What's the story?
According to WWE, Cena's absence from the Rumble match is due to an injury he sustained two weeks ago on Monday Night Raw.
In case you didn't know...
Cena attempted to earn a Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar by competing in a fatal four-way with Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Finn Balor on the January 14 edition of Raw.
The injury to Cena's left ankle occurred when McIntyre used the ankle lock submission during the main event.
The heart of the matter
Cena's injury claim was disputed shortly after WWE made the announcement last week. The Wrestling Observer reported that Cena was never going to wrestle on the show and that it was a work from the very start.
The goal behind pulling Cena from the show and announcing the injury was for WWE to use his star power to boost ticket sales for Chase Field - the home of the 2019 Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
Cena has three film projects that are currently in pre-production and the belief is that the injury claim was used to write him off WWE programming.
WWE released the following statement on Cena's absence from the 2019 Rumble match:
As first revealed on WWE Now this afternoon, John Cena will not compete in the Men's Royal Rumble Match tonight due to his ankle injury.
The Cenation Leader was unable to sufficiently recover in time for tonight's 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, and has been ruled out of the bout as a result.
There was also a rumor that Lars Sullivan was supposed to attack Cena backstage to take him out of the Rumble match prior to the show tonight, but the plan was canceled due to Lars' anxiety attack.
Cena is still scheduled to appear at WrestleMania and is rumored to be facing Sullivan or McIntyre.
If the company is setting up a match between Cena and McIntyre, the injury angle may be the first step in building a program between the two.Published 28 Jan 2019, 02:19 IST