The Latest On John Cena's Possible WWE Return...And It's Big

By Jason Hall

July 9, 2021

"The Road to F9" Global Fan Extravaganza - Arrivals
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There's good news for WWE fans hoping for John Cena's return to the squared circle.

Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer reports WWE has "locked in" a match between Cena and Universal Champion Roman Reigns for the SummerSlam pay-per-view event next month.

Cena, who's made a transition to acting in recent years, reportedly finished filming the upcoming HBO Max series The Peacemaker, but is signed on for Argylle, which is set to begin filming in Europe in August, though its exact start date and/or Cena's filming schedule has not yet been made public.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on June 23 to promote the film F9, Cena acknowledged his inevitable return to wrestling, but claimed "I just don't know when."

Cena also addressed a post on his (notoriously vague) Instagram account of the WWE logo shared in May.

"I was feeling rather nostalgic about the WWE and I just wanted to post the logo," Cena told Fallon. "Some people took it as I was returning immediately, which that's not the case, but I haven't had my last match and I can't wait to have my next one."

Last month, Spectrum Sports' Jon Alba confirmed previous reports that Cena is expected to be WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns' opponent in the main event of the SummerSlam pay-per-view event on August 21.

WrestleVotes initially reported WWE was working toward a Cena-Reigns match headlining the event if possible.

Alba reports Cena's acting schedule will be cleared in the beginning of July, which will coincide with WWE's return to a live event touring schedule, as well as a potential buildup to the SummerSlam match.

Cena missed this year's WrestleMania event, in April due to prior obligations and international travel restrictions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while filming Peacemaker in Vancouver. The 16-time World Champion had never previously missed WWE's biggest annual event since his debut in 2003.

Cena, who was professional wrestling's top superstar throughout his career, was credited for always making a demanding WWE schedule prior to transitioning into an acting career. Since then, he's taken a part-time role with the company, still managing to make sporadic appearances, but hasn't appeared on WWE television since WrestleMania 36 in 2020.

Reigns has served as WWE's franchise player in Cena's absence. The former Georgia Tech football standout has closed out WrestleMania during five of the last seven years, which included retaining the Universal title by defeating Edge and Daniel Bryan in April.

Reigns also acknowledged rumors of possibly working with both Cena and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, while providing a warning to the two box office stars during an appearance on ESPN's SportsNation last week.

“I get this a lot with Dwayne, and then John Cena as well...If I were these guys, I don’t know if I’d want to come back and deal with me," Reigns said. "I’m a problem right now for everybody. So, if I were them, I would stay on set. I’d keep pumping out these streaming service movies. Don’t come to my ring, is what I would do.”

The Rock made his last WWE appearance during SmackDown's 20th anniversary episode and wrestled his last match at WrestleMania 32 (2016), appearing in an impromptu match against then-Wyatt Family member Erick Rowan, which escalated into a brawl that saw Cena run out to assist his fellow wrestler-turned-actor.

The two former World Champions headlined WrestleMania 28 (2012) and WrestleMania 29 (2013) against each other and split victories, with Cena taking the latter match.

Johnson also made his WWE return after a several-year absence in the lead-up to WrestleMania 27 (2011) and served as the event's host, which saw him cost Cena the victory in his main event WWE Championship match against The Miz.

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