In retrospect, John Cena's throwaway feud with Kane seems to have been just that, a time-killer and a filler to keep Cena occupied en route to WrestleMania 28.
Some are saying that Cena's "edgier" now. I firmly disagree. He's wearing different shorts than last year, he's wearing a black ensemble instead of a colorful one, and he's using a bit more profanity, but really that can just be attributed to Rock doing it first when calling Cena out on all of his ridiculousness.
Cena's basically doing what he's done for years whenever a guy in a heel position comes to challenge him: go on the defensive, laugh off the opposition's claims, give no real reasoning why the person accusing him is necessarily WRONG, and then defeats him in a match. I know, calling Cena childish isn't fair, because Punk and Rock use childish tactics, too. Then again, their tactics get the fans to cheer. They're supposed to get the fans to cheer; they're faces. John is a face, yet this past Monday on the Rock/Cena/Once in a Lifetime special, Cena said, "I don't pander to the fans; I'm not there to make them cheer."
How much does he need to say before we're all in agreement that he has no clue how this business works?
Cena's critics will still criticize him even if he curses and belittles divas and continues his inconsistent approach, while Cena's fans continue to support him unconditionally. In other words, if Cena were to defeat The Rock, the split of the most vocal fans out there would end up being even stronger than ever.
Some of Cena's fans may become even more active in support of their hero. Then again, staunch Rock fans will hate Cena more than ever.
At some point, people who are loud enough do make their voices heard, and if Cena wins, that undeniable polarity in the WWE Universe may in fact get stronger and even harder to leave as is any longer.
Most nights on Raw, WWE management can likely turn the other way when Cena bounds through the curtain, says his little snippet to the camera, salutes and skips under the bottom rope, all the while the crowd is in a festively negative uproar.
In Miami, on April 1, try as WWE might, the crowd will largely be behind Rock. And as such, when Cena wins, while some may be cheering, the sound we hear will largely be boos. And that many people crammed into that arena for the event? After all the things Punk, Miz, Truth, Rock, Piper and Kane have all said about Cena?
There is no way WWE will be able to ignore it a moment longer.
Ask yourself honestly...if Cena wins, will more fans cheer him? Truly? Seriously? The answer is no. He may deserve more respect for putting on a compelling show, as my previous slide claimed, but no more fans will cheer Cena than already do.
A win over Rock is not going to convince anyone Cena is "better." Rock helped define a generation, Cena rode the tail end of that generation and stagnated the company. One is more revolutionary and fan-friendly than the other and will always be.
That's what I love most about Cena's fans. They'll look you dead in the eye, while Cena is getting booed uproariously, and say, "This guy is the most popular star in WWE." And yet, when the debate over what's happened to WWE's ratings and credibility comes up, they'll be completely stymied and confused and lack a real answer.
Well, you're in luck. I just gave it to you.
Rock could lose to Cena and still get cheered the next night, but Cena could come out the victor at WrestleMania and actually end up with more boos than he got going in. It's not guaranteed, but think about it. It could actually happen that way. But like DDP said, that's not a bad thing, that's a good thing!
Again, I'm not saying a heel turn is necessary, but you know it would have inevitably happened already if, far and away, enough of an undeniable percentage of the WWE Universe were against Cena. He still gets an adequate amount of support to warrant keeping him a babyface on Monday nights, but if he defeats Rock, it will cause a lot more people to make their voices heard, whether for or against.
The night of, as well as the night after, WrestleMania will have Bleacher Report blowing up with cliche articles, stating "Why Cena winning is the right choice," "Why WWE booked Cena to win," "John Cena is still the face of the company," "WWE shot itself in the foot booking Cena to win," and so on.
People who haven't even been watching all year will see their favorite wrestler ever, The Rock, the mighty Great One, get beaten by John Cena, who I guarantee, in one single night worth of promo work and backstage segments, will still not look as strong a character as The Rock. Those fans will not be happy, and guess what, they're not "IWC nerds." A lot of them were around during the Attitude Era; they've never once touched a dirt sheet, and they will be more pissed than ever that Cena won.
Not only that, but truthfully, Cena winning yet another WrestleMania main event is not going to convince new fans that he's really the best to watch.
Cena winning could get a lot of people outraged. Being a fan during the Attitude Era, I can tell you, outrage tends to get things changed. It tends to make WWE question its methods and its ways of doing things.
Cena winning seems to be the most "logical" solution to their big rivalry, business-wise, but I'm just wondering if they're willing to deal with the impact it could have.
They've already delayed certain inevitabilities for long enough. Maybe having Cena win is an attempt to speed those inevitabilities up some. WWE is a business giant. They weren't about to turn Cena heel between WrestleMania 27 and 28 when they could make Cena/Rock look like the epic war of babyfaces that we're anticipating now.
It wouldn't have paid a single dividend, and any of us who thought Cena would turn heel this year, after the mega-match of the decade was made, was officially stupid to think it would happen.
By the way, I include myself in that statement.
Point is, a Cena victory may cause both sides of the "Let's Go Cena/Cena Sucks" argument to strengthen their feelings. Cenation will get a boost to morale, and the infidel heathens that don't subscribe to the Cenation Commander-in-Chief's promos will want to riot and cause more anarchy than ever before.
If they end up making their voices louder as well? Who knows what changes could occur down the road.