After initial reports diagnosed John Cena with an elbow injury in late August that would sideline the superstar for the next 4-to-6 months, it was announced on Monday Night Raw that Cena would be returning no more than two months later to face world heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio for the championship at the WWE Hell in the Cell pay-per view.
Now lets get this out of the way first, Cena will have his critics and he will have his supporters. Personally, I fall somewhere in between. But it truly is incredible that Cena is returning after two months from an injury that was meant to sideline him for six months. The original plan for Cena’s return was for the superstar to re-emerge at the Royal Rumble pay-per view.
Clearly, that is no longer the case.
To be honest, Cena’s return can not come any sooner for WWE. In the two months that Cena has been absent from WWE programming, the product has grown stale. The bottom-line is Cena generates interest in the product regardless of his reputation among the WWE universe.
His feud with Del Rio should be interesting. It is possible that WWE implements the same return strategy for Cena that they did with CM Punk in the summer. While it was confirmed nearly a month before WWE Payback that Punk would be returning at that pay-per view, the superstar did not appear on WWE television until the aforementioned pay-per view.
That strategy is successful. It proved it was when the anticipation and reaction from the Chicago crowd at WWE Payback for Punk was something that will likely not be matched again.
Cena likely will not generate the same reaction at the Hell in the Cell pay-per view, but the anticipation for his return will seemingly grow to tremendous lengths in the next three weeks.