling resonate as loudly as John Cena. So, when news of him returning to the WWE breaks out, it is almost guaranteed to blow up. Much more so if the 16-time WWE world champion is making a string of appearances, as is the case over the next few weeks.

The leader of Cenation is making a highly-anticipated return to WWE, lighting up arenas across the United States from September 1 to October 27, from Hershey, Pennsylvania to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cena's return to the squared circle is highlighted by a tag team match with Seth Rollins, the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, against Imperium's Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser at WWE's Superstar Spectacle in Hyderabad, India, on September 8.

As thrilling as it is for wrestling fans, Cena's WWE comeback is shrouded in complexity. The actor-wrestler's reappearance in the wrestling ring coincides with ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes, protesting for better pay in Hollywood. While some suggest that Cena collecting a WWE paycheck during this time is a discordant note in an industry fighting for fair remuneration, others contend that Cena's commitments to WWE were likely inked well before the strikes began. WWE, it should be noted, does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, or any other union.

A 17th title reign for John Cena would help the WWE hit two birds with one stone.

But enough about politics; let's talk the possibilities. Cena's return is more than a temporary headline; it's a Pandora's box of creative opportunities for WWE's booking team.

His legacy as a talent-maker is indisputable, having elevated the likes of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Daniel Bryan to the forefront of WWE's marquee. In his more recent cameos, Cena has lent his considerable clout to emerging talents like Austin Theory and Grayson Waller.

The scorching star of the hour, LA Knight, seems the next logical candidate for the "Cena rub." Knight found himself on the fast track recently catapulted into the WWE universe's adoration with high-profile feuds, stirring matches, as well as his charismatic mic work. Pairing him with Cena, in a storyline or even as a tag team, could seal Knight's place as WWE's next big thing. It wouldn't be a one-way street; Cena, too, would benefit from the younger star's current sky-high popularity.

It's funny how John Cena will now team up with the guy that he feuded with so many years ago.

It's not quite like a feud with The Rock, which LA Knight definitely seems to be building up to, but it's arguably better for his career for this to happen. 

One intriguing storyline dangling in the ether involves Cena, yet to win the Intercontinental Championship, gunning for Imperium's Gunther, the current titleholder. Gunther has been a punishing force in WWE, making him a fitting villain for Cena, a real-life superhero of the wrestling world. The focus of such a feud could elevate the often-overlooked Intercontinental Championship to main event status, a long-overdue spotlight for the prestigious title.

Cena's return also reignites whispers about the elusive 17th world championship reign, a feat that would break Ric Flair's long-standing record. Though Cena himself has played down these rumors, WWE, and by extension, Triple H, wants to rewrite its history books. If Shinsuke Nakamura could exploit Seth Rollins' injured back at Payback, leading to Damian Priest claiming the title through his Money in the Bank contract, could Cena challenge and win, perhaps at an event like Crown Jewel? It's a complicated path for sure, but in the soap opera world of WWE, anything is possible.

John Cena's return should make Friday Night SmackDown's rating shoot up.

On a more heartwarming note, Cena's itinerary will also include hosting Make-A-Wish children and their families at all of his upcoming WWE appearances, further solidifying his role as an exemplary ambassador of the sport. Through the years, Cena has granted more Make-A-Wish requests than anyone else in the non-profit organization's history, an achievement as laudable as any of his championships.

The silver screen's loss is undoubtedly the WWE universe's gain, offering up not just star power but storylines that could ripple through the federation for months, if not years, to come.

It's an eight-week run on paper, but the effects could last for months if not years.

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  1. I haven't been a fan of his since the kid era took over but it is good to see him return. I know a lot of people still love the guy.

Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5954

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time.
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