Having put a difficult 2015 behind them, the WWE were hoping that 2016 would see a return to better times and higher ratings.
Unfortunately, just one week into the New Year, those ambitions have hit a major roadblock after the organization was dealt the cruelest of blows today.
That's after John Cena tweeted out some devastating injury news overnight - news that could very well have big implications for April's WrestleMania 32.
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Taking to social media, the WWE's biggest draw revealed he is heading for surgery in the coming days:
With Cena having only made his return to in-ring action in the final week of 2015 after a two-month sabbatical, the news is a devastating blow for the WWE Universe.
And, although unconfirmed by the WWE themselves at this time, reports today suggest the injury is so severe that Cena will be unable to take part in a match at WrestleMania 32.
Cena hasn't missed a 'Mania since WrestleMania 19, and with the WWE hoping to break records at this year's event at Dallas' AT&T Stadium his likely absence throws their plans into turmoil.
Having witnessed first hand the negative impact Cena's two-month spell away from the ring had on proceedings late in 2015, the WWE hierarchy will be cursing their luck.
As for the immediate future, the WWE and its fans will simply be wishing one of the company's most loyal wrestlers a speedy recovery.
WWE fans: Can WWE cope without Cena, and who will step up in his absence? Have your say on the shock news in the comments below...
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