Veteran WWE Superstar John Cena says he will not be at WrestleMania 37.
Cena just spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote his new Mountain Dew campaign. The former WWE Champion said he cannot make WrestleMania for the first time since WrestleMania 19 in 2003.
Cena is currently in Vancouver to film the Peacemaker series for HBO Max. He noted that he is unable to make it to Tampa for WrestleMania 37, and then back to Canada for filming, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Peacemaker series began filming in mid-January, and Cena says the show will wrap in July. He added that there is no logistical way he can make it to WWE’s biggest show of the year in April.
“Currently, I’m in Vancouver shooting Peacemaker, the series for HBO Max,” Cena said. “Given the quarantine regulations, if I were to leave Canada, upon return I would have to quarantine for another two weeks. Essentially, that would shut production down. Strictly based on the letter of the law right now, there is no logistical way I can be there. We film now until July.”
Cena laughed at the idea that he is now among the group of part-time WWE Superstars that return for the biggest shows of the year.
“What a hypocritical situation,” Cena said, laughing. “I used to be very open about the fact that part-timers were just that, and here I am at 44 years old and I’ve become what I despise, as they say. That is kind of what it is.”
SI noted how it looks like Cena’s return to WrestleMania will be at WrestleMania 38 in Texas in 2022, or at WrestleMania 39 in 2023 in Hollywood. Cena commented on being excited for the Peacemaker series, and reiterated how he won’t be able to make WrestleMania 37. Speculation on Cena’s WrestleMania return began when WWE recently used Cena, and other Superstars, for the promo video that announced the dates and locations for the next three WrestleMania events.
“It’s a wonderful episodic show, and it’s an amazing opportunity,” he said. “It’s a challenge I wanted, and I get to work with awesome people. James Gunn is writing and directing, which is amazing, and it’s something I couldn’t pass up.
“It’s very difficult to say because I know it’s going to be disappointing for a lot of people, but according to the letter of regulation right now, there is no mathematical way I can be at WrestleMania this year.”
It was recently reported that Cena was a “100% lock” for WrestleMania 37 this year. Triple H commented on Cena’s WrestleMania status during a separate interview with Sports Illustrated last month.
“I won’t put words in John’s mouth, but I can speak to his passion, and it’s WWE and WrestleMania,” Triple H said. “Once you do this at a high level, and John does it at the highest, it’s very hard to put down. If there is a way for him to be there, he will be there.”
Cena made his first WrestleMania appearance in 2003, performing a rap. The next year he made his in-ring debut on The Grandest Stage of Them All by defeating Big Show to capture the WWE United States Title in the opening match of WrestleMania 20. Cena has not been seen since losing the Firefly Fun House Match to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 36.