According to a July 4 report from Cageside Seats, Roman Reigns is replacing John Cena on the WWE's upcoming three-day tour of Australia. Cena, 37, was advertised for the shows, but he has been replaced by Reigns for reasons that weren't made public. The tour sees the WWE coming through Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in early-August, before returning back to the United States for an episode of Monday Night Raw on Aug. 11.
Cena isn't injured, so the reason that he won't be in Australia is likely that the WWE wants him to be fresh for his SummerSlam showdown with Brock Lesnar. Cena is expected to battle Lesnar in the SummerSlam main event, so the WWE probably wants him to have a little break in order to put on a great show for the fans on hand for the match. What should WWE take away from the announcement that Reigns is replacing Cena on the tour?
First of all, the WWE could be using the upcoming Australian tour as a bit of a test for Reigns, to check how far his star power has come. He's not yet on Cena's level as far as selling tickets and being a top draw at the box office, but he's slowly getting there. Ever since Seth Rollins broke up The Shield by cracking Reigns in the back with a steel chair, the 29-year-old has been getting a major push as the WWE's top babyface besides Cena.
Since Cena is almost a decade older than Reigns, this move could be viewed as the first step in a changing of the guard as far as who the WWE wants as the face of their promotion. Cena might not have many years left as an elite wrestler, as the body tends to break down in the late-30s. Reigns, at 29, is still in his wrestling prime, so the WWE could be using this experience to see how he can handle the pressure of carrying a main event on his own.
Cena is the current WWE champion, but Reigns is the wave of the future. If he's able to carry the upcoming main events in Australia, the WWE would know they have a major superstar on their hands. Reigns has the opportunity to elevate his status to the next level now that he's a singles star, so it's completely up to him to live up to the hype. Besides Reigns, The Wyatt Family, Sheamus, Cesaro, Rob Van Dam, The Miz and Kane are expected to appear at all three of the WWE's upcoming Australian tour dates.