FATP: The John Cena Problem

It’s that time of the week where I bring you lucky readers of PWMania.com my views from across the pond. Thanks for all the great feedback on last week’s article. It’s greatly appreciated. I’m getting new followers every day on Twitter. If you’re on there and want to follow me, my handle is @georgec1982.

This week, I wanted to discuss the one problem with WWE’s programming and main-event scene. You can probably guess that the person I’m talking about is John Cena. Now, I want to start off by saying that I’m not a fan of John Cena, but I respect everything he’s done for the business. The problem is that his character is more stale than it’s ever been.

If you take away his feuds with Rock and Punk, when was the last time that Cena cut an effective promo? I can’t remember. Maybe it’s because I’m over the age of 11 and Cena does nothing for me. You’re probably going to expect me to rip into him at this point. Alas my friends, that’s not true.

As limited as his in-ring work is, he can work a great match. All you need to do is watch his match with CM Punk from last year’s Money in the Bank PPV. Cena worked his ass off in that main-event and arguably carried the match as much as Punk did. The problem is that he doesn’t do it enough.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times that Cena has had his ass handed to him for 15-20 minutes and then within 2-3 minutes, he hulks up, hits his 5 moves of doom, connects with the Attitude Adjustment, locks in the STF and that’s it. Match over. It’s not realistic and it’s not believable!

Hey Vince, it’s OK for your poster child to lose a match clean every so often! You force him down our throats so much that there’s no way that the kids will stop buying his merch or coming to your shows. Gimmick infringement coming…

DID YOU KNOW? – The last time John Cena lost a match clean by pinfall before WrestleMania 28 was in London, England 5 years ago.

Yes, that’s right. Cena’s last clean pinfall loss (no run-ins, interference, DQ’s, count-outs or gimmick matches) was against Shawn Michaels at a RAW taping in England where they went at it for 60 minutes man-to-man.

I know that CM Punk pinned him at Money in the Bank, but there was a run-in (albeit a failed one) by Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis.

I know that you want to present your top stars as dominant, but it’s insulting to the fans to have Cena go over EVERY single wrestler on the roster without losing clean. It insults the intelligence of the fans and it’s disrespectful.

So, since I’ve basically put over the problem with John Cena, how would I solve it? There’s a few things I’d do.

The first thing I’d do is to freshen up his character and make him a lot edgier than he is right now. CM Punk’s babyface turn has proved that you can still be controversial and be an effective babyface, as well as get over with the crowd. Why can’t Cena do it? He’s talented enough, he’s good on the mic and he can work a match. Let him be creative, please, for the love of God!

The second thing I’d do is I’d have Lesnar whoop his ass on Sunday at Extreme Rules. Hear me out. If Cena loses against Brock 4 weeks after his loss at Miami, it creates drama. In fact, I’d have Brock beat Cena so badly that he needs to be written off TV for 2-3 months. Writing him off TV gives us a lot of different options.

First of all, it gives CM Punk the chance to work without the ever-looming shadow of SuperCena over his shoulder. At this point, WWE’s ratings are pretty constant around the 3.0 mark, so they don’t really have anything to lose by taking Cena off the broadcast. People aren’t going to stop watching because John’s not on the show and they’re certainly not gonna stop buying his merchandise.

Secondly, it gives John a rest. He must be dying for a few months off. He works pretty much every day, between live events and promotional work. John never bitches and moans about the fact he’s on the road for 300+ days a year, he does it because he genuinely loves the business.

Thirdly, it gives John the chance to reinvent his character. Like I said before, I’m not saying that he has to turn heel (but it’d be frickin awesome!!), I just want something fresh. We’ve heard the same shtick, seen the same moves and heard the same entrance music for almost 7 years now. It’s boring. The only thing that’s changed about Cena in that time is the colour of his ring gear!

I said when I started this piece that I wasn’t a John Cena fan and that’s true, but that doesn’t mean I dislike him personally. How could I? I don’t know the guy. I strongly dislike his current character and I think that it’s in need of a change. The time is now! (Haha.. See what I did there? Funny, huh?)

OK guys, so it’s that time again where I provide you with the Wrestling Throwback of the week. This week’s selection comes to us from, well, me actually! I wrote a column for www.bleacherreport.com at the weekend discussing my top 5 WWE promos of all time. Check it out here if you’ve not seen it already!

The one video that stood out to me involves one half of the WrestleMania 27 main-event, The Miz. It’s his entrance video from the event, where the song they used for it was “Hate me Now” by Nas.

I chose that video because the production was slick and I actually felt that it was a massive f*ck you from Miz to all of his haters that said he’d never make it. Well guess what, he did, and he beat the leader of the Fruity Pebble Brigade to retain his title. Congratulations Miz, you earned it! Here’s the vid.

That’s all from me this week. Remember, if you want a video of your choice highlighted in the Wrestling Throwback section, send me a tweet @georgec1982 and I’ll put it in next week’s column.

As always guys, thanks for reading and I’ll see ya back here next week!