John Cena has been absent from SmackDown Live for over a month now, and he once again will not be on tonight’s show. So where exactly is Cena, and when is he going to return?
Cena is on a WWE hiatus right now. As with most of Cena’s hiatuses, he left the WWE in order to go to Hollywood. He’s currently filming The Pact, an upcoming comedy also starring Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz.
According to PWInsider, filming for The Pact began on April 19th and it concludes on June 9th. Cena is one of the film’s main characters, and so he will likely be needed until the last day of filming, and therefore we know that his hiatus will at the very least last for another month.
So will Cena be back in June, or will he be out for even longer than that? That remains unclear, but Cageside Seats is now reporting that the WWE may have reached out to Cena asking if he would be interested in making some sporadic SmackDown Live appearances before he’s ready to come back full time.
It makes sense why the WWE might reach out to Cena like that, as the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has previously reported that during the months of January and February, after John Cena returned, SmackDown Live actually started outselling Raw.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer also recently reported that SmackDown Live‘s ratings “dropped noticeably” once audiences realized that John Cena was on a hiatus.
During John Cena’s most recent hiatus from the WWE, he left in order to film his TV series American Grit. That hiatus lasted from October 9th through December 27th; if Cena’s post-WrestleMania hiatus is to last as long as that one did, he would be due for a return in late June.
The last John Cena appearance on WWE programming was at WrestleMania 33, when he proposed to his girlfriend, Nikki Bella, in the ring.