John Cena had been a part of WrestleMania in some capacity since making his WWE debut.
WrestleMania 37 was an event of several historic and memorable moments, including the first main event matchup between two African-American athletes in WrestleMania history, the first WWE event to be held in front of a ticketed live audience since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and even the first WrestleMania rain delay.
But there was another WrestleMania fact that you may not have noticed during the two-day event. It’s not that you couldn’t see John Cena; he wasn’t present at all on either day of the card.
That may not sound like a big deal, but it’s worth noting that Cena — the former longtime face of the company and 16-time world champion — had been a constant presence at WrestleMania throughout his career.
And this marks the first time that he’s been absent from the show since WrestleMania X8 in 2002 — which was about three months prior to his June 27, 2002 debut.
The first WrestleMania to not feature John Cena since 2002.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) April 12, 2021
John Cena had been a constant figure at WrestleMania for WWE…until WrestleMania 37
After spending his first WrestleMania appearance — WrestleMania XIX in 2003 — rapping at cardboard cutouts of Jay-Z and Fabolous, Cena made his in-ring WrestleMania debut the next year by defeating Big Show to win the WWE United States Championship.
At WrestleMania 21 in 2005, Cena defeated JBL to start his first WWE Championship reign and begin a streak of seven straight years in which he was a participant in a WWE Championship or World Heavyweight Championship matchup at WrestleMania.
Cena then headlined WrestleMania 28 in a “Once in a Lifetime” matchup with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson…only for the two to then headline again the following year with the WWE Championship on the line.
Cena would not main event WWE’s “Showcase of the Immortals” anymore following that but would take part in notable matchups with Bray Wyatt, Rusev (aka Miro in AEW) and The Miz and Maryse (alongside his then-girlfriend Nikki Bella, who he’d propose to following the match), as well as an infamously short matchup with The Undertaker.
Cena missed WrestleMania 32 due to injury but still made an appearance assisting Johnson and spent WrestleMania 35 dissing Elias in an in-ring segment.
Cena competed on night two of WrestleMania 36, losing to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Funhouse Match.
Cena had been wrestling less frequently in the past few years and hasn’t wrestled since the Firefly Funhouse Match. But his lack of appearance at WrestleMania at all may have solidified, if it hadn’t been already, that Cena will make special appearances only when it comes to WWE.
Cena was name-dropped at WrestleMania 37, however, when Bayley told Nikki Bella that Cena wasn’t here — which earned her a slap in the face.
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