With WWE: Tables, Ladders and Chairs — and the big shocker on WWE Raw the night after WWE TLC — out of the way, the WWE Universe turn their attention to WWE Royal Rumble 2016 and the annual "Road to WrestleMania." With Roman Reigns being the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and John Cena set to return before the Rumble, could WWE be building towards Roman Reigns vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 32?

The exact return date of Cena is still unclear, but as Wrestle Zone reported, an image of a Royal Rumble poster featuring Cena has been making it's way all over the web.

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Many thought Cena would return at WWE TLC, but that didn't happen. He is scheduled to return before the Rumble, and Reigns will likely grant Sheamus a rematch that night.

John Cena has participated in seven different Rumble Matches so far, and the WWE's top prize has been up for grabs almost every year.

Taking a look at Cena's Rumble statistics and the history of the World Championship at the Rumble, are we likely to see Roman Reigns defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena at WrestleMania 32?

John Cena in the Royal Rumble Match

John Cena first appeared in the Royal Rumble Match in 2003, while still a fresh face in the company. He rapped his way to the ring, but he took so long that the following entrant (Rob Van Dam) attacked him and threw him in the ring.

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To his credit, he lasted almost 20 minutes. The next year, he was the face on WWE's official Royal Rumble poster. He was in the match for less than eight minutes, and finished his second consecutive year without eliminating any of his opponents.

Cena was the last man eliminated in 2005, after eliminating three men himself.

The leader of the Cenation was competing for the WWE Championship for the next two years. When he made his fourth appearance in the Royal Rumble Match in 2008, he managed to eliminate four competitors en route to winning the match, having entered at #30. 

His next foray into WWE's annual battle royale extravaganza happened in 2010. He entered at #19, eliminated four other men, and ended up being the last man eliminated. In 2011, the only year that had forty entrants, Cena eliminated seven guys before being eliminated by The Miz.

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Two years later, John Cena would win the Royal Rumble Match to earn the chance to face Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at WrestleMania 29

That was Cena's last Rumble Match entry. He was busy fighting for the WWE Championship in 2013 and 2014. John Cena's overall Royal Rumble Match statistics are impressive. The only person to have more than two Rumble Match victories is Steve Austin. He cracks the Top 15 for most eliminations in a single Rumble (7), is ranked No.

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8 in most cumulative eliminations (22) and is tied at No. 15 for most Royal Rumble Match appearances (7).

In four of Cena's last five Royal Rumble Matches, he's been one of the last two men remaining at the end. If he pulls a number from this year's lottery, he will likely be the odds on favorite. 

WWE Championship Matches at the Royal Rumble

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship (and previously, the WWE Championship and WWF Championship) has been defended at the Royal Rumble twenty four times. Of course, Roman Reigns has never been involved in a title match at WWE's January classic. Sheamus has only competed for the belt at Royal Rumble on one occasion. Five years ago, at Royal Rumble 2010, Sheamus walked in with the WWE Championship and walked out with it as well after defeating challenger Randy Orton by disqualification.

There is a distinct advantage to being the champion at the Royal Rumble. Including a draw between champion Diesel and Bret Hart in 1995, and two disqualification victories, the WWE Champion has successfully retained their title 18 out of the 24 contests. That gives Roman Reigns a 75% chance of beginning the Road to WrestleMania as the man to beat.

WWE Royal Rumble 2016 -- featuring John Cena, among many others -- takes place January 24 at 8/7c.

[Image via Twitter]

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