Following a fortnight of speculation on the subject, WWE have confirmed that John Cena will not be participating in the 2019 Royal Rumble.
The official line on the subject is that Cena suffered an ankle injury at the hands of Drew McIntyre during the number 1 contender's Fatal-4-Way. Last week's episode of Raw had hinted his participation was in doubt, but WWE have waited until hours before the show to officially confirm the news.
The real story behind the withdrawal is slightly more complicated however, as it details Lars Sullivan and his recent disappearance from the main roster. The original plan had been to have Lars Sullivan attack Cena backstage at the show and take his spot, this would then lead to a match between the two at WrestleMania - Cena being rumoured to be putting the newcomer over.
However with Sullivan's health problems and sabbatical from WWE, the company have shelved the plans entirely. Cena was legitimately unable to attend the PPV in any capacity, as filming for his latest projects starts today elsewhere in the country.
Whether or not this scuppers the Cena/Sullivan plans at WrestleMania plans entirely remains to be seen, but it does now present WWE with a slot to fill at tonight's Royal Rumble.