John Cena may not have turned heel like many hoped for.
However there was something different about him on the Feb 20 edition of Monday Night Raw. Cena had a different energy and looked like a man who was on a mission.
The program started off with Eve turning heel and admitting she only intends to use Cena for her own personal gains. However, Cena overhears her and tears her apart in the ring.
His comments about Eve included "sipping the skank juice" and "hoski." These were pretty unusual for the PG era, but it did was get the fans behind Cena.
The best part of his first segment was when he took a shot at the Rock by comparing him and Eve. Cena said that they are both "scandalous bitches." This was again a little different than the things we have heard during the PG era.
After his shot at Eve and the Rock, Cena looked into the camera and seemed to have mouthed the words "I'm back."
Could this be signifying the fact that he is going back to his thuganomic roots. When Cena was starting his career and making a name for himself, he had a very different gimmick than he has now. He was the "Doctor of Thuganomics" who was a rapper that cut promos by rhyming.
Cena was a heel but as the gimmick grew, so did the support for him. Cena had some significant matches with this gimmick and became the U.S Champion.
By the end of 2003, Cena was a fan favorite and the rapper gimmick slowly started to fade away. However the one thing that should never be forgotten is the ruthlessness and edginess of Cena during his thuganomics run. He became one of the most popular superstars because of his ability on the mic and cutting entertaining promos.
One of the loudest pops in recent memory came last year when the Rock was announced as the host of WrestleMania 27. He came out and started the rivalry between him and Cena, by calling out Cena for his comments regarding the Rock ditching the WWE. While his comments about Cena electrified the fans, Cena's response the next week, in my opinion, was better.
For a few minutes, Cena brought back his thuganomics gimmick and ripped apart the Rock. What was evident was the fans positive reaction and the pop he was getting after each joke. Cena usually has a split reaction from the crowd but for that promo, everyone was cheering.
Cena's second segment on the Feb 20 Raw was uninterrupted and he got the ball rolling again between him and the Rock. He had a different tone in his voice which sounded similar to the tone he used when he was the "Doctor of Thuganomics."
It appeared as if Cena started to go off of what was possibly intended as he apologized and stated that he would probably get fined. While he may not have been rhyming, Cena had the same type of ruthlessness and edginess that got him to where he is today.
He called Eve a "skankapotamus" before addressing Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson. He was taking personal shots at the Rock for his entourage and said he doesn't respect him. What was different about this segment than his recent ones regarding the Rock is the personal comments and they seemed as if they were truly genuine feelings. He also didn't care about putting down his own movies in the process.
The flow and the tone in Cena's voice continued throughout the promo and brought us back to his old rapping gimmick. He admitted that he would get fined by Vince McMahon for saying that "the only reason that he came back in the first place was to promote Fast Five and launch his twitter account."
He then went on to say he would fight at WrestleMania for those people that walk this planet and say that they are proud to be a professional wrestler. He again must have said something he wasn't supposed to because before he said "professional wrestler" he turned to the backstage and apologized as if he knew he wasn't supposed to say that.
Cena put the icing on the cake as he said "I'll see you next week movie star," blew a kiss to the Rock and flipped the microphone.
Cena cut a strong promo that picked up the intensity of this rivalry. The Rock is going to have to bring something different to the table next week if he wants to match the bar that was set high by Cena.
Cena continues to electrify the crowd himself, with the promos towards the Rock. Say what you want about the Rock being the best on the mic of all time, Cena is winning this battle on the mic.
He may not be rhyming or rapping, but Cena is using the same intensity and ruthless approach that he used when he was the "Doctor of Thuganomics." Cena has been in need of a slight change in his gimmick. Could a return to his thuganomic roots be the answer?
We will find out as we get closer and closer to WrestleMania 28.