John Cena, in his ongoing quest to become Wolverine, is returning months early from a torn triceps. Last night on Raw, Vickie Guerrero announced that he will return less than three weeks from now at Hell in a Cell for a title shot at World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
Yes, really. Cena followed up the announcement with this Tweet:
Cena's initial prognosis was that he'd be out for four to six months, hopefully returning in time for the Royal Rumble. His appearances on the Christmas week house shows were all being advertised as "special appearances" instead of matches because theoretically, he wasn't going to be ready yet. Now, as if by magic, his return has been announced for a match less than two and a half months after surgery.
This is at least the second time he's come back early from a serious injury and surgery. In early October 2007, he suffered a complete tear of his pectoralis major muscle and had to vacate the WWE Championship.
His prognosis was six months to a year of recovery with him missing WrestleMania 24. He returned in less than four months to win the Royal Rumble. A neck injury the following year was feared to be career threatening, but a minimally invasive procedure was successful and he was back in three months.
Unless he's absolutely 100 percent, or at least as close to that as a wrestler could be, he should not come back. He has a history of returning early from injuries and/or working on them too long before getting them treated, and should avoid anything that could lead to him repeating that dangerous cycle.
Plus, not to trivialize the injury, but...he's returning to face Alberto Del Rio in a match with no real storyline attached to it? Really? I don't know if WWE is scared of Hell in a Cell flopping with the third Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton match as headliner after the last two PPV finishes or what, but it's not the best use of his return.
If by some chance WWE books Big Show vs. Triple H on the same show (which is at least possible, there's no way they're dragging it out much longer after this past Monday), then there's really no point in him returning for that. If they book that match, they're better off giving Cena the time off and putting Cody Rhodes or someone like that against Del Rio.
If they wanted to bring back the Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow feud, Rhodes winning the title and Sandow cashing in Money in the Bank would be one way to do it, but realistically Rhodes is past that now. I guess they could also be bringing back Cena for an angle where he's used to get over Sandow, which would be a good way to build him back up after his recent losing streak.
Well, there is another possibility not related to the booking of the return itself: The injury wasn't quite as serious as projected, and WWE fudged with the timeline to make Cena seem superhuman.
PWTorch.com's James Caldwell noted last night during Raw that, as he pointed out in August, WWE.com reported the injury was a partial triceps tear while Cena made it seem like a full tear. I've heard less plausible ideas, but it would unlike Cena's doctor, world renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, to give a fake recovery time publicly.
At any rate, I don't really like any of these options. What does everyone else think?