A British Point of View: Where Are All You John Cena Haters?

Martyn Nolan

John CenaJustin LaBar recently opened his Wrestling Reality 1 on 1 TribLIVE radio show this week with the opening line of “Where oh where are the John Cena haters?” “Where are the ‘You can’t wrestle’ chants?” “Oh that’s right; he just shut you up on National Television.”

Sorry Justin, he didn’t shut me up (although I wouldn’t class myself as a hater, just frustrated.) People may think that I’m being negative on this one but I couldn’t help but feel that John Cena got away with one this week.

YES, he had probably one of the best matches on recent memory on Monday Night RAW but did he really do that well? The match seemed a lot better than normal and WrestleMania in quality because we got a lot of false finishes which ALWAYS makes a match more exciting as we are not sure how it will end. Justin’s argument is that John isn’t a good wrestler but he is the best worker because he gets a reaction out of all fans. But what does he really do to get that reaction?

To me LaBar’s comment is a complete cop-out. John Cena doesn’t gain a reaction from the crowd by doing what he should; he gets it from not doing what he should do! Heels like CM Punk have to work on getting heat and think creatively to do so, Cena on the other hand only has to do the ‘babyface’ thing but manages to do it so over the top and cheesy fashion that he manages to annoy any fan who is looking to suspend their disbelief.

Cena is so far away what he should be it’s frightening. Cena had better wrestling skills when he first came in to the company than he does now and it’s all down to a simple fact that it’s complacency. Cena is comfortable and so is WWE. Just because Cena has a good match on RAW doesn’t change the fact that the man still doesn’t cut it as well in the ring as he should do and that CM Punk was carrying him for 80% of the match.

What did Cena do different this week on RAW? Two moves. A power bomb that should be a natural move for someone with his size and strength and a hurricanrana that was as badly botched as his attempt of a monkey flip that he did on Dolph Ziggler at TLC. Every time fans chant you can’t wrestle Cena decides to start doing headlock taking over’s as if he could take down Brock Lesnar (Oh wait… he did, sigh.)

A worker, ‘works’ to get the reaction from a crowd where as Cena doesn’t do ‘working’ of any fashion half the time. The most work he does to get a reaction is to provide us with a silly grin or go overboard on a promo that just wasn’t required. Here’s the kicker though. He doesn’t even use his ability to put other talent over. Take Rock for instance. As much as you may want to have improved the build for Punk and Rock at the Rumble you cannot deny the fact that Rock made Punk sound fantastic and constantly made him sound like a threat.

Cena doesn’t do this, he buries his opponents. One example would be Alberto Del Rio during his first WWE Championship run. He called him a joke saying that he isn’t a champion and doesn’t deserve to be after defeating an opponent surprisingly clean as a heel. He made Del Rio sound like a chump and proceeded to beat him like one to regain the Championship. That isn’t smart booking it’s just pointless gushing from someone who is at the top and has been for the past 10 years.

Is it WWE reigning him in or is Cena becoming complacent? Either way it’s one of them. When you think of classic wrestlers like HBK, Triple H, The Rock, Stone Cold, Undertaker or Kurt Angle and asked how many classic matches did they have? You could reel of many matches for each. Whenever someone asks how many classic matches has Cena had over the years I struggle to think of more than last week on RAW and facing HBK in the UK many years ago.

The reason why this is so frustrating is because Cena could be so much more. We watch wrestling to suspend our disbelief and anytime Cena walks down that ramp I feel the legitimacy of the product falling away with every comment made to the camera and step down that ramp. I don’t see any chinks in Cena’s armour; I never see a clean loss (apart from The Rock and we all know what’s coming there.) and I never believe in the character.

I have recently praised Paul Heyman because he has been able to pull you in to the story and make everyone look fantastic around him. On the flip-side John Cena does the opposite, everyone he is involved with seems to get the touch of death in wrestling terms, Zack Ryder, Kane, Dolph Ziggler have all suffered. As soon as you enter a programme with Cena you are irrelevant for a few months unless you are CM Punk (Who has beat him many times but never granted a clean win) or The Rock who is in a class of his own in WWE’s eyes.

WWE won’t want to turn Cena heel because he does get the loudest responses of the night, not because of effort but because of lack thereof. Cena has become so stale that fans rebel and younger fans want to cheer him. How many times have we seen Cena come out to a mostly hot crowd and start his promo with “Boy, you guys in ______ are sure lively tonight!”

It’s getting old and the argument of the work that Cena does outside of the ring is starting to wear thin. ALL wrestlers do publicity outside of the ring and Cena may grant more wishes than anyone else but it doesn’t change the fact that other wrestlers do as well, no matter whether they are heel or face.

I don’t think many fans would seem as concerned if they didn’t feel that they were being treated as complete morons. If Cena didn’t take 8 finishers from Ziggler and Langston and still manage to nip up like he just done 5 minutes on a treadmill then fans wouldn’t be going nuts on the internet. Give me reason to believe in John Cena and STILL cater to the younger audience, Bret Hart did it, why can’t you John? It’s not hard but WWE don’t want to change Cena because they won’t get these reactions they so badly want yet are originated from a negative origin. If you really do dislike Cena that much then don’t chant Cena sucks at events, just don’t do anything. No reaction means WWE realise this has gone too far and will hopefully bring something to the table which everyone can enjoy.

An ideal situation (which I’m not stupid enough to believe will happen) would be to have Cena lose to The Rock again at this year’s WrestleMania and that being the final straw in Cena being a do-gooder and start to show some human flaws. I’m not expecting Cena to turn heel but at least appear believable.

Until that point we will have to watch Cena on his ‘comeback’ destroy anyone in his path and the only chance I have of getting him annoyed is if that kid from front row keeps stopping his kill streaks on Black Ops II.

Rant Over.

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