John Cena is set to appear on tonight’s WWE SmackDown, and it seems the former world champion will be sticking around for a while. Cena’s return was announced early last week, with WWE revealing that the Peacemaker actor would show up on tonight’s SmackDown as well as WWE Superstar Spectacle, a live event taking place in India next week.
The company later announced that Cena would actually be returning to WWE for the next seven weeks – a major shift for the performer, who had largely turned to acting in recent years, with his WWE appearances often few and far between. Cena’s impending run is in no doubt due to the ongoing strikes in Hollywood, with both the actors in SAG/AFTRA and the writers in the WGA holding out for better terms from film and TV producers.
A new report from Fightful Select states that Cena’s run has been unexpected on both his and WWE’s part, with things seemingly coming together specifically because the actor had nothing else going on. If the strike were to come to an end soon, Cena’s run would conclude following his advertised dates in October. That certainly seems to imply it’s a possibility that Cena sticks around if the strike continues, but it seems for now an agreement has only been struck for the next seven weeks.
Cena’s most recent onscreen project is the comedy Vacation Friends 2, which debuted on Hulu in August. The former WWE Champion also served as the voice of villain Rocksteady in the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, made a cameo as a merman in Greta Gerwig’s billion-dollar hit Barbie, and played a role in Fast X earlier this year.
Before tonight’s show, Cena’s last WWE appearance was Money in the Bank. There, Cena appeared in front of a United Kingdom crowd and teased a future WWE WrestleMania in the country, prompting discussion among U.K. politicians and more about the possibility. Cena also interacted with Grayson Waller on the show, firing off a promo and delivering an Attitude Adjustment to Waller.
As of now, it’s unknown what exactly Cena’s role will be in the weeks to come, though he has confirmed he will wrestle. Earlier today, a rumor emerged stating that Cena will serve as the host of tomorrow’s WWE Payback premium live event, which could get set up on tonight’s SmackDown.