Professional Wrestling star John Cena is set to make his big return to WWE "SmackDown Live" soon. The former United States and World Heavyweight Champion will be arriving back just ahead of the "Royal Rumble" pay-per-view, which has fans excited over the possibilities. So when exactly will John Cena be returning to the ring and what's next for the pro wrestling star in terms of the championship picture? Here's the latest WWE news regarding Cena and his announced return to "SmackDown Live" in the coming weeks.

Where has Cena been?

The WWE star has been involved in recent entertainment projects. Cena was away from the wrestling ring to film his "American Grit' television series.

In addition, he just recently hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live," making his first appearance ever as host of the sketch comedy show. Cena also unveiled a new movie he's starring in called "The Wall" involving a military survival story. All those things kept him super busy and made him unable to keep up with the busy schedule of the professional wrestling world.

'SmackDown' return date

On Tuesday's episode of "SmackDown Live," they officially announced Cena's return date. The former champion is expected back on the TV program on Tuesday, December 27th, 2016. Only an appearance was announced for Cena, with no details of any matches.

Another match announced during the show involves current WWE World Heavyweight champion AJ Styles.

He'll defend his championship on the same night that Cena returns, but against a top contender. It will either be Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Dean Ambrose or Luke Harper, depending on who wins a big No. 1 contender's match on "SmackDown."

What's next for John Cena?

As mentioned, John Cena returns to the "SmackDown" episode right before the big "Royal Rumble" pay-per-view.

So far only a few names have been entered into the big 30-man match as seen on WWE's "Monday Night Raw" program. Goldberg was the first to enter, followed by Brock Lesnar. However, many fans and wrestling analysts believe that Cena will enter and could be a favorite to win the big match again.

It's also believed that Cena will end up challenging either AJ Styles or The Undertaker at "WrestleMania 33" in April of 2017.

A lot will be determined based on what happens in the coming weeks at the "Royal Rumble" and any other pay-per-views involving the "SmackDown Live" roster. Stay tuned to find out what's next for the popular WWE star!

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