In yesterday's post, I once again wrote about my picks to win the 2019 Royal Rumble matches. This week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter may have ended any hope I had in my dark horse - John Cena - winning the men's battle royal.
Dave Meltzer reports - in an article concerning the Rumble and WrestleMania 35 matches - that one of the plans for Mania was to have Lars Sullivan take on John Cena in one of the bouts on the card.
The article notes that Sullivan was due to wrestle a dark match at this week's Raw taping but possibly suffered some sort of anxiety attack and left the building. He was then set to work another dark match before the Smackdown taping, but didn't. He is apparently back home in Colorado.
This obviously puts the Cena match in jeopardy. However, the newsletter's editor points out that the build would have started at the Royal Rumble. Therefore - if it is still on - a spot or angle at the Rumble could be the indicator.
Kambi had a market where customers could wager on who they believed would oppose Cena on April 7th. It last appeared on the sportsbooks' websites in mid-December. Sullivan was not an option.
Sullivan .vs. Cena being booked for WrestleMania, in what would be a battle of the free agents and could have been built across both Raw and Smackdown, evidently means there is a different plan for the WWE Championship and would therefore mean that the chase for Cena's seventeenth title win will happen at a later point.
More importantly, it means that he was unlikely to win the Royal Rumble.
As I've written in recent posts, the next opportunity for a Cena title chase - in my opinion - is once Smackdown is on Fox later this year.