News On SmackDown Live Attendance Beating WWE RAW, John Cena Not At SmackDown Live Tonight, More

John Cena is not listed by WWE for tonight's SmackDown Live, so it appears as if his match at WrestleMania this past Sunday was his last WWE appearance for the next several months. As noted, Cena will be taking time away to work on movies and other outside projects. His fiancee, Nikki Bella, is also off the road and is expected to only wrestle occasionally in the future.

Both Cena and Nikki have been removed from all WWE live events and pay-per-views through the summer. As of this writing, Cena is not listed for SummerSlam on Sunday, August 20th.

It will be interesting to see what changes are made to the SmackDown roster with Cena's absence. Dave Meltzer reported in a recent edition of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter that SmackDown live events actually outdrew RAW in January and February after Cena's return during Christmas. Before Cena's return, Meltzer noted that "Raw was killing Smackdown in attendance."

For January, average domestic live attendance was 3,169 for RAW and 3,695 for SmackDown, so SmackDown topped RAW by 17%. In February, SmackDown averaged 4,498 in live event attendance, beating RAW by a whopping 30%, which averaged 3,450 that month.

RAW had a big advantage in television taping attendance in January, averaging 7,760 fans, beating SmackDown's average of 4,580 by 69%. By February, SmackDown television taping attendance slightly edged out RAW averaging 8,625 fans compared to RAW's 8,600.

Samantha Mary Norris contributed to this article.


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