John Cena, the company's de facto main babyface and pro wrestling's greatest tweener. WWE fans are seemingly split down the middle: half of them love the man, half of them would love nothing more than to see him leave their screens forever.
Obviously when you don't like somebody, you become more picky over every one of their actions. I can recall once watching RAW when one of my friends said, over MSN chat, "Ugh I hate Cena. Look at him, holding the microphone like he runs the place."
Cena is constantly getting scrutinised, something which comes as no surprise considering his high-profile status on such a popular TV show. When you're in the limelight, even the simplest of mistakes will be noticed and you can bet that someone, somewhere will release an article condemning it.
Unfortunately, he doesn't just suffer the typical "celebrity abuse." You can roam the internet and scroll through hundreds of comments criticising his work, his character, anything. Strutting out in his new attire? A forum somewhere will have a hate thread about it. Busting out a new move? "Oh look, it's now the SIX Moves of Doom!"
Now, I am not a John Cena fan. I don't have any of his merchandise and I don't mark out whenever he appears on my screen. On the other hand, I do not despise the man. I don't cry out for his removal, and I don't complain to anybody within earshot about anything he has to do.
To be honest, I have nothing but admiration for the man. He's not only living his dream; he's at the pinnacle of it. He has overcome the many obstacles in his path, endured injuries and countless accounts of abuse. In truth, he is one of the best workers in the entire company.
In fact, that gets me on to my first point: Cena's work in the ring. You don't know how often I hear or read about him supposedly being a terrible, repetitive wrestler in the ring. Nothing frustrates me more than hearing that argument get thrown out constantly. Anybody who says that is just as unoriginal and verbose as you're claiming he is.
See, Cena is not by any means repetitive. Not only does he have a rather great move-set, but he also has one of the best and most varied work-rates out of anybody on the entire roster. He doesn't seem consistent with what he does because he doesn't have to be; in fact, he often needs to simplify his work.
When he made his debut several years ago, John Cena's first match was against Kurt Angle. The Olympian, who has won several Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards, is considered by many to be one of the greatest wrestlers to have ever graced a WWE ring. The match itself, which lasted several minutes, was very impressive and was a very solid first outing.
Read through those comments, and you will find many which go along the lines of, "Why can't Cena wrestle like that now?"
Truth is, he has the ability to and always has. His work-rate, as I mentioned, is quite varied. In that match, he applied it in full swing because of the competitor he was up against. He was required to be at his best because he was facing a very formidable opponent.
Look at more of Cena's best performances, such as his 30-minute war with CM Punk or his WrestleMania 23 spectacle against Shawn Michaels. Every single one of those matches was him taking on some of the most astonishing workers in the industry, and in every single one of those matches he was able to keep up the pace with his opponent. He never slipped behind, nor did he look like he was being carried.
In those matches, he has shown superb ability, which comes down to knowing when he needs to apply himself properly. You look at his not-so-spectacular matches and see who he's facing. For a couple of years, Cena was forced to lock horns with workers like Dave Batista and Randy Orton, who are both sloppy workers with limited move-sets.
In those matches, he simplifies his game purely because his opposing halves cannot handle more complex manoeuvres. In theory, he "dumbs down" his style in order to allow these guys to keep up with him. He ends up carrying these guys, and it's something that he has seemingly had to do more often than not in recent times.
Since the departures of the likes of Angle, the deaths of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit and the retirements of Edge and Shawn Michaels, the quality of the roster has declined incredibly. Ten years ago, nearly everyone on contract could hold their own in the ring, but in present time? We're swamped with green, jacked-up freaks like Mason Ryan or botch-artists like Sin Cara.
Very few wrestlers in WWE are notable in-ring workers; the majority of the wrestlers are rather poor in that respect and those that aren't are usually mishandled. Thanks to this, Cena regularly has to tone down his work-rate in order to compliment the elementary ethic undertaken by most workers he comes face-to-face with.
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