Friday, June 3, 2011

In Depth Profile: John Cena

This column is NOT designed to rip and tear at John Cena, though there are plenty of other columns who do and have in the past. Mine is to put some perspective behind some of the negativity and, perhaps, toss in a little something extra to chew on later.

I don't dislike John Cena; in fact, I understand he's a high class guy with loads of off camera charisma with fans. An important tool in a champion's playbook is that, along with knowing which outlets into which to channel that charisma and that, too, John has in spades. My complaints are NOT with John, or with how he chooses to showcase what talents there are. My problem is how his handlers choose to utilize him.

Allow me to use a classic example....Cena vs. Edge in a TLC match. Both go through about 20+ minutes of in ring hell and then, the night after, no less, he walks out on RAW with barely a limp. There is such a thing as selling an injury, even if you're not injured. All I'm saying is that if you've gone through a life altering event like that, you get something to show for it. NO ONE goes into a 20 minute match of ANY KIND and comes away unscathed. Soreness and banged up muscles take some time to mend and a match like that takes even longer.

I watched some old tape of John back in ROH and Ohio Valley Wrestling and, truth be told, the man can work a great match, but you'd never know it judging by the limited moveset he's been given to play with. If you can imagine a game where the players aren't allowed to use ANY word with the letter 'E' in it. Since almost everything has that letter in it, you're cut down to only a small amount of words to toy around with. Cena's moveset is so limited, one can easy determine which move is coming next. The fact that no one has caught on, to me, is short-sighted. It makes his opponents look stupid and weak. 

When his matches are booked, he takes on heavy beating and then pulls off one of his 2 finishers and suddenly the match is over, even though he's taken the whooping of a lifetime. WWE has been INCREDIBLY bad about booking this turn of events. Fact is, there are truly only 2 ways to salvage Cena's credibility. 

1. Give him a losing streak.
2. Turn him ULTRA heel.

WWE has no interest in either one of these options as his persona negates either one. He never backs down and never gives up and, in almost every booking, he never loses....save for certain title matches, which inevitably end with him winning it back anyway. Additionally, that kind of persona CAN'T be a bad guy. Stranger things have happened, ask Hulk Hogan, but unless one of those things happens, all we will ever see is Super Cena.

For the record, my favorite match Cena was ever in was with RVD at the first One Night Stand back in '05. WWE couldn't fool the true wrestling fans in the arena that night. Fans held up signs that read "IF CENA WINS, WE RIOT". Vince and company had no choice but to bow to the wishes of the fans and shortly thereafter, RVD stood holding TWO belts in victory. If John Cena were ever to leave WWE, TNA would be out of their minds not to sell just about everything to get him. because, as WWE knows already, despite what anyone complains about....CENA SELLS.

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