Tuesday, April 9, 2013

WrestleRap's Opinion: John Cena


Review by WrestleRap columnist David Elliott

Well, another WrestleMania has come and gone, and I can honestly say that although I personally enjoyed the show, I am not surprised by the “Backlash” (pun intended) that the show is receiving. The crowd reactions from WrestleMania and the following night's Raw are clear examples of the reaction of the people. But people are asking themselves, if Raw took place in Wichita, Kansas or Little Rock, Arkansas instead of New Jersey, would the live crowd have sounded or reacted the same way?

John Cena has now been in the WWE for ten years, and the fans have not warmed up to him at all. Yet, the WWE continues to turn a blind eye to his heat and push him as a babyface. Some people may claim it is because of Cena's limited moveset, others claim it is because the WWE pushes Cena over monsters, veterans, and other wrestlers that fans think it's physically illogical for him to defeat in a serious combat. It's even been said that the “Cena sucks” half of the chant actually just misses Cena as a heel and the things he would do and say, making him a “cool heel.”

Whichever way you slice it, it's very hard to ignore when this actually started. When Cena was United States Champion as a babyface, this was not happening. When Cena won his first WWE Championship from JBL, the crowd seemed solidly on his side. Over time, Cena's female fan base grew immensely. Boyfriends did not appreciate this. I have personally seen former Cena fans drop their support for him during arguments with their girlfriend.

This may be when WWE made the mistake. With Cena over with the females and children, and not so over with grown men, they began to alter Cena's character to cater to this new fan base and away from the ones who possibly may have pushed him to the moon. The over-the-top “You Can Do It If You Try Hard” promos, the defeating of their old heroes such as Chris Jericho, and less and less insulting semi-heel rap promos until they completely disappeared may have pushed Cena into the old 80's Hulkamania cycle that just may not work in 2013.

Is it ultimately hurting WWE? If a company is making 500 millions dollars a year when they could be making 501 actually “hurting” that company? Obviously, the WWE makes far more than that, but I digress. Cena continues to seriously rule supreme in merchandise sales and social media, dedicate almost all of his free time to social causes, and shows his loyalty and dedication to the WWE and professional wrestling every week.

The fans that actually took the time to write letters to the WWE about the ending of the show really baffle me. I am actually at a loss for words when trying to express my opinion about that. Honestly, it is very silly to write a letter to a wrestling promotion because you are unhappy with the results of a clean match. If The Rock didn't show up and WWE replaced him with a jobber, that may be a reason to be upset, but to be so upset that Cena beat The Rock after a good match, after doing the job to The Rock in his hometown after being in Hollywood for all these years is absolutely ridiculous. How could a longtime fan of this business mark out SO hard over a match result as to be upset enough to write letters to the company? If Spartacus dies in the last episode of the mini-series are you going to write a letter to Starz? No, because as much as we want the slave rebellion to defeat the Romans, it's not supposed to happen, just like The Rock was not supposed to beat John Cena this time around. It sets up for The Rock to continue to be a part of the show, a Cena/Rock III rubber match, and sets up a program to bring Ryback to the next level.

Will fans turn away from WWE for the continual existence of “Super Cena?” It's very doubtful, but what is likely is the crowds may become louder and more vocal. You may ask how that is possible after this past Raw, but you can't count New Jersey. I'm from New Jersey, and I know the heel mentality. Live between Philly and New York for long enough and see if you don't have the same mindset.

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