WWE has confirmed that John Cena will not be competing in tonight’s 30-man Royal Rumble match in Phoenix.
The storyline reason is the ankle injury that WWE recently reported on. As we’ve noted, the ankle is just a work and Cena is not legitimately injured. Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that people in WWE creative never expected Cena to work the Rumble.
WWE’s announcement noted that Cena suffered the injury when Drew McIntyre had him in the ankle lock on RAW a few weeks back. They wrote, “The Cenation Leader was unable to sufficiently recover in time for tonight’s 30-Man Royal Rumble Match, and has been ruled out of the bout as a result.”
WWE now has 19 spots advertised for tonight’s 30-man match: R-Truth (at #30), Randy Orton, Titus O’Neil, Rey Mysterio, Mustafa Ali, Andrade, Apollo Crews, Elias, Baron Corbin, Jinder Mahal, WWE Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Big E, Xavier Woods, Jeff Hardy.